I was really looking forward to being able to introduce Cohen to solid foods a few weeks ago. It wasn’t that I was by any means rushing his “baby” stage, but rather, was just so excited to get to experience something new with him, yet again. We had really mastered the “art” of nursing and so it seemed like we were ready for a new challenge – which it really can be in the beginning.
We started one evening with a very soupy rice cereal. It started off ok…and by ok, I mean he didn’t start screaming until like 4 bites in. In retrospect here’s where I think our biggest issues were: he had been in the high chair only once before, the cereal may not have been to his temperature or consistency liking and he may have been too hungry to want to mess around with something new.
Since that first try with solids, I have amended my approach in such he now eats in his swing – which he LOVES – and I do meal time about an hour to an hour and a half after nursing. This way, he’s just hungry enough to want to eat, but not so famished that a melt down ensues. We’ve since moved past rice cereal – which we only do for a breakfast time feeding – onto acorn squash.
I spent about 35 minutes a few weeks ago preparing the squash. I chose to go the organic, home made route for the same reasons I chose to breast feed: I want Cohen to have the most natural, healthiest and ECONOMIC option possible. I am not even totally sure what a jar of baby food runs these days, but I do know that the acorn squash I purchased was $1.99 and made 24 servings – meaning it’s about 8 cents per feeding. Now, of course, he’ll eventually eat more than 1 cube, but for now, that’s what I’m spending – which is just too inexpensive to ignore.
Like I said, it took only about 25 minutes to prepare the squash for freezing. Here’s how it went down:
- Cut squash in half and remove seeds
- Put the squash “meat” side down in a pyrex or other microwave save casserole dish with a little bit of water. Steam for about 5-8 minutes in microwave – or until skin is tender enough when pierced with a fork. (If you’re not one to want to microwave – you can bake it in the oven to soften it up. It is not recommended to boil fruits and vegetables as they lose a lot of nutritional value in this process.)
- Scoop the squash into a food processor with the cooking liquids.
- Puree until it is a velvety texture.
- Pour into ice cube trays & freeze 8-10 hours or overnight. Store in a plastic zipper bag with type of food and date made.
This was so simple and inexpensive, I really couldn’t pass up giving it a shot. Of course, I’m not saying I won’t ever have to purchase jarred baby food, but for now, I will spend the little extra time to save the extra money!
So far the squash has been a hit with Cohen. When I thawed the cube I noticed it was a little thin, so I added some rice cereal to thicken it up. This worked great. I also just heated it in a hot water bath, rather than using the microwave to avoid hot spots (and radiation, of course). Next up: Apples and Peas!