Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Healthy Family Meals & Using the Last of The Harvest

I cannot believe that Finley is already 6 months old! I am really enjoying this age. She hasnt started crawling, but she can make her way across a room in a short amount of time. Her stomach crunches has been modified into her lifting her upper body up on her elbows. She is on her way to sitting up on her own. In a sitting position she can balance for a little while, but still mostly needs support. The bumbo chair is about to be retired because she can almost roll herself out of it. This is sad because I love the bumbo chair!

We have been using our signs that we are learning in our baby sign language class. We are trying to teach her diaper change, hurt/pain, milk, eat, bath, going home, sleep and a few others.

I have been struggling with the decision about how, what and when to start feeding Finley solid foods. There are so many theories about what to introduce first and foods that should possibly not be fed right away. Im also not sure if I want to even feed her pureed food at all. This is very frustrating, especially knowing that as a dietitian I should have a better idea about how to feed kids.

My realization is that there isnt a lot of great information and there isnt much explanation for why most Americans start with rice cereal. Heavily processed, fortified rice cereal doesnt seem much better than formula or any other processed food. Im not sure if grains are a great first food at all. It makes sense to me that fruits and vegetables and meats/eggs should be the first foods. Since I havent completely figured out how I want to feed meat and eggs, Im starting with fruits and vegetables.

Ive given Finley both partially pureed and whole steamed fruits and vegetables. So far she has tried sweet potato, acorn squash, banana, avocado, blueberries, pineapple, mango, apple, broccoli and green beans. The favorites were blueberries and pineapple so far.

We have been having Finley sit with us at meals and plan to serve her a baby friendly version of what we are eating. It is definitely important to start family meals as early as possible and include baby in the family meal. It is also important to start introducing lots of flavors, spices and textures as early as is safe. Babies dont need their food to be completely tasteless and plain.

I've been unsure about which direction I want to take my nutrition career. Im starting to think that maybe I should focus on filling the void of information on feeding babies. We will see....

25 weeks

Chewing on a teething ring

First bite of pureed food was a surprise!

Not so sure about sweet potatoes

26 weeks

Goofing off after taking pictures with Owl

We did not get a large amount of anything from the garden this year other than zucchini. I decided to take the rest of the tomatoes, shallots, garlic and lots of herbs and make Tuscan White Beans. I made enough to put 6 large containers in the freezer. I have found that dishes like this are much more likely to be used in our house than the standard tomato sauce. This dish is a great side dish with pork chops or Italian Sausages.

Tuscan White Beans with Fresh Herbs

For the Beans:
1 cup dried white beans
6 cups water
2 medium carrots, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 medium yellow onion, coarsely chopped
4 thyme sprigs
1 large sage sprig
1 large rosemary sprig
1 tsp kosher salt

For the Sauce:
3 bacon slices
1/4 cup olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1/4 cup minced garlic
3/4 tsp kosher salt
1 lb tomatoes, chopped
1/2 cup tomato puree
1 1/2 Tbsp chopped thyme

Soak beans overnight covered in water, then drain. Bring beans , water, carrot, onion, and herb sprigs to a simmer in a heavy pot (4 qt), then simmer, partially covered, until beans are mostly cooked about 45 minutes. Add kosher salt, then simmer 45 minutes more.

While beans cook, make tomato sauce. Cook bacon in large pot until crisp (6-8 minutes). Add oil and onion and cook , stirring occasionally until onion is golden, about 12 minutes. Add garlic, salt and pepper and cook until garlic is soft, about 2 minutes. Add tomatoes, tomato puree and thyme and simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally until sauce is thickened, about 30 minutes.

Discard herb sprigs from beans, drain, reserving cooking liquid. Mix beans with sauce and 1.5 cups of bean-cooking liquid. Simmer, stirring occasionally about 45 minutes.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Delightful to see Finley smile!! Must have good parents.