What a year! Rafaela has absolutely transformed my life forever. I don’t think I have learned so much about my husband, or myself than I have in the last 12 months and I know we have not even scratched the surface. It has been an amazing journey so far and we feel truly blessed. We have to keep telling ourselves “she is our daughter”. When we look back on the thousands [and I mean thousands] of photos, I’m surprised at how much she has grown and the vast amount of memories we have created in just one year. It is exhilarating!
I’ve also reclaimed the joy of cooking as she has inspired us to eat better as a family and to try new foods. The hubby even enjoyed sugar free pancakes, although they were drenched in maple syrup. As you become a parent and a new mum, actually from the moment you announce you’re pregnant, the advice just rolls in and you yourself can’t help but impart any little nugget you have found out that might help another new mum. These are the things I thought about when I decided to start this blog. I had spent so much time researching about solids that it would make me so happy if anything I post here can help save you some time, and give you more time with your bubba choo.
In this post, I thought I would re-cap what I’ve learned and the 12 commandments I now live by;
- Steam and bake as much food as you can, why? Dr Jennifer Barham-Floreani (author of Well Adjusted Babies) believes cooking for longer and at lower temperatures preserves the natural goodness of vegetables more than any other cooking method. A bamboo steamer is a cheap and effective solution over baby food makers;
- Fruit naturally sweetens;
- Flavour with herbs and spices, not salt. Cinnamon is a must!
- Protein should be the width and length of your baby’s hand. I should practice what I preach here with my own plate;
- Always have green on the plate, even if it’s herbs. Green Foods are Super Foods;
- Buy organic food where possible. Why? No pesticides and herbicides and certified organic is GM free (genetically modified) Also it it getting far more cheaper and more readily available at your local supermarket;
- Start reading and understanding food labels. I avoid foods with preservatives, unnecessary salts, sugars and what’s with the numbers? They are not ingredients;
- Texture, texture, texture! It will help avoid a fussy eater and it’s fun to watch their facial expressions;
- Once your baby is around the 10month mark, start considering how you can adapt your adult meals for baby, omitting sugar & salt and in my case Chilli. I will remove Rafaela’s portions before I season;
- Try and cut finger foods into strips rather than squares. You will find your baby picking them up first working towards cubes;
- Buy seasonal fruit and vegetables, its cheaper and tastier;
- Commercial baby food is NOT that bad at all. Always go for the organic brands. Woolworth Macro Wholefoods is great, Only Organic, Organic Bubs, Raffertys Garden. Buy them on sale (usually at Woolies) and keep them for those ‘Fast Food’ moments. My advice is to pair it with Quinoa to add more texture. It travels well at room temperature.
These are all pretty stock standard and you will find most of this information in baby food cookbooks and from your baby nurses. This advice has worked for me and I hope it works for you (what’s a mum without giving advice). Thank you for reading. I hope you stick around, I have many more recipes to come.