Way back 7 years ago, I was “that” mom. I didn’t mean to be. (Okay, maybe I did.) I had time. I had lots of time. I had the time that every night after the huz and I finished our tacos or fajitas or baked chicken, I cleaned, and he entertained Big. And then I had more time. So with this amazing “more time,” I pureed baby foods. Sure, it took a few minutes, but what else would I do with my time?
Afterall, the laundry was folded, the toilets were cleaned, the kid was entertained and bathed, so I might as well prepare fresh food for the baby while I prepare meals for the next day, right? Oh, I was so proud. I went around discussing with friends how to make their own baby food. I mixed flavors and thawed the cubes the next day for lunch and breakfast. And when I saw other moms taking out their Gerber jars, I felt bad for them. What were they missing? Didn’t they know how easy this was? Perhaps I should walk over to their table and teach them how easy making baby food really is! It wouldn’t take long, right?
So, Big was mostly fed freshly pureed food.
And then I got pregnant with Middle, opened a store, and started blogging. The toilets weren’t as clean, the laundry may not be folded right away, and there were a few times when the Huz complained about running out of boxers. When it was time to feed Middle, I tried to make it from scratch. Carrots, bananas, apples, spaghetti squash. Then I began to focus on the foods that weren’t available in the jars because the jars were so much faster to just feed rather than make. But foods like spaghetti squash and mangos and avocados… I still made them for Middle.
And Middle was fed more often from jars but had a fair share of freshly pureed baby foods.
Now, I have Little. I have 3 baskets of laundry waiting to be folded, a child who needs to know how to spell supercalafragalisticexpialidocious, another who is waiting to be wiped, and a burning chicken in the oven. We celebrate when we make it to the bus on time, and we cheer if the floor is swept. I wear my Gerber Stock Certificate with pride and proudly select organic baby food when I have an opportunity.
So when I received Top 100 Baby Purees: 100 Quick and Easy Meals for a Healthy and Happy Baby as a book club book for the SVMoms March book selection, it was a huge kick in the butt for me. A reminder that making foods for Big and Middle wasn’t challenging.
And then I watched Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution last week on TV and, oh! the Jewish mom guilt. I felt terrible. What am I doing to my baby?! Feeding her processed, jarred baby food that can stay in its jar for nearly 2 years?! What kind of start am I offering here?
About a week ago, I paged through Karmel’s book and realized that, while I’m not going to set out to make all of her meals, I can certainly mix fruits with yogurts on my own. And I can feed a fresh banana or open an avocado rather than opening a jar for dinner. Mashing up a fresh mango takes seconds, and it’s a brilliant taste with a slew of vitamins.
So far, I’ve just given her bananas. But there’s an avocado in the fridge and a mango on the counter. It’s a start.
This post was in response to the SVMoms monthly Book Club. I was sent a copy of both Top 100 Finger Foods: 100 Recipes for a Healthy, Happy Child and Top 100 Finger Foods: 100 Recipes for a Healthy, Happy Child. Please note: I suggest you proceed with caution when using any baby recipe books. They do not always take into consideration the AAP guidelines for food introduction, nor do they consider the allergy awareness that I have been taught over the years. Everyone follows his or her gut and guides; please make sure you follow yours.