Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Benjamin's Solids Journal & Why I DIY Ben's Solids...

OK, apart from the Nestle baby rice cereal which we bought for as a solid food starter for Ben, the rest of the solids ingredients are all home-made. We have so far gone through carrots, sweet potatoes, pumpkins, apples, mangoes, papayas, bananas.

Below is the summary of Ben's solids intake:

Day 1 morning (Ben 6mths old)
- Intake: 2 teaspoon of Nestle baby rice cereal + few drops of EBM on the spot (means I hand express right into the cereal bowl)
- Objective: Please note that the above is just for first trial to see whether Ben can take food into his mouth.
- Notes: He has always been stuffing things into his mouth so when my spoon hovers near his mouth, he opened his mouth and there goes my 2 teaspoon of cereal + EBM. I was left sitting there thinking, what the heck happened? Then I saw him looking at me, wanting more. Heck... I thought first time was supposed to be a trial? I did not express any extra EBM and those I have in the freezer need to thaw and well, I am lazy.. :P so, continue by breastfeeding Ben.

Day 1 evening (Ben 6mths old)
- Intake: 1 tablespoon of Nestle baby rice cereal + few more drops of EBM on the spot
- Objective: To up the intake and see whether Ben can take it.
- Notes: Again, mouth open, clam spoon in his mouth, open mouth, spoon empty. Greedy-more-more-food look shot at mummy. Bah.... breastfeeding again...

Day 2 morning (Ben 6mths old)
- Intake: 2 tablespoon of Nestle baby rice cereal + 3 oz of EBM (done about 1 hour before feeding solids)
- Objective: To up the intake and see whether Ben can take more of it (also got nagged by MIL for giving Ben so little).
- Notes: Again, mouth open, clam spoon in his mouth, open mouth, spoon empty. Repeat few times - cereal bowl empty... Greedy-more-more-food look shot at mummy. Bah.... breastfeeding again... but this time, lesser time for breastfeeding.

Day 2 evening (Ben 6mths old)
- Intake: 2 tablespoon of Nestle baby rice cereal + 3 oz of EBM (done about 1 hour before feeding solids)
- Objective: To maintain the schedule now of giving solids twice a day.
- Notes: Same as in the morning.

Day 3 morning (Ben 6mths old)
- Intake: 2 tablespoon of Nestle baby rice cereal + 3 oz of EBM (done about 1 hour before feeding solids)
- Objective: To maintain the schedule now of giving solids twice a day.
- Notes: Mummy starts to panic as 2 days no bowel movement from Ben. Mummy prayed for shit to come :P

Shit comes on day 4... phewww...

In between day 3 to yesterday - we have gone through 2 tins of Nestle baby rice cereal (I got the one mix with milk since I am still breastfeeding), pureed pumpkin, pureed carrots, pureed sweet potatoes, pureed purple sweet potatoes, pureed apple, pureed mangoes, mashed bananas, mashed papayas.

General bowel movements noted:
- Twice a day if having sweet potatoes
- Once a day if having pumpkin
- Once in 2 days if having carrots

My formula for each meal intake is:
- 2.5 to 3 table spoon (which we use for eating) Nestle baby rice cereal
- 2 oz EBM
- 1.5 to 2 oz pureed veggie/fruits (normally is vegie cos fruits I give as snacks at night)

As of today, I started mashing foods instead of pureeing. So my current formula is:
- 3 tablespoon mashed veggie (this week's menu is pumpkin, after this thinking about mashing sweet potatoes and add thin slices of carrots)
- 1 oz EBM
- 1 tablespoon cereal (to slowly reduce as I increase the mashed veggie)

I also keep an Excel log to track what I gave Ben everyday and when he poops and his behaviour and poop texture (to track whether got diarhea, allergy, constipation etc) and I actually took pictures of his diapers everytime he poop ever since he started solids.

Now, come to the topic of why I DIY Ben's food instead of buying those jarred baby foods over the counter? Reasons as below:

Ingredients
I am lazy, but not that lazy until I need to buy processed food outside. We do not know what they put inside, although they claim is natural ingredients or homemade, they stored it at the display racks and it can last for long time without freezing or in cold temperature? I am thinking that the jars must have preservatives for that to happen right?

Also I'vebeen trying to get frozen peas to puree/mash for Ben until I saw the ingredients label at supermarkets recently... no matter what, there will be some mg count of sodium (some indicates 1mg in each x amount of servings). FYI, sodium = salt. Babies under 1 yr old do not need salt or sugar. So I am still scouting for salt-free peas now... :(

By DIY-ing Ben's food at home, I know what are the ingredients used, whether they are fresh or not. I peeled/sliced/chopped, boiled and pureed and mashed the food myself. In summary, I'm involved in the whole process of it.

Cheaper
Have you seen how much a jar of baby food costs? I can do few days of Ben's meal with the price of that 1 jar of baby food.

Familiarity
I'm hoping it will get Ben used to eating the same food as the rest of us in the family.

Nutrients
I came across this article which a mom said "What sealed the deal for me was finding out that jarred food is cooked at extremely high temperatures to kill bacteria for longer storage, at the same time taking out many of the food's vitamins and nutrients and taste". I'm glad I DIY Ben's food.

Now before any of you go thinking its easy for me to say and do this since I'm a full-time SAHM, please note that I prepared the foods at night or during weekends when the family is relaxing. It took about max 15 mins (time taken to peel/slice/chop, wash pot, wash containers for storage, pureed/mash veggie) to do it. When you are boiling the veggie, you can go watch TV and leave the timer on. And I prepared for about 5 days storage (first 2 days intake I keep in fridge while day 3-5 in freezer which will be moved to fridge to thaw a day before consuming).

I'm thinking of mashing and mixing veggies for about 2-3 more weeks before shifting to porridge. I had a friend who already started her baby on porridge at 7 mths old. Please note that there are no rights or wrongs on when to introduce different type of solids. For me, I'd like Ben to graduate from puree to mash to more coarse texture foods.

My sis in law who has 6 children (and home schooled all of them) recommended we start on mash potatoes first instead of porridge as porridge = rice = high carbs. Carbs tend to get a bad reputation - but the carbohydrates in potatoes are complex carbs - the 'goodies' of the carbohydrate world! They are the primary source of fuel, helping to feed the brain and providing power to those little muscles! (excerpt taken from this article). So until I get the recipe from her, I'll continue mashing and mixing up veggie 1st.

Anyone can do it if we just put in a little bit more efforts. It's our baby we're talking about here. I hope my journal and thoughts on DIY solids can be of help and you can freely ignore my ramblings here if you disagree with me :)

3 comments:

Joey said...

Ahh, this information will be useful to me when my baby comes. Thanks again!

I'm a full-time mummy... said...

Joey,

Different baby, different methods. This post is just my journal and thoughts on DIY solids. Best is still research on the Net and do homework first before starting and with what solids. :)

I'm a full-time mummy... said...

Btw Joey,

Do read my previous post on "How Do I Make My Breastfeeding Works?" (http://imafulltimemummy.blogspot.com/2009/10/how-do-i-make-my-breastfeeding-works.html)

Written after suggestion from you. Enjoy! :)

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