Posts Tagged ‘Baby Food’

First Lunch

Butternut squash baby food

Before Luci was born, I had this fantasy I would prepare all her baby food. No jars or pouches for this mama! I was going full on hardcore, from selecting the best fruits, veggies and meats at the market, to steaming and pureeing them myself.

Then Luci arrived, and reality set in.

One day, right around her six-month birthday, we were visiting my family in Baltimore when she wouldn’t stop crying. This is very hard for a new mother, when your child is miserable and no matter what you do, she won’t calm down. It’s especially hard when this happens in front of your own mother, and you start to worry she thinks you are inept at the whole parenting thing.

“She’s hungry,” my mother finally said, in that voice that clearly meant she thought my doctor’s no solid food before six months rule was insane. This might be even truer when the baby is both Jewish and Italian. (On a side note, has anyone come up with a spaghetti-flavored bagel yet? Not that it sounds appealing. But they have blueberry bagels, and even green bagels on St. Patrick’s Day, which just look moldy and gross, so where are the Italian flavors, like genoa salami? Evolution people!)

Finally, we strapped a cranky Luci in her car seat, and off we drove to the store, where I purchased butternut squash. When beginning solids, yellow and orange foods are recommended first.

We brought the squash back to my mom’s, and amid Luci’s wailing, I proceeded to steam it. Do you know how long it takes for butternut squash to steam? Even when you cut it in little cubes, it takes forever.

I finally threw it in the pot and let it boil. When it was done, I mashed it with a fork, because my mother has few modern appliances, and the chances of finding a stick blender in her house are about the same as finding a genoa salami bagel at the kosher bagel shop in town.

Once the sticky orange mess cooled, Luci had her first bite of solid food. Watching her eat the butternut squash was one of my proudest moments of motherhood. She tasted it cautiously, making a funny face as the new texture rolled across her tongue. Then she swallowed, reached for the bowl with a chubby little hand, and smiled. Yes, my mother was right, Luci was hungry.

This was the moment I realized I too was swallowing something new. Like it or not raising my daughter was going to be a collaborative effort, and a mother really does know best, especially when it’s your own.

Eventually, months down the road I did start making all of Luci’s food. It takes a little effort and some planning, but it’s possible. Tomorrow I will post about how I got smart and simplified the process of cooking healthy, nutritious meals for a toddler.