Silence of the Yams

During the conceptual phase of Boy Meats Food, a few friends and coworkers asked how long we thought we might be able to keep up with regular posts. Apparently only two weeks. Though, it felt great when a good friend (and soon to be dad) asked why we didn’t post this week. Ah, Desmond, what will you do once you realize you have such adoring fans?

This was a crazy week for both the little foodies parents, so like most modern Americans we turned to to jarred baby food. I’d like to tell readers that we only eat farm raised, locally sourced, organic… I can’t. We talk a good hipster game, we don’t often live it.

When I think back to our early conversations about how we wanted to get food to the little one, I can only recall two real topics that required an adult conversation. The first, was regarding my steadfast refusal to buy a blender just for baby food. Especially when we have a perfectly good blender right behind that perfectly good cake pan, which is right behind that perfectly good shrink wrapped bamboo steamer.

The second conversation was really about quality. We didn’t want to fill Desmond full of wee baby preservatives, chemicals, corn syrup, or whatever this Monsanto super-villain mutant food I keep hearing about is. Of course, we’d be willing to make exceptions for anything that might guarantee superpowers. Our PCP put our fears to rest with one sentence, “They regulate the heck out of that stuff.” Her follow up comments were about how jarred foods are pesticide free, most are already organic, preservative free… Shut up. Just shut up. You had me at regulate.

With the quality conversation over I was free to obsess over Infant Botulism. Botulism? What is this the middle ages? Not quite, but a whopping 80 to 100 kids get it in the US every year. That gives my kid a .02% (MATH SCIENCE!) chance of getting it. In hind site, I probably didn’t need to spend a whole night lying in bed reading about botulism. I’m going to blame the very aggressive “don’t buy dented cans!” campaigns from my youth. It really is the late night paranoia fueled Google-fest that makes parenting so very worth it.

As you may have guessed from our title, one of the foods we tried this week was sweet potatoes. Not before we made our way through peas though. Desmond actually ate peas every day for breakfast since Daddy picked up the wrong cereal. So what did our little foodie think of peas and sweet potatoes?

ImageHe really noticed couldn’t tell the difference between jarred and fresh.
The kid can eat! He really puts away the sweet potatoes.

Later this week we’ll get up another post about this weekends food adventures, and talk about the three day rule. Today, we are curious to hear from you readers! What weird baby paranoia has sent you late night Interweb searches?

The Green Smile

Our little foodie did a great job during his first week of solid food. The quantity he ate did jump around a bit, but his serving size had a nice upward trend. What started last weekend as a tablespoon of rice cereal + one once of baby friendly liquid du jour, was yesterday an easy 3 tbsp and 3 oz. He recognizes his bowls, spoons, and most certainly understands dinner time.

He definitely has the swallowing thing down, and we’ve seen him start gumming his food. A necessary skill given our second food adventure – avocado!

For some guidance on making our own baby food I turned to the worst possible source, the Internet. This is hands down the worst place to find advice on baby food preparation. What’s a serving size? Do I warm jarred food? Should I cook all fruits and vegetables before I puree? If my blender purees and processes food, then why do I need a food processor? No, seriously. I’m asking you…because the Internet has taught me nothing!

By the time you factor in advice from family, friends, random strangers, and co-workers you’ll probably come away convinced that someone is getting poisoned. You most likely won’t be face with anything that drastic, but mistakes can be made even with something as simple as turning food to mush. Back to food adventure number two, for which I put the fail squarely on my shoulders.

Avocado seemed like a nice easy first step on our walk into the realm of homemade baby food. Since it’s soft and already pretty mushy, we wouldn’t need to do any cooking! I cut the avocado in half,  added some baby formula to help smooth it out, and mashed it up with a fork. It turns out, one does not simply walk into the realm of homemade baby food. Desmond got about 3 spoons in before he started spitting out strings of avocado. It was all down hill from there. He may have only growled his disappointment at us, but it still hurt.

Turns out young avocado plants have thin brown strings. As the berry (seriously it’s a berry) matures it produces more oil and those fibers disappear. SCIENCE! Unbeknownst to me, no amount of mashing was going to actually eliminate those stringy bits. I wasn’t willing to let Desmond give up on avocado yet though. The rest of the weekend we stuck to cereal for breakfast and pureed avocado for dinner. So what did little Desmond think of the two whole avocados he ate this weekend?

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Took a little time, but in the end the avocado was a big win!
I wanted nothing more than to put an avocado pun here.

Now that Desmond has had three days of avocado and no reaction we’ve moved on to another green pasture(ized food in a jar). Keep an eye out later this week to see how Desmond does with peas! What about next weekend readers? What food challenge should Desmond take on next?

Of Rice and Men

This week was a banner week for our little foodie. He can now hold himself up once propped and he now babbles in consonants. I told him that I thought the ‘dadadada‘ he kept dropping should count as his first word. His response to that was “bagadash!“. Bagadash indeed.

More importantly, and more relevant to the fate of this blog, he has started on solid foods.

At the advice of our PCP we held off until the six month mark. Although little foodie screams with joy at the smell of warm bread and is hypnotized by anything green, we took the road frequently traveled and started him on a mixture of rice cereal and formula.

One bit of advice our PCP gave was that we try and not show too much excitement, as it would distract him. We obviously failed at this, as feeding a baby for the first time is pretty damn fun. There is all sorts of SCIENCE! behind the whole process, something about neurons and muscle memory. Honestly, after about five seconds the whole thing got way too adorable and I forgot all the crap I had read about the best way to get him to start eating.

It was really cool to see him grab the spoon and put it in his mouth right away. This accomplishment obviously triggered some kind of genetic memory, as he immediately trust his spoon into the air and growled like some fur clad nomad after killing a woolly mammoth. He then tried to eat the bowl. Best not to confuse that with the food in the bowl. Over the last two days (and four meals) we’ve had four different results. The upswing in his ability to gum, swallow, and get food off the spoon has been very quick (that SCIENCE! bit again) and we see him consuming more and more easily each meal. But what did the little foodie think of his rice and formula porridge?

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Excited to be eating, but not impressed with the menu.
Why would he be? It taste like pennies mixed with runny cream of wheat.

Adorableness aside, once he has the SCIENCE! down, it’s on to bigger and less blander things. On this weekend’s grocery run we secured some avocado and some sweet potato. So which will it be readers? You decide!