Finding time to cook for your baby??!!

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Finding time to cook for your baby??!!

Post  kat on Mon Aug 11, 2008 5:12 am

So how do you ladies find time to cook for your babe?

Since Jake has gotten more into solids this month, I've tried to ramp it up in the variety department as well as the texture department and of course the finger food department.

Usually I spend weekends and mornings before work cooking food to freeze for Jake for the week. However we have a TINY fridge/freezer so I end up with only two or three different varieties of food in the freezer at one time. That means Jake has chicken patties and pumpkin for a week. I've tried to adopt the graze throughout the day attitude towards eating rather than sit down for three meals a day since we don't even have a table and chairs - we mainly eat sitting on the tatami mats in our apartment.

Luckily Japan has a great selection of tofu, fish, etc which are easy to prepare. I'm finding vegetables more of a challenge. For breakfast we usually do oatmeal or yoghurt or both together with some type of fruit and flaxseed oil. We also do cubes of cheese now which jake loves and banana pieces as finger food.

So I guess I'm asking how you plan your baby's menu? Do you offer a heap of variety every day?? I'm looking forward to the time when Jake can pretty much eat what we eat....surely that's got to be a lot simpler??
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It gets easier....

Post  putyourflareon on Fri Aug 15, 2008 12:32 am

In the beginning when they have to eat puree'd food, everything has to be prepared in advance. Around 12 months, I started feeding Max whatever we were eating. I make a lot of spicy foods so I tone it down a bit when I'm making for all of us. I cook pasta until it's "fondant" just a bit past al dente so it's easy for him to eat. I make steaks for us and cut his up into mini bit size and eats those.

The only things I prepare in advance are veggies for the nanny to use to feed Max during the week. I have things like fish ready for him to eat and she makes that for him either in the pan or using a technique called "bain maree" which the fish hermetically sealed in a plastic cooking bag and it's immersed in boiling water. It comes out perfectly cooked and natural for Max to eat. He just eats it with a fork and the fish flakes off.

Max usually ends the meal with fruit, right now he's into prunes and mirabelles as they are in season now and he feeds himself those which is cool. No more puree'd fruits! And a he gets a cheese and a yogurt.

When Max was into puree'd foods, I'd do a massive cooking day and make two weeks worth of food and store them in my freezer. I know that you are lacking space... do you happen to have a pressure cooker? That helps to speed things up too in the cooking process of the veggies.
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Re: Finding time to cook for your baby??!!

Post  kat on Fri Aug 15, 2008 12:53 am

Thanks Aimee! I truly can't wait until we move back to the 'real' world where kitchens are bigger.

I try not to worry about feeding Jake solids too much, as they say food should really be about having fun until they are one anyway. I just introduced cheese cut up into little bits this month and now J is ALL about feeding himself - he loves finger foods. I cut up fresh peaches into little slices, cheese and I know they say not to feed your baby grapes, but they have these mini type of seedless grapes in Japan that have to be peeled before you eat them anyway, so they are a great finger food too right now. I also jumped in and made J some french toast using some rye bread, egg yolk, finely grated carrot and milk. He loved that too!! So did I actually......
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Re: Finding time to cook for your baby??!!

Post  putyourflareon on Fri Aug 15, 2008 1:28 am

Those sound like such fun finger foods! We still do french toast a lot and that was a great first finger food for babies. Potatoes patties are easy, just take mashed potatoes, or sweet potatoes and mix it with peas, carrots whatever you had on hand and make little patties, they are easy to eat and no choking hazard. Also, they freeze well and can be popped on the pan for quick defrost.
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Re: Finding time to cook for your baby??!!

Post  dumplingrrl on Wed Aug 20, 2008 9:59 am

Mari is truly Asian at heart and will rarely be spoon fed anything except rice. When Mari started solids at 6 months she would let me feed her lots of things but from 9 months on it was finger food all the way with only some rice from mommy. She loves her greens but refuses to eat anything seasoned (the girl is a health nut already Mad ) so I just followed her lead and boil a different kind of veggie for her daily. Mostly carrots, sugar peas, broccoli, cauliflowers, string beans, that sort of stuff. Plus rice and some fruits. She loves raisins too and will crawl in to the kitchen, pull down the raisin box and attempt to open it and get the loot! She's not big on breakfast and will mainly play with what I give her so I try to keep it simple but fun. Mostly stuff she can easily handle herself like cheerios or weet bix and some dried fruit and yogurt.

Just the other day she started trying to use the spoon on her own and has been downing lots of rice porridge, which makes her mama very happy.

Maybe you could stock up on dried products that don't need to be put in to the fridge? I know keeping a box of mixed dried fruits in the house has saved me many a times when I ran out of fresh fruits. Just wash some dried prunes/ raisins/ berries/ or apricots well, chop them up boil them until soft and add them to your oatmeal. Some other good dried stuff that are nice to have around are red lentils (which can be quickly boiled to make simple dhals), and quinoa. Both of these don't take long to cook and are good for babes.

Here's a really nice dhal recipe for babies:

You'll need:
pumpkin
onion
red lentil
cumin
cinnamon

Chop up some onions and cook them in a wee bit of olive oil till transparent. Add a handful of red lentils and water and cook until the lentils are transparent (add more water if it looks too dry) add some grated pumpkin and a dash of cumin powder. You can add a bit of cinnamon too if you like. Cook until the pumpkin's done.
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Re: Finding time to cook for your baby??!!

Post  floatingworld on Tue Aug 26, 2008 3:38 am

Hey Pinn, thanks so much for that dhal recipe - I cooked it for Ali this week and he loved it!

Re: other baby food - I don't have a big fridge or freezer either, so I try and buy food that we all can eat as much as possible. It means that Mark and I probably have a bit more bland stuff than we would normally, but so far it's working out okay. We all have Weetbix with fruit and yogurt for breakfast, on the days that Ali is home with me we usually have hummus or avocado or vegemite sandwiches and fruit for lunch, and so the only meal that I make a special baby meal for is dinner, and even then he can sometimes have the same as us. He loves bolognese sauce with little tiny pasta shapes (I make a big batch with lots of mushrooms, carrot and celery etc., and then puree a bit of it for Ali), chili con carne (light on the chili) and minestrone soup. Baby-only meals are chicken mince with sweet potato, and batches of vegetable puree with chickpeas or lentils.

It's getting easier and easier as he gets older and more adventurous with eating solids... a few months ago much more time and space was dedicated to baby-only food.
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