Thursday, May 14, 2009

Cook, Baby, Cook!

I have Mommy Guilt. I wanted very badly to breastfeed my son. When he was born, he started to nurse within 20 minutes of delivering. He had a great latch and when it finally came in, I made enough milk for 2 babies! And then the tummy troubles hit. After appointments with Pediatric GI Specialists, despite a best-case-scenario for breastfeeding, in the end, the only thing that made him feel better was a hefty dose of Zantac twice a day, and lot of cereal in his bottles. His very expensive bottles. He ended up on Nutramigen, Enfamil's Hypoallergenic, lactose-free formula. I pay for a 16 ounce can what everyone else gets to pay for a 25 ounce can. Let's just say that I can't wait until we hit a year old so we can switch off of it.

I had planned on making Andy's baby food from the beginning, but when my case of Mommy Guilt set in over the whole breastfeeding thing, I was bound and determined. My son was born in October. By Christmas, I was dreaming of a Beaba BabyCook.

For the uninitiated, the BabyCook is a French compact babyfood maker that has won acclaim in Europe. The Americans, it seems, are a little slow on the uptake - the BabyCook has been on the European scene for years. In any event, the BabyCook steams, purees and defrosts, all in one unit.

Machines produced after 2005 have no traceable abouts of BPA. Older models had baskets made of polycarbonate plastic, known to leech the endocrine-disrupting chemical. The new baskets are made of polysulfone (PSU) plastic.

I have to say that I love this thing. My son is eating foods that I don't think Gerber even puts into jars. He eats combinations of foods that are sometimes strange, but always delicious. At 7 months, he eats almost all of the fruits and veggies that our family eats. In the beginning, I pureed everything smooth after I peeled the skins off. Now, I leave the skins on to retain the most vitamins and am pureeing into a lumpy/chunky consitancy. When he eats chicken, it still retains some semblance of chicken (actually it looks like tuna fish all broken up, but without the mayo). I know that what he eats is pure, fresh food - no salt, sugar, preservatives or anything else I choose not to put in. He can learn to enjoy the pure deliciousness of a ripe peach or the creamy flavor of a perfect avocado. As his palate grows, I've added new herbs and spices.

I've found that an excellent companion to my BabyCook is the book Cooking for Baby. From first tastes to new flavors and textures all the way up to real meals that our whole family will enjoy, this book has you covered.
I'm hoping that my effort is helping me to grow an adventurous eater. I have no doubt that he'll experience the same demands for nothing but Cheerios and Mac and Cheese for weeks on end, but maybe in the meantime, I can sneak in something wholesome and delicious. And hopefully in the long run, he'll be my little gourmet. Something his wife may just thank me for.

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