Friday, February 27, 2009

Friday Food #1

When I made the decision in college to change majors from chemical engineering to dietetics, I knew I was making a good choice. I was able to work for a couple years after becoming registered as a dietitian and before I quit the workforce to become a stay-at-home mother. Even though I haven’t been paid to work as a dietitian for over five years, I am constantly asked questions by friends, family, and acquaintances that I am able to answer or at least give my opinion on because of my degree and the continuing education that I keep up with in order to maintain my registration status. I also use my degree daily as a I plan and prepare meals for my family. I have lots of opinions, thoughts, and ideas about food and I love talking about them with others! So now, it is with great pleasure that I introduce my weekly feature on my blog—the Friday Food!

Sometimes this will be a post about a new food item that I discovered at the grocery store. Maybe I’ll talk about a favorite recipe. Perhaps it will be about ideas for feeding children. Today, my first post is going to be about baby food.

My little baby is now 7 months old and has been eating baby food for a month now. She loved the organic brown rice baby cereal for a few days and then all of a sudden, she wanted nothing to do with it. I couldn’t figure out what was going on until I tried giving her something that I was eating (hummus) and then I realized that she just wanted REAL FOOD! I immediately busted out my favorite piece of baby equipment—the Original Happy Baby Food Grinder.

IMG_4279I bought this at a garage sale when I was pregnant with Kendall. It was in its original box and looked like it had never been used. It was exactly like the one I remembered my mom using with my younger siblings.

IMG_4289 (Do you think this box could be any more 70’s looking?)

IMG_4290 (Check out the original price tag on the bottom—I paid $1.99 for it back in 2003. Whole Foods had ghetto price tags back then!)

I don’t believe in the baby food that comes in jars. It is bland and processed and just NASTY. This fabulous little baby food grinder allows you to grind up whatever you happen to be eating for dinner that night and then feed it to your baby! Of course, you still need to follow the recommendations for when you should introduce different foods to your baby, for example, I don’t grind anything acidic in here yet, like tomatoes, berries, or things like that. You don’t want to feed them really spicy foods or things with dairy in them, etc. Emery has loved everything I have ground up for her so far. Two nights ago I tried a new recipe (which we all LOVED)—Kale and White Bean Soup. Here’s how it looked in my bowl:IMG_4272

And after going through the Happy Baby grinder, it became this:IMG_4261(Maybe it doesn’t look all that appetizing, but she couldn’t get enough of it!)

It is also my theory that this helps your children to start developing a taste for the foods that you actually cook, which keeps them from turning into picky eaters! Obviously, this theory isn’t scientific, but so far I have two girls who will eat pretty much any food that I put in front of them to support my hypothesis!

If you have a baby and are interested in trying this out, you can buy one here or if you want to spend a little more and get a fancier version, I’ve heard this one is pretty cool too! If you’ve already tried grinding your own baby food, I’d love to hear from you!

I could go on and on about baby food, but this post has already gotten way too long. If you’d like to talk more about this, let me know and we can have our own conversation about it!

18 comments:

Jenn-Lee said...

I am sp excited about your Friday foods post! Great idea. I love this idea of feeding your baby's what you already cooked. I tried to do that when I could mash it with a fork but never did consistently. Next baby- I need to get the grinder. Thanks for sharing! Can't wait for next Friday. :)

Steph said...

i am glad you posted that becaue i been looking for that grinder - my mom had one too; however, i found this and am trying to convince chip that i need it. check out the link for the great babyfood maker: http://www.williams-sonoma.com/products/5279732/index.cfm?pkey=cspecialty-electrics&cm_src=hero

Mirien said...

I have the same grinder and in a couple months I'll start using it again for Hayley. I'm so glad I kept it when I gave all of our other baby stuff away. I agree that kids who start eating "real" food from the beginning are less picky--it's worked for me, too.

Great idea for Fridays! And you committed publicly to do it--you're brave! I look forward to your new regular feature.

Mirien said...

I have the same grinder and in a couple months I'll start using it again for Hayley. I'm so glad I kept it when I gave all of our other baby stuff away. I agree that kids who start eating "real" food from the beginning are less picky--it's worked for me, too.

Great idea for Fridays! And you committed publicly to do it--you're brave! I look forward to your new regular feature.

Erin said...

i make my own baby food too! ezra just started rice cereal this week. he loves it. soon i will start adding things to it. i start with vegetables- peas, carrots, potatoes squashes, etc. sweet potatoes were always my kids favorites. i don't have a specific baby food grinder, i just use a food processor. i make it in bulk and freeze it. so easy and much healthier and affordable than jarred food. once they are a little bigger i do the same as you and and mash up what we are eating.
looking forward to next friday!

Karey said...

I have one just like yours that I picked up at a consignment sale last year for a dollar or two, but truth be told.... I've only used it once. For some reason, I find my mini food processor to be much easier!

A couple of weeks ago I was at a baby shower where we played "Name that Baby Food" and my aversion to storebought baby food was definitely confirmed! That stuff is so gross! Macaroni & Cheese? Apples and Ham? ewwwwwwwwwwww!

I've mostly stuck to pureeing veggies and fruits, either alone or in simple combos, but I'll have to try pureeing some of the things I make for Matt & me.

Love the new feature!

(Could my comment be any longer?)

The Thorley Family said...

Amen! Not only does it taste better when you make your own baby food, but it's so much easier to grind up what you're eating than to have to open something specific for the baby. My kids esp loved mashed potatoes with peas and a little garlic powder. When they were little I'd use breast milk or formula to smooth the texture a little and once they were able to eat it I'd use plain whole milk yogurt (cascadian farms is our fave).

Cecily said...

I have a similar grinder I bought in combo with a mesh snack binkie at Target for $9.99. I love it! Franklin eats what we eat and is a happy baby.

emilyaaa said...

you rock! i already loved Fridays, but now i have yet ANOTHER reason to look forward to them!! You are the reason my kids are good eaters. Your little bit of advice about feeing them what WE eat changed my life! And everytime i see moms with 10 or 14 or even 18 month olds who still aren't eating what the rest of the family's eating i am ever so grateful that I knew you when i did!!! that could have been ME lugging around that nasty jarred food and pulling it out in the middle of Chipotles! :)

Jennie said...

I just use my magic bullet. http://www.buythebullet.com/

Its great for lots of things. Do you make your own hummus? I tried a recipe I found in a child cook book which was ok, but I was thinking I've seen different varieties that might be fun. Any ideas?

Maren said...

Hooray! I'm not doing baby food right now (or anytime soon...) so this particular post wasn't for me, but I can't tell you how excited I am to come and read your blog on Fridays! (So make sure you do big people food next...) So are you going to share the kale and white bean soup recipe? Or is it on your other blog?

Stephanie said...

I had a similar grinder. I mainly used it with dinner and it worked good except with pasta...the noodles seemed to get stuck easily. I did use regular baby food for breakfast and lunch since cereal and sandwiches didn't seem like they would grind well. And because it was easy for me. I have always been impressed with how great you are with food.

If I can put in one request for some Friday....SNACKS. The kids (and then of course usually me too) eat snacks several times a day. So new ideas would be great!

The Happy Runner said...

I made my son's food, too. I loved coming up with new combinations. He was a fan of avocado and oatmeal with cranberries. I miss those days!

Amanda said...

where is the recipe for Kale & White Bean Soup?

Marci said...

i'm excited for happy friday food tips from you!

abbie said...

meredith, this is abbie mckinnon...adam's wife. i look at your blog once in a while and i loved this post. i have been thinking about making olivia's food for a while and i am happy to see that little handy tool is out there to help me. what about fruits and veggies? do you just steam/puree them or what? if i'm not on the organic train do you think it's still worth it? olivia is so hot and cold with the jarred stuff, one day she'll scarf it down and others she'll be all but disgusted... so i just wonder if something more fresh would appeal to her a little more..it would to me! anyway, you can comment on my blog or email me at abbiemckinnon at yahoo dot com. thanks!

jessica, jessie, or jessi said...

I make my own baby food, too! :) I also do what Erin does - make a bunch in bulk in the food processor and then freeze it in cubes and store in freezer bags. I'm excited to see what next Friday's installment will be! :)

Jenn Knight said...

I'd like to bear my testimony of Meredith's advice... this advice has SAVED me! I did exactly what you recommended and thank heavens... my kids will basically eat anything. Madi's going through a picky phase right now, but she will still eat fruits and vegetables... just not stuff like "stringy cheese." Seriously, I rate this advice on my top 10 all time best advice I ever heeded list. There are so many more reasons... like training you to take enough time to make a proper meal for yourself and your kids instead of getting accustomed to popping open a lid and that's it. Anyway, I did it for #2 and plan on doing it with #3 as well. Here's to the baby food boycott!!