I did it! I moved beyond cereal, and gave Baby Boy a REAL FOOD. Lovely green beans, pureed with leftover water from steaming them. Gourmet, n’est pas?
Judging from how I agonized over whether or not to give him cereal, it was a surprisingly easy decision. I took a couple of make-your-own-baby-food books out of the library, borrowed a steamer basket and strainer from Mom, waited until Baby Boy was about a week away from turning six months, and just sort of jumped in!
The very first attempt was on Friday at lunch, and it was totally spontaneous. I sat him in his high chair to keep me company while I ate my lunch (reheated chicken/pasta and green beans), with no intention of giving him any “real” food. But then I looked at the container of green beans and thought, “Eh, why not?”
I dumped some beans into the food processor, added some water, and pureed them. I (stupidly) didn’t realize that cold vegetables don’t puree as well as warm ones, and I also didn’t puree them for very long. The end result was kind of chunky-looking, but I offered some to Baby Boy anyway.
The expressions! I was juggling the camera and the video camera (along with the spoonfuls of green bean mush), and laughing my ass off at his expressions! The beans did not appear to be a big hit, but it was fun for both of us. He seemed glad to be eating something, if that makes sense, even though he didn’t seem to really like what he was eating. It was a big moment for us.
I wised up the next day, and actually followed the “recipe” for pureed green beans. In other words, I steamed the crap out of them, pureed them for a much longer time, and added way more water. They turned out SO much better, and were a really nice smooth consistency. I scooped a couple of tablespoons into a bunch of my beloved Pampered Chef prep bowls, and had six baby entrees all ready. It was sooooo easy.
Baby Boy braved the green beans again on Saturday and Sunday (for lunch and dinner), and is definitely coming around. He is still making hilarious faces, but is eating almost all of the portions — and that’s what counts. I plan to try each food for three days before moving onto a new one, to make sure he’s not allergic.
He hasn’t had any issues with the beans, so today I plan on introducing … drumroll, please … pureed sweet potatoes! I think those are going to be a huge favourite. According to my mom, they were my fave as a baby (although I’m not a huge fan these days).
Up until Friday, Baby Boy was only eating a bit of cereal at bedtime (and even that got skipped sometimes). But now that he’s eating solids, I’ve been giving him cereal at breastfast and bedtime — and a “real food” (so far just the green beans) at lunchtime and dinnertime.
Honestly, I thought it would be annoying to do the high chair routine four times a day, but it’s actually been nice. I arrange it so my meal is ready at the same time, and I eat while I’m feeding him. It’s very civilized, and great to have the company (and mealtime “conversation”) since Darling Husband isn’t home for many meals.
I was nervous that Baby Boy having so much “real food” would negatively impact his breastfeeding, but it is still going strong. I nurse him before every “meal” to make sure he’s still getting plenty of milk, and also before and after every nap (and bedtime). I’ve been pumping at least once a day, too, to make sure I’m keeping up my supply.
I’m very relieved that moving onto “real food” wasn’t like the emotional roller coaster of starting cereal. It didn’t seem to be as huge of a leap, since he was already accustomed to the highchair/spoon/bowl/bib routine. It’s been fun to read about the different “dishes” I can make him, and pureeing was very satisfying — much more so than mixing up cereal (yawn).
Excited to try sweet potatoes! Who knows, maybe I’ll decide I like them, too …