Archive for December, 2009

The Newest Baby Gadget on the Block

In the past several weeks several new moms asked me what I thought of the Beaba Babycook.  I didn’t know what it was, and I have still not seen one or used one.  However, I did watch the video supplied by the distributer, Williams Sonoma. I can definitely see the appeal, this machine has a pleasing curved design and is a very happy white with lime green highlights.  Out of the over 200 customer comments, the average score was 4.75 out of 5, so most customers are happy with it as well.

This machine steams and purees small amounts of food, all in the same bowl.  That’s all it does, and it costs $150.00.   I have news for people; with a steaming basket ($8.00) and any pot with a lid, you can steam food just as fast.  If you want the food smoother, place it in a small serving bowl and smash it with a fork, or really purree it with an emersion blender ($20.00-$50.00).  Or use the food processor or blender that you already own.  How hard is that?

Keep in mind, there are many foods that are appropriate for a baby that don’t need steaming.  Try smashing a ripe banana or avocado.  Pour off the juice from (organic if you like) canned fruit (works great with pears, peaches,  and apricots) and blend.  Don’t want canned food, buy a bag of frozen (organic) fruit, remove the appropriate amount and let it defrost for a few minutes. Then blend this or mash with a fork.  This works great with mango, berries and peaches. A baked potato, squash, yam or sweet potato is a great food for a new eater.  Low or no sodium canned, drained beans such as garbanzo, black, navy, red, or white are all great for babies once they have been pureed with an immersion blender, a food processor or a blender.  No blender, thin some refried beans with water and serve.  None of these foods need any heating or reheating.

What many new parents don’t realize is the short amount of time a baby needs purred foods.  A baby who starts to eat solids at 6 months is usually on to semi solids, like over-cooked noodles and carrots, by the time they are 8 months old. By one year most babies are eating finger foods, like dry cereal, grated cheese, fish sticks, tofu, peas and saltines. Additionally, new babies don’t eat too much at any one meal, usually around 1/4 cup of food.  A parent’s enthusiasm for making baby food usually is greater than the amount of purred food a baby will consume in 2 months of eating purees. One medium  squash can easily make 3-4 cups of puree, that’s 12-16 meals.

I applaud parents who want fresh, pure, unadulterated foods for their babies.  These parents are usually concerned not just about their child, but the environment as well.  One way to protect the environment is to not buy a plastic,  made in China kitchen gadget  to make food for a baby for 2 months.

New Foods For New Babies

Food introduction for new parents can be daunting.  There are many books, charts and experts to tell you what to do and how to do it.  But by observing your child you will know more than the experts.  To get started, here are several simple reminders:

  • Make sure your child is ready for solids.  You will know when this happens as your child will, all of a sudden, intently focus on you when you eat.
  • Offer any food that is the proper consistency.  (Think applesauce, or a little thinner.)  You don’t have to start with rice cereal, or offer vegetables before fruits.  Meats or fish, if they are moist and the consistency of applesauce are as good as pureed carrots or blended bananas.  The only food NOT to offer is honey, either room temperature or cooked into a food.  Honey may contain a heat-resistant botulism that can be fatal to infants.
  • It is not your job to get your child to eat.  Just offer a small amount of food on a small spoon—if your child opens his or her mouth, put the food in.  If your child pushed is out with their tongue or gag after 2 tries, stop.  Decrease the thickness of the food. 
  • A grimace is not an indication that your child does not want the food again.  Watch what your child does when you offer the next spoonful.  Only top feeding when your child does not open his or her mouth when the spoon approaches, pushes the food away, or keeps looking away. 
  • Offer only one new food every 3rd day.  After each new food look for signs of allergy, including but not limited to vomiting, rash, swelling of lips or tongue, or diarrhea.  If there is any breathing difficulty, call 911 immediately.
  • Mindful parents don’t entertain at mealtimes and don’t distract the eating process with games, video or music.  Let your child set the pace of the feeding.  Let them decide when they have had enough to eat, whether they ate nothing or more than they have ever eaten before.
  • Your child knows best what they need.  Remember that children’s eating patterns are inconsistent.  Eating a certain amount one day does not mean that the child will usually eat this amount.  Eating or rejecting a food one day does not mean they will eat or reject the same food any other day.  Food acceptance and quantity will change day-to-day and meal to meal.