Friday, May 30, 2008

Big Girl Bath

Katen got a new big girl bath tub this week. It's a large inflatable duck that Daddy just LOVES having in his bathroom taking up room. She's having so much fun with it though. She can sit up in it instead of having to lay down in her infant tub. This allows her to play with toys in the water. She tracks her floating toy duckies with such concentration that it cracks me up. She also thinks she's a monkey and uses her feet to pull them nearer to her. I do have to watch her like a hawk in the water, because she's still a little wobbly sitting alone but it's worth it to see how much fun she's having splashing and playing during bath time. I can't believe how fast she's growing and learning. wow!

We also tried sweet peas last night. I was prepared for nasty faces but Katen looooved her veggie. I think she finished dinner in record time actually and was still making little hungry bird motions for more after she'd finished her portion. I'd stripped her down to just a diaper and her chubby belly but she's getting pretty coordinated and apparently didn't want to waste any food by wearing it for a change.

I can't say as much for pears. Katen will eat pears but not with as much gusto. I think they're kind of sour for her. Same with Sweet potato. She'll eat it but it's just okay. I think we'll try some plums next maybe. I'm also anxious to get to the farmers market and pick up some organic peas, apples, avacado, pear, and carrots to make food at home for her. We'll see how that goes. It's a good excuse to get the food processor out!

Baby TV

Did you know there's a network devoted solely to TV for babies? ...and I'm sure you've seen the Little Einstein videos advertised. Just because a product is on the market, doesn't mean it's good for your child.

Here's an article from one of the newsletters I receive each week:

TV for babies?While babies may like the sights and sounds of a TV, research strongly suggests that watching TV is not healthy for children under the age of 2. A recent study showed that infants learn about emotions based on what they hear from others. This includes not just their parents' pleasant talk but also the actors' argument on TV. While there are still questions about the impact of television viewing on babies, the evidence is growing that it may interfere with healthy development. Interacting with you and exploring safe toys are far better uses of a baby's waking hours.

While Katen would love nothing more than to be a couch potato, I think we'll wait. :)

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Memorial Day Weekend

I stayed home with Katen on Wednesday and Thursday because she was vomiting. We saw the pediatrician on Thursday and an ear infection was confirmed along with a probable stomach virus. We also got some great medicine for her eczema which is really helping. Poor Katen has just had a rough week. I also caught the stomach virus and went home from work on Friday early. Still on Sunday I'm feeling sick.
We went to the drive in for the first time with Katen last night. We saw Iron Man and the latest Indianna Jones movie. Katen did well. She slept until around 9:15 when the movie broke and it got too quiet in the car for her. :) She played with mommy's glow stick for a while before falling asleep on Daddy's chest. He held her through the first movie. I held her though the second. I gave her another feeding when we got home at 2:30 and then she slept until about 6:30am. Thank goodness she decided she still needed some sleep after that and went back down after a snack until 8:30. Sleep is still sort of a hot comodity at our house.

Recent milestones:

I think we're teeting. There are no visible bumps but whoa nelly is Katen ever drooling and she'll chew on anything and everything she can get into her mouth. She's not afraid to try sticking her whole fist in her mouth and often goes for our fingers as well. The main problem right now is that most teething rings and toys are just too heavy for her. Since they're filled with water they weigh too much. I've got to find something safe for the kid to chew on for some relief!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Mmm Veggies

Katen has been eating rice cereal since she turned 4 mos old. She loved it right away and acts like she was born to eat. Tonight we added veggies to the mix. She got a couple tablespoons of organic sweet potatoes along with her rice. I was prepared for an icky or puzzled face but was met with smiles! Yum Mom! ...and then she urged me not to dawdle. She wanted more! Sweet potatoes are definitely hard to clean up than rice and she seems to get it all over but I love that she's learning with her mouth AND her hands. Bodies and baby chairs wash up eventually. :) Good thing bath time is right after dinner!
uhhh mom... something's wrong with my milk.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Sitting like a big girl

It's a beautiful spring Friday today and as Katen and I played while procrastinating taking her to daycare she decided to show us that she can sit on her own. We always play this game where she uses her arm strength to pull herself into sitting position by pulling on our fingers and today she stayed sitting. For a few seconds anyway. I got the cutest picture.

Sunday, May 4, 2008


Katen has recognized that she has feet and now does crunches so that she can play with them. It's only a matter of time before she'll have them in her mouth. Everything goes into the mouth these days.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

It's Tulip Time!

Katen attended her first Tulip Time today. Mom and Dad walked with her in her baby parade. She wore the Dutch Costume that Mommy wore as a baby which was kind of special. It was a little windy but nice weather for spring. The tulips were in bloom and it was a nice walk. Katen was a good sport while we got some lunch and shopped for shoes. Grandma Debby bought her some wooden shoes of her own. So cute! After lunch and visiting with lots of family, Katen had some lunch of her own and then zonked out in her stoller for the majority of the parade. Near the end, a particularly loud announcer woke her up but she was a good sport and even posed for a few pictures after the parade for Grandpa Remer, Laura, and Grandma Debby. It was a full day and we were glad to get back home and collapse.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Top (Babyfood) Chef!

As I've mentioned, we're making our own baby food. We have a good stash of peaches, avacado, apples, and I've got beans, peas, plums, and carrots ready to steam and cream. Some people think this is crazy but consider this.

I bought a bunch of 10 ripe banannas at the store for 50¢ Put that in the food processor and it makes 20 servings of baby food at 2.5¢ per serving. I bought a sweet potato for 54¢ and that made 22 servings at 2.5¢ a serving. A bag of carrots is 80¢ and that made 20 servings at 4¢ a serving. So I can either pay Gerber 60¢ per serving OR make my own . Seems like a no brainer.
That being said, the fact that I know exactly what is in my baby's food, is a bonus. No preservatives. No sugar. No salt. Just good solid nutrition! Only the best for my kiddo. :)

Katen's also been interested in different textures lately too so I created a new babyfood recipe.

I pureed 5 banannas in the food processor and then added 1/2 cup of rice krispies right at the end. The look on her face when she got the first krispie was hilarious.

We tried yogurt too, because I was hoping to give her something with some protein in it, but all she did was spit up most of the day after eating it, so we'll forgoe the yogurt for now.

I find a lot of people asking me if making my own baby food is easy and if it takes a long time. The answer is yes and no. I can make 20 servings of babyfood while simultaneously making the night's dinner. I steam the food, drop it in the food processor and freeze the extras. Done. Making our own food also gets Mommy and Daddy to eat more fruits and veggies.

If you want to make your own, here is a big long explanation of how I do it. Don't let this fool you. It's super easy and nearly fool proof.

Where to buy
I like to pick up fresh organic fruits and veggies from the farmer’s market. My second choice is fresh organics from the grocery store, but using frozen fruits and vegetables is the next best option to fresh. Canned foods generally contain a lot of salt, sugar, or other “unwanteds.”

What to get
Good foods to start with (4-6mos)
Bananas, plums/prunes, peaches, apples, pears, avocado, apricots, tangerines, pumpkin, pureed grapes (add to other foods as they’re not highly nutritious)
Green beans, *carrots, sweet peas, sweet potatoes, squash, peas,
Rice, oatmeal, barley

Give your baby one new food at a time, and wait at least 2 to 3 days before starting another. After each new food, watch for any allergic reactions such as diarrhea, rash, or vomiting.

Next Step foods (8-10mos)
These are delayed because they’re slightly harder to digest, may also result in excessive gas, or the food may cause sensitivity.
Pureed chicken, turkey
tofu, *broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus, lentils and dried beans, eggplant, *spinach, zucchini, turnips
Melons, mango, papaya (watch for rash or sensitivity from those three), cherries (not considered an allergenic berry)
Yogurt, cheeses in small cubes
Pasta cut into tiny pieces

Foods to stay away from – wait until 12 mos
Acidic foods – tomatoes, citrus, strawberries, kiwi
Allergenic foods – corn, berries, egg, artichoke, beets, fish (especially shell fish), Peanuts, whole nuts, Bleu cheese Disease risk: Honey (can carry botulism), unpasteurised cheese like Brie and Camembert
Added Salt, sugar

Potatoes and cucumbers can be introduced at any time but offer little nutritional value.

*Nitrates: Many medical experts suggest waiting until six months to introduce solid food for many reasons, nitrate poisoning being one of them. Root vegetables, like carrots and beets tend to have elevated levels, and leafy green vegetables such as spinach, broccoli, cabbage and kale many times contain the most nitrates. It may be safer to stick with commercially prepared carrots and spinach because most baby food companies screen for nitrates in the fresh food they use. Commercially prepared baby food does not have the nitrates removed, but they do come from vegetables grown with little to no nitrate containing fertilizer. Using whole, unprocessed organic fruits and vegetables can help avoid high nitrates as well.

After 6-8 mos try adding some texture into the foods and/or mixing and matching to vary the flavors. Some that work well:

· Morning Sunrise: Banana puree with Rice Krispies
· Fruit Smoothies: Banana & Peach puree, pear/plum, apricot/bananna, mango/pear
· Veggie mash: squash/carrot
· Yogurt smoothies: plain yogurt and pears
· Cottage cheese and peaches
· Apple pie: apples, cinnamon, and oatmeal
· Chicken dinner: Chicken, rice, apple puree or Chicken/apricot
· Turkey Mac: Turkey, mac n cheese
· Apple Vanilla desert: apples, pears, vanilla yogurt(or plain)
· Vegetarian delight: tofu and banana
· Veggie casserole: Carrots, peas, cheese (real cheese, not Velveeta or cheese whiz)
· Butternut squash risotto: just like it sounds J
· Cheesy pasta: melted cheese, broccoli, and pasta of your choice
· Fruit cup: cherry, mango, banana, apricot
. Cinnamon Rice Porridge: rice cereal, cinnamon, formula to desiered consistency
. Chicken and potato
. Banana tofu pudding: 2 tablespoons silken tofu, 1 banana, and formula
. peaches and cream: yogurt and peaches
Some of my other favorite recipes can be found at the Simply Babyfood Blog:

Baking and Steaming allow the most nutrients to stay with the foods. I prefer to use Glad or Ziploc steam bags in the microwave. It’s quick, easy, and I don’t have to wait for water to boil or heat up the oven on a hot day. They’re also reusable, although the package says not to. Just use common sense. No cross contamination.

For foods with a peel, I steam with the peel on and then let it cool. The skins generally slip right off using this method. (Peels can be hard for baby to digest.)

I use my food processor. Others use a blender or a food mill. There’s no right or wrong way. You may need to add liquid to some foods. I like to use formula because it’s nutrient rich. You can also use water or juice. It’s recommended that children have less than 2oz of juice per day though.

I store baby food in (BPA free) containers made especially for the purpose. I find that storing them individually reduces the amount of freezer burn and ice crystals. It’s also very convenient for feeding directly out of the container.

Others prefer to fill ice cube trays and cover with plastic wrap until frozen. Once frozen they can be moved to a zip tight bag or container. I think doing this causes extra work (although not much) and the containers/bags don’t stack very well so they take up more space. You also have an additional container to wash doing it that way and what busy mom has time for extra chores?

Baby Food Cubes May Be Safely Kept in the Freezer for 3 Months. It is preferable, not an absolute must, to use the cubes within 1 month however.

You can freeze purees with formula in them. Do not freeze formula alone.

Pureed meats can be frozen but it does affect the texture. Its better instead to make a meat based meal puree such as turkey and noodles, or chicken and rice.

A word on starting solids from the AAP...

Early introduction of solid food to infants is less harmful than previously reported, according to a recent article published in the June 12 British Medical Journal.
The authors hint that the results of their study demand that a more relaxed approach to early feeding be considered.
Researchers diagnosed the relationships between early introduction of solid food and infant weight, gastrointestinal illness, and allergic illnesses during the first two years of life.
AAP News Vol. 9 No. 9 September 1993, p. 2 © 1993 American Academy of Pediatrics

AND for a little fun…
First birthday cake ideas:

Helpful links:
Baby food recipes and tips
Cuisinart Babyfood Recipes

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