Homemade Baby Food

DSC_5856I’ve been making Beck’s baby food since he’s been eating. Lots of people have asked me about making my own baby food, so I thought I’d throw up a post about it. I think there are a couple main things to know when you venture into this:

  1. It’s super easy
  2. It’s cost effective
  3. It’s healthier – I buy organic

I make it probably once a month or so, and just do a bunch, freeze them in cubes or containers, and pull out what I need. Last night, I made a few so I’ve priced them out. He’s almost 9 months old and can probably chomp down around 8 ounces of puree a day.

Squash, Apple, Raisin – this is by far Beckett’s favorite, so I make a big batch!

  • 6 Fuji Apples – $4.89
  • 1 Butternut Squash – $3.58
  • 1 cup of Raisins – $0.64
  • Made 40 oz / Cost $0.23 per oz!!

Pumpkin, Raspberry, Banana

  • 1 Small Pumpkin – $3.26
  • 1 cup of Raspberries – $1.60 (I bought a pack of organic frozen, cause I couldn’t find fresh, darn winter!)
  • 1 Banana – $0.34
  • Made 25 oz / Cost $0.20 per oz!!

Green Beans

  • 2 – 10 oz packs of Frozen Green Beans – $5.00
  • Made 18 oz / Cost $0.28 per oz!!

DSC_5862I want to put it into perspective for you. I do keep some Earth’s Best Organic jars around, because sometimes you just need to throw a jar of food in there for convenience, travel, whatever. I just like to be prepared. One of those jars is normally $1.25 each, and they are 4 oz each. So, that’s $0.31 an ounce.  This is easy, you mostly steam or roast anything, and throw it into a blender or food processor to desired consistency. I like that because I can make them thicker as he gets older and better at chewing/eating. I freeze them in these Tevolo trays. (buy the green ones, cause they are dramatically cheaper than the other colors). These freeze into 1 ounce portions, making it super easy to portion out. I also have the pouches you see. I always fill a couple of those for convenience, instead of carting around jars. These are technically disposable, but you can rinse and reuse, just takes more effort. I also bought some Squooshi pouches, which are designed to be reusable, but haven’t actually used them yet. So, the day before, I usually plop some cubes into Wean Green glass containers and transfer to the fridge for them to thaw overnight.

I make both mixes like the squash, apple, raisin and single purees like green beans, prunes, etc. I like having some premixed, because the ratios are nice. For the single’s I usually combine them. Like the green bean, i’ll mix with a couple tablespoons of tofu and brown rice or throw some prunes into oatmeal. Generally, if I’m eating something I chop it into little (non chokeables, removing any type of skin or hard to chew bits) pieces for Beckett to eat or feed himself. He will eat anything I eat, seriously anything, at this point. He love fish, chicken, crab, sushi, risotto, pizza, anything, seriously anything. I’ll soak it up now, cause I hear that they can get picky by the time they are two.

I have the time to do this (these three took me maybe an hour, hour fifteen). I like to do this, and I feel good giving Beckett fresher baby foods. I will never regret making his food, this kid eats better than I do.

Advertisements

The Pregnant Heart gets, what the Pregnant Heart wants

I’ve been starving all day – just feel like eating constantly. Not artificial eating though, I’m talking full meal eating. Needless to say, we don’t leave a lot of full meals laying around this house. Adam’s a big advocate of saving leftovers, so there were some in the fridge. I worked from home today to get a bunch of things done for some big meetings the next two days. One of my fridge foraging excursions led me into a tupperware of Hashbrown/eggs/bacon left over from maybe a week ago and another tupperware of corned beef and rice, from last night. Well, throwing them together didn’t sound like a terrible idea, so that’s exactly what happened. What was I going to do to add a little freshness to the dish? Why, throw another egg in of course. It turned out amazing! I haven’t really had any weird 3AM food cravings or anything crazy like that. Throughout I’ve gone through phases of Coconut cupcake, Egg McMuffin’s, Cereal (I’m talking good cereal, like the kind coated in sugar, like Captain Crunch and Lucky Charms), and Caramello’s. Right now, I am currently specific crave-less.

I have a really sick love of eggs. I’ll eat them with everything. Egg on a salad, egg on a burger, egg on pasta? Yes please, I’ll take them all. I could eat eggs every single day of my life, they are so versatile.

I’ve been stressing about two things lately, let’s talk about each of these a little more in depth.

  1. Work
  2. Babies – and all the things that go with them
  3. My craft stuff
  4. My health

Work – I just feel like there is tons to do lately. I’ve been able to stay under 100 emails, which would have been unheard of 6 months ago even, so that’s good. I’ve been building a global team around me, which has eased the load. Tuesday and Wednesday we have big meetings and I feel ill prepared. I’ve been working on this one big project, called an Administrative Guide, that I’m building in OneNote. It’s pretty amazing, and I’m stoked on everything I’ve got into it, but I just feel like it’s going to be torn apart when I get it in front of the client. That’s disheartening. Also, I’m leaving in 3.5 months, which means that everything has to be a nice package tied up with a bow, and ready for me to move on. A sign of a good leader is one that plans succession well, so that when they leave, the company still thrives. I intend to do everything possible to make sure this happens. But, it’s all still stressful.

Babies – Building a registry, thinking of all the things I need, blah blah blah. It’s all things I don’t want to think about. We started registering on Amazon.com. It’s going ok, but i’m sure there are going to be other things that crop up, that I just don’t want to deal with. It seems like such a hassle. We might buy a stroller tonight! We’ve been eyeying the UPPAbaby Vista, and we found a total score on Craigslist, so we’re going to look at it tonight. Seems pretty slick. When we start buying stuff, that also means we needed places to put stuff (see section 3; re: Craft Stuff). I also have several friends having babies and in particular, wanted to make one something, so I have to get that together too. Not to mention that I want my baby to have something personally made by me as well.

Craft Stuff – have I mentioned that we’re putting our baby in what I’ve called my Craft Room to date? That means shit tons of cleaning and purging. I have a LOT of craft stuff, because I’m the creative crafty type. So – I have to organize, purge, sell, donate everything that I think is now low priority, having a child. I’ll probably see if my MIL wants some stuff, but the vast majority, I’d like to sell so that I recoup some of the money I spent on all this amazing stuff. That’s stressful. I’ve been trying to do it in small chunks, but find that I’m too tired to really get anything going while I’m home. I expend all my energy at work every day. Then I get home and just want to relaxing.

My Health – it’s not terrible, so don’t get me wrong. However, I gained a substantial amount of weight in the last month, which I found out at the Dr on Friday. I’m disappointed in myself. I don’t feel like I’ve been using pregnancy like an excuse, but I have been eating whatever I can. A lot of normally healthy, great, and delicious things just don’t sound like something I want to ingest, quite honestly. It’s been rough in that aspect. Not to mention that I get tired really easy, so working out really hasn’t happened. Walking, like everyone tells you to do, hasn’t even been happening. Adam keeps offering to walk with me, but like I mentioned before, I am always just too tired. When in the hell is this second burst of energy that everyone and their mom keeps speaking of going to happen? Probably never for me!

Baby is getting more active every day. Last night he was trying to keep me from sleeping, but I won that battle! My uterus is the size of a soccer ball right now, at 26 weeks along. That is mind boggling to me. I like staring at my naked stomach, it’s fascinating in my opinion. I’m not really doing anything, but I’m some how growing a whole human inside of me. We signed up for our birthing classes. 6 excruciating evenings for 2 hours each. Are you serious? Seems like overkill. Oh, and I was reading up on healing after the birth, which I shouldn’t have done, because my vagina is going to be a disaster zone. Anyway I can just plan to not have a vaginal delivery? That sounds swell. Could we also cut me open before stretch marks start? That’s another thing, I inspect my stomach every day while lubing it up to look for new stretch marks. So far, coast is clear. This uterus is going to stretch all the way to my sternum, my Dr says, and I’ll feel like I can’t breath. Stretch marks come around the no breathing time, usually. So, another awesome stage I get to look forward to. Great… I’ve always known I would be an amazing mother, but I have ALWAYS dreaded the act of actually being pregnant. I’m finding the actually being pregnant portion not so bad, but the whole squeeze something the size of my cat out of my vagina things, is terrifying. Why does everyone keep saying that this will all be worth it? Did you know my belly button will never be the same? Supposedly I’ll grow a half shoe size at some point too. These all sounds like negatives in my opinion.

On a positive side note – I have never felt more in love, and connected with Adam, knowing that we’ve made a baby that I’m growing inside me, and the excitement we both have to meet him.

Detox – a la cleanse

I abandom my blog for long periods of time. Life happens and I start focusing on living it, and forget about making sure I keep those memories. I can’t say that I’m upset with myself for doing it, just acknowleging that it happens.

My company is doing some pretty creative things to encourage people to be healthier, and I have to say, that I’m impressed they are trying. We all complete these confidential wellness exams every year, they get a report that says what the top priorities should be (smoking and weight loss this year). Based on that feedback, they pick programs designed to help people combat the issues. Obviously, it’s no surprise that I have issue with the weight myself. One of the their weightloss incentives (I say one of, because there are several) is a Biggest Loser competition. The winner will get an all expense paid trip to the Domincan Republic. So, I say to myself, Self, what better time than now?

I went to my homeopathic Dr. and he’s going to set me up on a special diet. I don’t really want to talk about the details of the special diet until I’ve seen how it works out. It’s kinda personal. I’m going to Europe for work from July 17-29 and he suggested I start that diet after the trip. In the mean time, he recommended that I complete this detox cleanse. Basically cleans out all the chemicals, etc that have been building up in my system for years. In an effort to keep me on track, DH has graciously agreed to also participate in the cleanse.

Today is day one. I do not feel hungry, but I have been going to the bathroom like crazy. I have consumed 5 glasses of water, which is 5 more glasses than I would have normally consumed at this point in the day.

In another effort to keep me on track. I will be doing weekly weigh-ins at Weight Watchers. I don’t intend to stay for the meetings, but I intend to weigh myself.

When I get back from Europe, I will get weighed and thoroughly measured by my Dr.’s office and will report back.

By the way, Europe is the chance of a lifetime. I have to go for work, but I get to go to Europe! Dublin, London, Prague and Luxembourg are on the agenda and I am PUMPED!

Current Weight: 209.8

Committed

Sorry for no picture, but this has to get posted before I have a chance to upload a photo to this.

I’ve just officially committed myself to hosting my very first Thanksgiving Dinner.

  1. I have never cooked a turkey, or a chicken for that matter, because my hubs is allergic to poultry.
  2. I have a 1,000 sq ft condo with very little space.

However, there are several benefits to this little venture.

  1. I get to set a table.
  2. I have a ridiculous collection of dinnerware, serving dishes, silverware, flatware, etc. that I will finally get to utilize.
  3. I am pretty good at cooking, baking and following recipes.
  4. It will make me really clean my house.
  5. Don’t forget, I will get to set a table 🙂
  6. Getting the first one out of the way will be good for me.
  7. There has kinda been this Thanksgiving hole in my life since my parents moved to Texas. I grew up in a house where Thanksgiving was ALWAYS hosted at my parents. So it will be great for peeps to get together at my house.
  8. I won’t have to drive anywhere.
  9. Did I mention I’ll be setting a table?!?!

I’m running through Martha Stewart’s Thanksgiving issue with a fine tooth comb. There is a lot to clean, plan, do….decide against…replan….do (and on and on with that vicious cycle.)

Cupcakery

Perhaps some of you have heard of this little known book.  I purchased it eons ago at Costco, and had lovingly flipped through the pages drooling over the various cupcakes. My work happened to be having a Valentine’s Day bake sale today, and I was begged by several people to bake something. So, I did. I whipped out my book and carefully selected the Snickerdoodle Cupcakes. It seemed easy enough and quick enough to get done in an evening. Luckily, my trusty side kick, Adam, helped along the way. He practically made the frosting all by himself. I’m so proud to have a smart husband. He’s a lot more meticulous about cooking and baking than I ever am, so I completely trust him in the baking world.

 

 Adam’s amazing frosting efforts.

So, I went a little crazy at this point. I’d already dusted my dollops with cinnamon and sugar, just like a traditional Snickerdoodle cookie, but then I thought, “Hey, why not be completely crazy and make little pennants so people will know what flavor they are? Oh, and let us not forget that you would like all credit for anything you accomplish, so on the back write ‘Baked by Asia'”

Yeah, not crazy at all…

In other news, the diet is going okay. I’m down 4.1% of my body weight so far. I’m a little nervous about the weekend, and bad eating that might ensue. I have a very special VD planned. Hubby got me a gift, and I’m dying to know what’s in that box. He knows I have no patience for surprises, or fishing for that matter.

Good, so far

I’ve made a couple of these Asparagus and Mushroom Omlets lately, and I love them. I would totaly love them more if they had bacon and more cheese, but those items aren’t exactly on my diet. Speaking of which, my diet actually went pretty well last week. I lost over 5 pounds. However, this makes me super apprehensive about next week’s weigh in. YIKES.

I also picked up Food Rules, by Michael Pollen. It’s actually a pretty good basic book, with some healthy choices to live by. The main theory is Eat Food. Not too much. Mostly plants. It’s essentially about eating cleaning, not necessarily low fat. Here are some of the key concepts I’m taking away from this book:

  • If I don’t cook/make it, then I don’t eat it.
  • If I can’t pronounce an ingredient, I don’t buy it
  • If it has more than 5 ingredients on the package, I don’t consume it
  • Eat nothing that refers to itself at Lite/low-fat, etc

I’m really going to try and push myself to eat more plants, and find delicious ways to cook them. It takes 20 days to break a habit, so we’ll see. One of the biggest things about this book is the 4th bullet I listed. Due to said rule, it really doesn’t work with things like Weight Watchers. Programs like that focus on light products and it makes it impossible to stay under their point limit. Now, their core plan I hear is much better, but I don’t want to limit myself with food like that. My focus through this diet is going to be clean eating. I’ve really noticed myself paying more attention to whether or not I’m hungry. As long as I pack m y lunches I seem to do a fine job throughout the day. One other key item is that I haven’t been eating after 7 PM. This is probably one of the hardest things, because I love late night snacks, but I think it’s helpful.