Monday, September 19, 2011

Baby Proofing My Desk -- Part 1

Well, the time has come.  My baby is mobile.  So, here are my two thoughts (1) Awwww, he is growing up so fast! and (2) Ah, crap!  My entire living room is still a death trap. 

Here is my problem, our family computer is in the living room and I like it set up to have excess wires underneath the desk--which happens to be at just the right height for a baby to chew on when supervision glaces away for any longer than 2 seconds.  Now, since the idea of baby gating off half the living room in order to protect the computer and flat screen T.V. is actually more irrational in reality than one hopes; I have to reorganize all cords to protect everything that inhabits my home at any given time (inanimate or otherwise).

Here is the problem with each detail clearly marked with a giant red circle:
My messy desk in all its glory.

The underside of my desk.  The plan is to
reorganize everything to be on top of the desk.
Notice all the insane hazards?  Yeah, me too.  Only to Honey Bear they are fun playthings to explore, lick, and bite.  I have to get this all finished this week....hopefully each and everyone of those circles will disappear.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Peas, Please!

Where to begin….Well, as I have mentioned I have a wonderful little boy who is very close to 8 months old and I have been feeding him veggies and fruits since he was 5 ½ months (it went badly for a couple weeks so I suppose the solids officially stuck at 6 months). Before he was born I decided that I wanted to make his baby food myself.  My reasons at the time were purely health related. I wanted to make sure that Honey Bear was getting as many vitamins from his foods as possible and no chemicals. I realize that eventually we all get some chemicals of some kind in our system but I am trying to keep that to a minimum for as long as possible.

Today, I made another batch of peas—this one is my third batch so far. Now, to site my sources I have been using a great site called Momtastic—Wholesome Baby Food to guide me in this endeavor. Granted, for this particular veggie I didn’t need guidance on how to cook it since it is a common one in my home; however, it did shape my decision to cook the peas on the stove instead of the microwave. According to them, microwaving can destroy large amounts of nutrients depending on the food but (and here is the reason that I love this site) they don’t lay on a guilt trip if you disagree with them. They admit that they do everything the ideal way but still encourage you to make as much homemade baby food using whichever method as your schedule/desire to do so allows. They make it plainly obvious what their opinions of the best options are but never criticize anyone for choosing an easier method.

This time around I chose to cook the peas on the stove because I wanted to make a large batch of 32 ounces of frozen peas. Afterwards, I drained the peas but kept the cooking water.

As you’ll notice, the water is no longer clear but a thin green. This is because during cooking the peas leak nutrients. I keep the water because the peas need to be thinned a little in order to puree them and I would rather do that with nutrient rich water instead of plain water.

Look closely; you can see the water line about halfway up.
I just put my peas in my regular blender to puree.  Once in the blender I added some of the reserved water to the jar—my goal is to cook the veggies in as little water as possible so I can return all the nutrients that leaked out to the mixture. This time it didn’t work out for me and I had left over nutrient rich water. Oh well, next time maybe.

(You can just barely see my son's reflexion on the jar)
(Yes, the white-ish blob in the middle)
I'm really happy with the consistency that I ended up with so I didn’t need to add any more water to thin it out. I hope you can notice the bits of pea skins left over, I tried to leave it a little more textured this time since my Honey Bear is getting older—if you can’t see it that’s because it really isn’t too textured but just a little more than my last batch of peas.

Instead of using some fancy, pre-measured cups to freeze my baby food I use my ice cube trays that I already had (I’m saving money left and right! Wahoo!) and since our new apartment had a nicer freezer that came with its own space saving ice cube trays mine have been out of commission for a while. After scooping the goodness into the trays covering it with plastic wrap is useful to prevent some freezer burn. This was another suggestion that came from Momtastic and I love it because I was all set to buy a couple sets of Baby Food Freezer Tupperware and this works so much better (for me) than I imagine the other system would have. This is because the veggie cubes pop out once frozen and store nicely in quart sized freezer bags which then get stuffed wherever they fit best in my crowded freezer at the time! Basically, it’s awesome. I’ll get you a picture of the peas in bags soon; they are just not fully frozen yet.

The ice cube trays in general end up being about 1 ounce each, I’ve tested my trays with my digital scale and they averaged out to about 0.92 ounces and my son eats 4-5 cubes a day. (I’ve tried over filling them but that turned out to be a bad idea. I’ll show you why when we cover squash!)

Some days it is inconvenient to make my own baby food but I try to work around that by making larger batches. Nutrients stay intact for about a month so I try to space out making batches of fruits and veggies and only do it on days that work for me. So far, so good.