Monday, August 28, 2006

Eat, Eat, Eat

I thought Jewish mothers were supposed to bestow guilt trips, not suffer from them (of course, most Jewish mothers by definition have their own Jewish mothers so they could theoretically be both guilt trip creator and recipient, but we won't go into that here). In my case, though, I've been right in the middle of one for several weeks.

The dilemma began with Brady's impending readiness to eat solid food. When my other kids began solids, I happily made them homemade baby food and fed it to them almost exclusively until they were ready for table food. I loved doing it, it wasn't that difficult, and jarred baby food grosses me out. My freezer was always full of colorful fruit and vegetable purees and it worked out really well for us. However, looking at my current chaotic life, I didn't think there'd be any way I could do this again for Mr. Bunch. Life these days is hectic, the only thing I have less of than time is freezer space, and I don't need to spend more hours in my godawful messy relic of a kitchen. Still, I wanted to give my little guy the best possible first foods.

I decided to try organic baby food. A field trip to Whole Foods was futile. The jarred baby foods only came in really odd flavors (and being organic didn't make them look any less gross) or I could purchase one baby size portion of fresh baby peas for more than the cost of an entire bag of frozen peas. No, thanks. I did discover dark chocolate peanut butter, but I hoard that for me and don't even tell the kids it's there!

I tried putting off the decision, but it's not one of those things you can postpone forever; the baby needs to eat. In the end, my own guilt and weirdness about jarred baby food seem to have triumphed for a third time. Over the last couple of weeks, I've cooked, pureed (my Braun hand blender kicked my mini Cuisinart's butt in this department), and frozen peas, spinach, butternut squash and carrots for the boy. The final decision seems to be a combination of prepared and homemade. I don't want to sacrifice quantity and variety to the craziness that is my current life, so I'll buy some baby food. You can't beat the convenience, especially for travel. But as often as I can, I'll make small batches of fruits and veggies, and eventually probably chicken (there is nothing nastier than boiled, pureed chicken. It smells like farts.) until Brady graduates to table food (and the ensuing battles that will no doubt follow). I'm also a big fan of fresh bananas and avocado as baby food: portable, nutritious, readily available in most restaurants and easily mushed. We'll also do some bits of food in the little mesh baggies-with-handles and before I know it, this phase will have passed too.

Damn, now I'm feeling guilty and depressed.


OneScrappyChick said...

awwwwww how is it he is old enough to eat baby food?!?!?!?!

and you rock for making your own... I was too young and nieve to realize you could even do that.. live and learn.

skrpndiva said...

I never fed my daughter baby food; she went from formula to table food. She actually refused to eat baby food. Good for you for making your own!

tannaz said...

seriously why guilt? you're taking the high road. you should be proud, not guilty. except for the pureed chicken, you should feel deep shame for that one. ew.

Tracie said...

I think that rocks that you are making your own baby food! My aunt did the same thing for her children...*I* should feel guilty for NOT doing that for mine, I had no excuse....*SIGH*.