The only movie that I have watched since the babies were born is, "Julie and Julia" which planted a little thought in my head about challenges and goals. I watched it a few days after I gave the babies solid food for the first time- avocado. I decided that I would challenge myself and see how long I could make homemade baby food and avoid packaged baby food. It would be a fun little challenge and would encourage me to get back into the habit of cooking again. I thought maybe I could go 2 or 3 months and then pat myself on the back for giving them a good start and move on. I underestimated my liking of a good challenge (like I really need another). I didn't anticipate how wholly I would embrace this concept and how seriously I take it.
I even made up a few rules of the challenge:
1. I can buy juice and teething biscuits and other things that would be just silly to make like tofu, pasta, crackers, dairy products.
2. Infant cereal (rice, oatmeal and multi-grain) is allowed because we had to put it in their bottles for thickener but all infant cereals had to have probiotics and DHA added.
3. Organic and whole grain when possible.
And once I started to think beyond mashed bananas and avocado I thought about the things I wanted to avoid until after their first birthday such as wheat, dairy products from cows, meat, berries, citrus, and peanuts. I had lofty goals of having them avoid refined sugar but that concept was shot with the first teething biscuits, not mention their first sip of formula.
So, it is now Day 137 and they have yet to have one spoonful of jarred, packaged, or frozen "baby food". They eat 3 meals a day plus 1 snack (plus 4 bottles of formula each) most of which is either fresh such as avocados, hummus, cheese, yogurt or I had cooked, pureed and frozen in 1 oz cubes and heat up.
SPINACH with Goat Butter- A Beckett Newman specialty item
My plan of pureeing big batches a few times a week was working perfectly until they decided collectively that they only wanted to eat finger food and reject anything given to them by a utensil. I then had to figure out how to get enough calories in them forgoing most of the normal fingers foods like Cheerios, most teething biscuits, baby puffs and the like because they all have wheat or cow's milk dairy or both. Just this past week they will eat from a spoon again but only if they have have finger food at the same time.
So now both my freezer, fridge and pantry are packed full of "baby only" food that I encourage Rich NOT to eat. Pretty much everything made with rice (pasta, milk, cereal, crackers) or goat or soy products (yogurt, cheese, butter, keifer, cream cheese) he knows to steer clear of. He can never figure out how I can go to the grocery store, spend a ton of money and then we don't have anything to eat. We have things to eat, just not for him.
This is what they had for dinner tonight:
-Tofu rolled in nutritional yeast as an appetizer while I was heating up everything else
-Homemade pureed lentil soup with peas, celery, carrots, green beans and parsnips
-Finger foods of steamed carrot rounds, sweet potato fries and sauteed zucchini
-For dessert peach yogurt and a gingersnap cookie (wheat free- don't eat these Rich, they are 3 times the cost of regular cookies)
I know, I go overboard. In fact this whole thing has gotten a little out of control but I'm too far into it to turn back now. The finish line for this challenge is their first birthday or when they are cleared by their pediatrician to start with table food, whichever comes first.
Oh yeah, did I mention what I had for dinner? Their leftovers, ie, scraps of soggy cookies and cold zucchini and a CAN of soup. I am a clear case of not practicing what I preach.