I was so excited to introduce Willa to the adventurous Italian baby foods when we were in Rome. But that veal (suitable for babies “from 4 months!”) went uneaten. She was too sensitive to everything. I stuck with rice cereal, bananas, sweet potatoes, and a few other basics until now. I realized that she is almost 10 months old and has barely tried anything. Lately she’s been munching on bread and seems to have no trouble with it like she did at 7 months. Today I decided to get my act together. I went out to my favorite fruit and vegetable place and stocked up on everything (for only $9–the most I’ve ever spent there at once!).
When Charlotte was a baby I made all of her food. Even though I was working full-time, I’d spend all day Sunday cooking veggies and steaming fruits, and then chopping and grinding and mashing them for the freezer. I’m not normally very creative about food (unlike my friend Annie, who has a great baby food blog), but I tried: blueberry sauce, chicken and vegetable stew, lentils & lamb; everything pureed. Keep in mind that we lived in South Africa, where you can buy organic, freshly-made purees in all kinds of delicious flavors, at Woolies. There are even delivery services there, which will bring organic, healthy baby food to your doorstep every week. I think it was working mom guilt that made me spend all that time doing something that was kind of unnecessary. Now that I am home with the girls, AND can afford more help since the labor costs here are so incredibly low, you’d think I would just ask someone else to make the food. But I feel like I should make it, just like I did for Charlotte.
As it turns out, making baby food is an excellent activity for a 3-year-old. Charlotte does not get tired, EVER. I decided to get out the food mill so that she could participate, and she cranked that thing for the longest time on the smallest setting to get the cauliflower nice and smooth.
Then, we filled the jars and put them in the freezer. (And yes, Charlotte made me move the step stool over to the freezer, just so she could put them in there herself. Such a big helper.)
The whole time, Willa watched us from her high chair, just like Charlotte used to do when I spent my Sundays making her food. It’s a labor of love, and I’m happy to have the time to do it.