One year down…What I’ve learned so far

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;

  1. 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;
  2. Fruit naturally sweetens;
  3. Flavour with herbs and spices, not salt. Cinnamon is a must!
  4. Protein should be the width and length of your baby’s hand. I should practice what I preach here with my own plate;
  5. Always have green on the plate, even if it’s herbs. Green Foods are Super Foods;
  6. 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;
  7. Start reading and understanding food labels. I avoid foods with preservatives, unnecessary salts, sugars and what’s with the numbers? They are not ingredients;
  8. Texture, texture, texture! It will help avoid a fussy eater and it’s fun to watch their facial expressions;
  9. 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;
  10. Try and cut finger foods into strips rather than squares. You will find your baby picking them up first working towards cubes;
  11. Buy seasonal fruit and vegetables, its cheaper and tastier;
  12. 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.

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5 thoughts on “One year down…What I’ve learned so far

  1. Jodie says:

    Oh Kirst great advice! Great for anyone to live by…and I hope To provide Harrison with as much care and consideration to his nutritional well-being as you have done for Raffy in her first twelve months… Your wonderful Kirst x

  2. Shaun says:

    Love your blog, we too have a 16 month old and cool everything for her. Great tips on here, but must correct you on one thing, microwave steaming takes the least amount of nutrients out of food. Not sure where you got your info from but check it, please. Thanks, keep up the good work and congrats on surviving he first year!

    • kirsthunt says:

      Thank you very much Shaun, I really appreciate your comment. I’ve referenced Dr Jennifer Barham-Floreani chapter ‘Which Foods When’ from her book ‘Well Adjusted Babies’. She talks about wholesome cooking methods and says “Wholesome cooking methods for children include those that use lower flames, thereby cooking foods for longer periods of time”. She talks about microwaving Broccoli and how it loses 97% of flavonoids (a natural antioxidant found in fruit and vegetables which helps to maintain the body’s health and protect it against disease).She believes Steaming and Baking preserve the natural goodness in vegetables more than any other cooking method. She is very much focused on how cooking with high temperatures can weaken infants digestive systems. In Saying that there have been many a scientific study performed on nutrient loss from microwave cooking and nothing substantial has been proven. Because a Microwave cooks quickly it can be said it reduces the loss of nutrients, most commonly Vitamin C. I found this information in the Harvard Medical School Family Health Guide. So in conclusion, it comes down to the type of food and what nutrients your looking to benefit from or personal choice. I like to steam and bake as I have more control over the cooking, avoiding an over cooking disasters and the food looks better ;O) Thank You!

  3. Shaun says:

    Interesting. I just think a sweeping statement like “Steaming retains the most nutrients, microwaving takes the most out” is a touch “Today Tonight-ish” – you have explained your reasoning much more succintly above. I prefer Dr Karl’s take http://www.abc.net.au/science/articles/2006/03/23/1597903.htm especially this bit “Proteins suffer less oxidation in a microwave oven than in conventional cooking (lower temperatures, shorter time), and so the quality of protein is higher. Indeed, the lack of browning is proof that the heating is gentler.” Well each to their own – hopefully with a little luck we both manage to raise happy and healthy beautiful girls! But cooking fresh is definitely the best way to go!

    • kirsthunt says:

      I have no doubt our baby girls will be fantastic! Thank you for the challenge Shaun. I will amend the sweeping comment. I don’t want to turn anyone off sounding like today tonight, that would be my worst nightmare! I hope you keep reading.

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