Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Omnivore

Our Girl is really eating up a storm these days! Despite a little hesitation on her part initially, she now whole-heartedly devours her meals. It brings us both great joy.

She has been eating 3 meals a day since about 7 months of age - now about half a cup of food per meal. I still have trouble finding guidelines about how much she "should" be getting, but she seems satisfied.

We are on to almost all finger foods, although she still gets fruit purees mixed in with her morning yogurt. Mainly because it is much easier for me to thaw 2 cubes of fruit and mix it with yogurt than to chop up a bunch of stuff for her to eat. I'm trying to store up some frozen plums and peaches/nectarines for the Winter months, since apples and pears and bananas get kind of boring.

I really waited to introduce meats until after 9 months, mainly because I thought it would be annoying to prepare and I thought she might not like it. I was wrong on both points.

My first meat attempt was to broil a chicken thigh and shred it very small for her. While it was very simple to cook, the shredding was irritating. I have a major fear of her choking and stringy meat was just too much.

So ... on to other recipes. I found some great ones at Nurture Baby that she really likes. I had a whirlwind weekend of cooking and made the Baby Bolognese, the Gobble Me Up Turkey, Lovely Lentils, Pork Chops and Applesauce and Vegetable Lasagna. She loves it all! And, it truly all tastes good - I would eat any of it.

Since she eats larger portions now, I froze everything in muffin tins. She can eat a whole portion of pasta for a meal, or I'll split the meat between two meals. My mother-in-law gave me a VeggiChop and it works GREAT for meat. I had used it some for fruits when she would eat them a little chunkier, but it shreds meat perfectly in small bites. A blender or cuisinart would puree the food too finely, I think, and she isn't quite ready for very small cubes.

On a related note, I am becoming much more aware of food issues as they relate to children. I love food, I love cooking and it is becoming increasingly important to me to pay attention to what I am eating and where it is coming from. I try to buy local or organic when possible, especially for Girly, and I really try to buy seasonal food (so, sniff sniff, then end of tomatoes and corn and all manners of tasty fruit is right around the corner).

The idea of "school food programs" is especially worrisome to me and something I am learning more about. They aren't all bad, but GOOD is also not a word I would use.

Here are some resources and websites that I find helpful / interesting:
Eat Well Guide: search for local farmers markets and sustainable food resources
Raising Foodies: this is a fun blog from a Dallas-based mom who is trying to get her girls to eat foods that don't come from boxes
School Lunch Talk: good updates on the status of school lunch and related legislation around the country
The Lunch Box: resources for healthy lunches - aiming to create a "tool box" for schools
Slow Food in Schools
Better School Food

Also, if you are at ALL interested in food and/or the environment, you should read The Omnivore's Dilemma. I am way late to the game on this one, but I had been reading about the book forever and finally picked it up. Truly eye-opening. I am by no means perfect when it comes to eating and the food we bring into our home. I have a serious weakness for fast food and french fries. BUT, I am paying attention and that is a good start.

2 comments:

4 Magic Words said...

Are there organic Cheetos?

Carrie said...

Yes and they are better than the real Cheetos. Bring on the Puffs!

Meatballs are an easy meat too.

The more you read, the more you know, the more anal you become, and the crazier you seem. It doesn't happen over night it just chips away at you...super fun to add one more stress, right?