Travel Often

“I see my path, but I don’t know where it leads. Not knowing where I’m going is what inspires me to travel it.” — Rosalia de Castro

Love Deeply, but Laugh Along the Way

"Happiness is only real when shared." - Jon Krakauer, Into the Wild

View Marriage as an Adventure

"Love is a flower which turns into fruit at marriage." ~Finnish Proverb

Fuel your body with GOOD (It's the only one you get)

He who has health has hope; and he who has hope has everything. - Arabian Proverb

Open your Soul to Motherhood

A Grand Adventure is About to Begin - Winnie the Pooh

A New Kind of Love is Born

Mothers hold their children's hands for a short while, but their hearts forever.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Is Making My Own Baby Food Really that Hard? - Month 5

Trying New HEALTHY Baby Foods
Jackson has now been eating solids for a full month. I was a little nervous about him eating solids at four months just because all these studies show that if you start babies on solids too soon, they have a higher chance of getting food allergies. Are these studies accurate? I don’t know. One day we’re supposed to be drinking coffee. The next we’re not. We can eat egg yolk. Then we can’t.
So what is it???

But Jackson was definitely ready, and I knew it. He was giving us all the signs, especially going from sleeping 5-7 hours a night to 2-3 hour spurts a night and needing mom's milk a LOT. He was guzzling 5.5 ounces three times a day at day care too and cried for more. He was growing and moving tons and burning through all that milk and our pediatrician saw that first hand.  
Yep, holding his own spoon!!!

First thing we offered Jackson was organic whole grain rice cereal mixed with my breast milk. He did NOT want anything to do with it the first feeding. Made me sad just because he was looking at me like what are you doing??? Help me! But we were also battling his evening meltdown. So we learned that we had to feed him around 5:30/6:00, any later and we were in trouble.

Day two, things weren’t that much better. More crying. And more looking at me like…NO! I want you, mom!!!

Finally day three, he seemed a little interested. Took a couple spoonfuls and thought about it. Then was done.

Day four, he was grabbing the spoon himself and wanting to feed himself and making “mmmm” sounds. So CUTE!

After each meal, I nurse Jackson too. Right now he'll maybe eat 3-10 minutes per side after eating solids. There are times he arches his back and screams though. But I have noticed he's very efficient at eating now. I also nurse him right before he goes to bed an hour or two later. It's a short feeding. Sunday night he FINALLY slept through the ENTIRE night. YESSSSSSSSS.

I wouldn’t say eating all of a sudden became easy after he accepted the food because it’s a messy process. Jackson loves sticking his hands in his mouth while he has just taken in a bunch of cereal. He loves grabbing for the spoon. The food runs down his chin, down into his neck, onto his clothes. Sometimes he’ll sneeze or cough and it goes into mom’s eye. All that fun stuff.
Healthy, yummy goodness

What we needed was a good bib. And thanks to Karl’s cousin (who has three boys), she gave us a few bibs after Jackson was born and said they were a must. She had to search all over for them but found them at K-Mart! She was right. Nothing compares to these bibs. The brand: Dex Baby.
Best bibs ever!

After two solid weeks of the rice cereal mixed with my breast milk, we moved on to homemade avocados also mixed with my breast milk. He liked those a lot and didn’t make any disgusted faces at all.

I let him enjoy for a week and then moved on to organic whole grain oatmeal. He made some faces with this. Three days of oatmeal and we’ve moved on to homemade sweet potatoes.
OK...but the honest problem is: I have been flying through my breast milk when mixing with the cereal and a lot of times he doesn’t eat it all. So I have toss. What!??!? Toss my hard pumped liquid gold breast milk??? Such a waste. So I made the tough decision to mix in water and a little formula when it comes to the cereal. Does that mean I’m a bad mom? Does that mean I don’t “exclusively breastfeed”??? Who knows. Labels. Annoying. It's like I'm not part of the popular crowd anymore or something.  
Getting ready to freeze the sweet potatoes

Pretty simple to make all Jackson’s fruits and veggies though. I simply heated the sweet potatoes up in the microwave and scooped out all the goodness and pureed it. Same with the avocados. Scooped out the insides and pureed (didn’t heat those up though)….sometimes still adding my breast milk to these to smooth it out.
Glad we registered for this awesome wedding gift. Putting it to use now!

Now Jackson opens his mouth as soon as I sit down in front of him. And he smiles and says, “Mmmmm.”

I’m going to have a lot of fun with this!!! Jackson gets to try all kinds of fruits and veggies and I'm hoping this will make him less of a picky eater in the future and give his immune system some “good army guys” to battle off all those bugs out there.
What's your baby's favorite dish?

Slow Cooker Apple Cinnamon Steel Cut Oats

Yummy (healthy) Breakfast Goodness

I wanted to make something healthy to kick off fall. I think of apples and their aroma (especially when they’re cooking). YUM.
Throw this together at night and it's ready for you in the morning!

I saw a recipe on Pinterest (my new obsession) of apple cinnamon steel cut oats in the slow cooker. I was so excited to try it but I didn’t have any baking apples at the time or steel cut oats. That was, until I went to work and remembered there are several apple trees loaded with tart apples. I picked about five of them with the intention of making this delicious hot breakfast.  

Steel Cut Oats are incredibly healthy.  A little bit of information I found on them since I'm always like...what the heck are steel cut oats and what's all this buzz about??  

Steel Cut vs. Rolled Oats

Steel-cut oats come from the same plant as rolled or instant oats and other oat products. The difference between steel-cut and rolled oats is in their processing. Steel-cut oats are never cooked and start from the whole grain that is then passed through slender blades that cut the oat kernel into thin slices.
Steel cut oats could be considered a "power food" because they are an excellent source of protein, soluble and insoluble fiber and select vitamins and minerals. The benefits of steel cut oats exceed the benefits of rolled oats because of the way they are processed. Steel cut oats are dense and chewy as a result of being passed through sharp, steel blades that cut them into thin slices that helps retain more fiber and protein. Steel cut oats, just as any whole oats, make a healthy addition to your regular diet.

Read more:

3 cups water
1 cup milk
1 cup steel-cut oats
1/2 cup brown sugar (or more if you're like me and have a wicked sweet tooth)
1/2 tsp cinnamon
dash of nutmeg
1/4 tsp vanilla
pinch of salt
2tbs butter
1/3 cup raisins
a bunch of apples, cored and diced*

Mix it all together in a slow-cooker on low for 8 hours. I added more liquid than the original recipe because I like my oatmeal a little looser and also, I started it at about 10pm, knowing no one would be awake to eat it until at least 6am, so I didn't want it to get too thick and clumpy.

*I used apples from a tree in my backyard and the apples are pretty small. I used about 4 or 5, which seemed like kind of a lot, but we LOVE apples, so it certainly wasn't too much.

My take: AWESOME. YUM! YUM! YUM. It's not too sweet (don't like anything too sweet in the morning otherwise I get uber tired) like the individual packaged apple cinnamon oatmeal. This tastes healthy to me and that is a good thing. I topped with flaxseed and ate. For next time, I would use ½ cup less water and use all milk instead - no water. But I usually make my oatmeal with milk so I'm used to the creamier taste and I think I'd add a slice of butter too. 
Karl's opinion: I poured some in a coffee cup for him so he could eat while driving to work. He was actually behind me at a stoplight. He was nodding his head as he ate it and looked like he was enjoying thoroughly! I haven't heard a peep from him so that means his belly is full and he's happy!