Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The Funky Pickle - Finger Foods - Why Organic

I ate at a restaurant called the Funky Pickle yesterday. I HAD to because it reminded me of Katen. Food was so-so and it lacked atmosphere but now I can say I ate at the funky pickle.

Speaking of food...

Pickle is showing me signs that she's ready for finger foods. She shows a lot of desire to feed herself and does pretty good with her pincer grasp. She's also an adventurous eater like Dad. The only thing she's wrinkled her nose at was a piece of watermelon that I gave her. She gobbles up peas, squash, avocado, and other yuckier veggies but she turns her nose up at watermelon. Huh? She'd even suck on a pickle if I'd let her.

Okay well I don't want to hold her back. We've been giving her puffs and freeze dried yogurt bites for a while now and she's doing great so I think we'll move on to tiny bits of soft food. I've been reading up (are you shocked?) and these are some of the things I'm going to try:

Banana – in small quantities. She's a little sensitive to banana
Avocado – we'll start slow
Cheese – Kraft makes cheese crumbles with no added growth hormones which are a great size
Rice puffs – similar to Krispies

And the messy ones...

I'll also steam some of the following so that she can try them:
Apples – steam on HIGH for 3 minutes
Peeled eggplant
Asparagus – I'll watch to make sure it doesn't cause extra “toots” – the kid can clear a room!
Carrots – cooked really mushy
broccoli – same deal with the toots
Sweet potato cubes – steam on HIGH for 5-7 minutes
New potato cubes
Whole Wheat Pasta
Rice balls
Chicken chunks
Garden Burgers

Most of the steamed produce will stay fresh 4-5 days in the refrigerator, or 2 months in the freezer.

And some combinations:
peas and carrots
fruit salad
cereal and banana
fruit and cottage cheese

I think I'll try pairing foods that tend to constipate with those that do the opposite. I'll also try to balanced out the nutritional values in the foods that I combine when possible so that they're more well rounded. (ie not too many carbs, balanced vitamins, etc)

I might also introduce cinnamon, nutmeg or ground ginger for a variety in flavors.

A fun thing I want to try is crushing graham crackers, cereals, puffs, or yogurt bites and then rolling some of the fruits or veggies in them. That sounds interesting! I think banana (which is slippery anyway) might be tasty rolled in ground up peach yogurt bites.

This could be fun!

Why Organic?
Some people have asked me why I chose organic produce over regular fruits and veggies. For me, it's just a personal preference. I like to limit the exposure to chemical pesticides, antibiotics and growth hormones if possible because a baby is more sensitive to toxins and hormones than adults are. Will it make a difference? Who knows, but it's an easy precaution to take and doesn't require extra work so why not? Plus have you tasted organic produce? Some it really does taste better.

If you're not totally on board with eating organic, you can also pick and choose. These are some of the items that tend to have higher chemical/hormone exposure:

meat/poultry/eggs/dairy products
bell peppers

These are some of the items that you could probably get away with not using organic:
sweet peas
sweet corn
(Lists created from info on

In the end you just do what you can with the resources you have, right? Truth be told, I do use frozen non-organic cherries in Pickle's diet. I pitted all of those cherries for her babyfood once and I'm not doing it again. Hello, I'd rather spend the time snuggling the kiddo. If they come out with frozen organic cherries then great! I'll use those. Until then, thank you Dole.

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