Making Baby Food as a Terrible Cook: Part 3
Just when I get the hang of purees, R decides it’s time for finger foods. Ugh.
I hate cooking. I hate planning meals for myself, let alone two other people. The thought of being forced to hang out in my kitchen preparing for roughly three meals and a snack a day makes me want to cry. Purees were so easy. An hour here or there and I was set for over a week. That I could always be so lucky…
I knew it was only a matter of time before she was going to be ready for finger foods, so I started making her standby purees (spinach, apple, pear, peas) a little chunkier to get her used to thicker textures. But to be totally honest, her desire to start feeding herself caught me by surprise. I wasn’t even thinking about finger foods yet, though I really honestly should have. I know that I began introducing finger foods too late to the game.
By around eight months, R started to get a bit fussy at mealtimes and was quickly becoming a difficult eater. I noticed that the only time she really enjoyed eating was when she could feed herself. I had some puffs on hand to help with her gross motor skills, but really didn’t have many other tiny things for her to munch on. Again, bad on me.
I tried to get her to eat some bananas (nope) and avocados (sometimes) with her hands, but she wasn’t really having it. And then came along bread (YES PLEASE) at snack time. She was SOLD. I didn’t even have to try to push it. In fact, I was munching on a piece of cheddar and black pepper toast and she pretty much pulled it out of my hand. I tore off a little piece (without the pepper) and gave it to her. She quickly mashed it down and asked for more.
So…. on to the store!
We picked up some shredded cheese (after googling to make sure it was appropriate), whole wheat bread (OOOPPPS, we didn’t notice it had HONEY in the ingredients. No go. Not even in baked products.), and some easy to eat fruits and veggies. On our way out, R became obsessed with a guava, so naturally I googled it, and once confirmed it was ok, we brought it home as well. (P.S. This was a success.)
So, with some easy prep snack options, and the ever reliable oatmeal and fruit for breakfast, I really only needed to worry about lunch and dinner. I decided to head back over to my trusty cookbook for some freezer friendly finger foods. I planned my hour or so in the kitchen on a day my husband was home to watch R, so I could dedicate all my focus to these several step recipes. I decided to make the smoky squash cakes and cornmeal & zucchini pancakes since they were supposedly 30 minute, freezer friendly recipes.
And although it was a bit tough at times (wait — these recipes call for eggs. Can babies eat eggs in recipes like these??), and I had to repeatedly ask my husband for help, I made stuff! Not only do I think they turned out well, but R seems to be very excited about her yummy foods that she can feed herself.
In addition to my successful cakes, I’m now also coarsely blending some fruits and then chopping the remaining amount to freeze and pull out like I did with the purees. I’ve also found that sweet potatoes and softened apples make EXCELLENT finger foods all on their own. It’s still a lot more work than purees, but once I get a few easy freezer recipes under my belt — oh hell, who am I kidding? Once I get the hang of these recipes, she’ll be on to the next phase and I’ll find myself back in the same situation that I am now.
I’ll enjoy this phase while I can. God knows I’ll be prepping three course family meals before I know it. (Lies. My husband will start making three course family meals before I know it. I’ll be the one making (homemade) pizza and mac and cheese for dinner...)