17 January 2007

Cooking for Me, Cooking for Babies

I love to cook. I also love to eat.

For a year or so, in 2002–2003-ish, I lived with an absentee roommate. She was always at her boyfriend's house, so I basically lived alone. During that period, my weekend often revolved around planning and cooking elaborate meals. I'd make a shopping list, gather my ingredients, prepare my feast. I never minded all the effort "just for me." First of all, I'm worth it! Sometimes I'd invite friends over to help me eat. Or I'd just have leftovers for lunch all week. MMM.

In mid-2003, I met my now husband. We did a lot of cooking together. Very fun. Now I had a companion for my culinary weekends. Our cooking style changed as I joined Weight Watchers, but we still enjoyed cooking WW friendly meals.

Cancer put a damper on all the cooking fun since often GH doesn't feel like eating. Kids further dampered the cooking as with the twins around, I just don't have the time to devote to cooking that I used to. Cooking has become so utilitarian for me. I miss the fun cooking. I know I'm just on hiatus for a while, but it is something that I'm nostalgic for since becoming a parent.

One thing I do cook now is all of the twins' food. So far, they have had sweet potato, squash, green beans, peas, pears, prunes, apples, bananas, and avocados (no cooking required on the last two!) There's not much to cooking baby food: steam the hell out of it and puree it in the food processor. Freeze it in ice cube trays. Thaw as needed. I feel good about giving the twins organic food only and about avoiding the unnecessary additives that are sometimes in baby food. Plus, making baby food is waaaaaaay cheaper than buying it. And I can be cheap. I mean frugal. Frugal! That's right.

The twins have not ever had rice cereal, which is the most common first baby food here in the US. I don't really get rice cereal. I get that it's basically hypoallergenic, but since GH and I don't really have any food allergies, I didn't feel a need to start with a hypoallergenic food. Rice just doesn't have much nutritional value. It's just carbs, which we all need, of course. I'm no Atkins girl. But the babies get lots of carbs in breast milk, so I figured I'd go for something with more nutritional oomph. Nothing wrong with rice cereal, of course, I just bypassed it.

The twins love their solid food. They sit in their clip-on high chairs like little baby birds, opening their mouths and waiting for their next spoonful. They like basically everything they have been fed so far, although Ri-Man is skeptical about avocado. Otherwise, they think solid food is groovy.


Cathy said...

I made all of the kids' baby foods too... never did the rice cereal - it looked pretty suspicious to me. Good for you for taking the time to make their food!

jo(e) said...

I never did the rice cereal thing either -- or those little jars of baby food that they sell in the store. I always just waited until my kids were big enough and gave them real food.

I love to cook for a big group of people, but I think I would have a hard time cooking for just myself. I tend to make things in huge quantities. Even when I try to make something small, I end up adding to much of something and it ends up huge.

kim said...

Kudos to you for making all that baby food! Btw, if you're not doing cereal, just make sure they get enough iron in their diet. The cereals are iron fortified and the peds start checking for anemia around 9 months, if I recall correctly (at least here in VA). One option is a liquid vitamin (trivisol / polyvisol) but that stuff was pretty gross!

OTRgirl said...

I tried to comment on your Becoming a Mother post, but the word verification pic wasn't showing up. Weird.

I love what you're doing with the baby food. Some of my good friends did that. They also made their own baby wipes. I hope I'm that good when (if) I get to the same point.

I tried to comment before on the fact that I really appreciate the way you combine realism with an amazing optimism. You don't hide from facts, yet you embrace life in the midst of them. That's a tough thing to balance and you do it well.

bg's Little Sis said...

Good for you on the food. I didn't cook for the kids, wish I had, but didn't. I bought/buy organic, I did the rice cereal, didn't last too long, really just a filler I think, but has the iron and my kids still barely eat meats, my first two kids were allergic to everything, so foods were tough for the first 2 years for them. Isabel has been so different, she really only likes real food and we mashed it up for a while, but now she's eating like a champ, she didn't like the jar foods, a few of the Earth's Best soups she really enjoyed, but I think seeing everyone else in the house eating regular food, she just wanted that, and *fingers crossed* has not had any allergies to speak of:)

I was like you with cooking before kids, and as well now am relegated to weekends and that's still not to often. Luckily, my stay-at-home dad hubby loves to cook, but I miss it. sometimes.

Like OTR, I agree your ability to be optimistic and just love life is wonderfully refreshing!

Yankee, Transferred said...

I made all of OD's food, too-like you-steamed the hell out of it and smashed it up. Didn't give rice cereal, didn't give iron, didn't have anemia. Dark green vegetables will give them iron, too.