Friday, December 13, 2013

Baby Food

I thought I would update Jack's progress with food. It's going... okay.

I meet with moms and babies every week and all I hear about is how enthusiastic the wee ones are about eating. And I see them eating plenty. And moms are swapping baby food recipes.

My little nugget? Well! I've tried making my own. He doesn't much care for the texture. Seeing as he was a late bloomer with even losing the tongue thrust and he's only go two teeth, I'm okay with him enjoying purees still. But they're from a jar. They're smoother, and he prefers this.

Yesterday I went to a Baby and Me program at an Early Years Centre and there was a baby food presentation. How convenient! I'm facing this right now. What wisdom would be in store for me? Perhaps I could learn some things that would improve matters.

*Snort* No.

I've complained about the breastfeeding lobby before, the militant lactivists who refuse to acknowledge formula as a valid food. Just in case you thought you were done with this sort of pushy nonsense, here comes the make-your-own-food people! The baby-led-weaning sorts are occasionally as annoying.

(I certainly don't think making your own baby food or doing baby-led weaning is inherently annoying. Oh no. Do exactly as you like to feed your baby. Take pleasure, you have my support and I salute you. But jesushchrist, stop telling me I should do the same thing because it's the best way. Just hush.)

So, this lady gives her presentation and proceeds to lie to the moms in the group. Oh yes. Lied. Like, flat out. I didn't call her out because she was so strong in her conviction that she planted a seed of doubt in my mind and I didn't want to risk being wrong in front of many people.

She said commercial baby food contains preservatives. This is a common misperception.

Now, there are many reasons to make your own food: cost effectiveness, using fresh food, taking pleasure in making it, creating your own flavour combinations. All very nice. But one reason is the misinformation that baby food has preservatives in it.

But how do they stay on the shelf without them? They are jarred with a vacuum seal. As someone who's made jam before, this is something I easily understand. You sterilize the jars, pour in the food, cap with a lid, and then they are boiled. The lid sucks in like a vacuum and they are now prepped for longer term storage. You can do this with any number of foods. It's not like eating things fresh, but it is healthy and non-chemical.

You can find this information on the company websites themselves, or from third parties. And all the ingredients listed on the jars.

It was very frustrating to listen to this non-fact-based ideology. I also know you can't feed your baby into a life of good digestive health. Hello! I was breastfed and my mom pureed all my baby food at home. I have irritable bowel syndrome. Shit happens. Or, you know, sometimes it doesn't. But moving on.

She showed us how to use a grinder to make our own food. And I did like that part. It took some mystery out of using a tool like that. But it was textured and lumpy. And I tried to feed it to Jack and he rejected it. And when I say "rejected", I mean he coughed dramatically and spit it out.

I can't tell you how frustrating it is to be told "THIS IS THE ONLY WAY TO DO IT!" only to have it not work for you, while the apparent inferior method is totally working. Awesome.

I do plan on eventually making his food, just to get the textures moving along. But he's only been eating, really, for about a month. And it was a struggle to get here, doing everything I could not to turn meal time into a tense situation or a battle. I want my baby to like food. Starting him on the less flavourful stuff (Commercial food) is not dooming him in any way. It's something I can build on. I need to start somewhere.

Yay, commercial food!

And in any case, in three months he'll be in daycare. Daycare has a way of getting you to adapt. I know because I went to one.

I just need to remind myself he's not going to go to kindergarten with me spoon feeding him purees.


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