Saturday, September 17, 2016

HUMBLET'S FOOD JOURNEY





Every meal time is an adventure. An adventure involving exploring new tastes, textures and temperatures. As Singaporeans and foodies, we strongly believe in having baby Mya enjoy food of all kinds at every age and at every stage. In addition to the food itself, we love having meals around the table with family and friends, because we've learnt that the deepest conversations often come out of sharing a meal together.

This is a simple post of humblet's food journey thus far, as per the request of several fellow mummy readers. Enjoy!



1. Table Time [4 months onwards]


Having meals together meant sitting around the table for a long time. That is, around fifteen minutes to half and hour, which I think is pretty long for a child. Since, this was going to be the norm, we figured we'd give little Mya a headstart.

Before we started feeding her anything, we would have her join us at the table for at least one meal a day. It could be any meal, but it was mostly dinner, so her dad could be around as well. Since she couldn't eat anything, we let her feel our food instead. I would (when I remembered) save a raw stalk of leafy greens or a stick of carrot for her to 'play with' as we ate. On days I forgot, or if the meal was outside, we would give her different objects to finger with as we ate. 

Some days, she got bored really easily and cried after five minute. On good days, she would entertain us as we ate, some times sitting for the whole duration of our meal. 

Although humblet couldn't eat with us, she could sit with us. 


2. Fruity Flavours [6 months onwards]


The time to introduce solids is advised to be 6 months, so using that as a guide, we slowly initiated baby Mya into the world of food through fruits! 

Like good, cautious parents, we were careful to avoid fruit that were mostly commonly known to cause allergies like strawberries and mangoes. And since their digestive systems were so tender and used to only milk, we wanted her to have a very slow start. 

We began with taste tests, showing her the fruit. Cutting up the fruit in front of her, and then allowing her to lick the slices or chunks for its taste. When she didn't have to strong a reaction, we'd give her a little more and so on. 

After a week or so of doing this, we realised she'd get impatient and try to grab the slices for herself. That was when we introduced this net feeder. It's shaped sort of like a pacifier, but instead of the plastic tit, there's a net where you can put in fruit / vegetable slices so the child could feed themselves without accidentally choking on a huge chunk. Majority of what they ingest would be the juice, while they might not get the fiber, they would certainly get familiar with the tastes of different fruits. 



3. Chop, steam, blend and repeat [6.5 months to 8 months]


After her fruity food initiation, we moved on to the next level, actual meals! We actually found this stage very exciting although her responses were less than enthusiastic. 

We use the Morries Food Processor to blend, and the Roman Square Egg Steamer, both have served us well thus far. Although, the shortfall of the food processor is that you can only do rather small quantities at one time. Good for babies, probably not so much for the regular household consumption. We have another regular size blender for chili paste, juices and milkshakes. 

LUNCH!

We chose lunch time to introduce the puree meal, because we found her most attentive at this time. And also we wanted to give time to observe her lest she formed a reaction to certain food types.

Single Food Purees



Pumpkin, Squash, Sweet Potato, Potato, Carrot (you can also try yam)
Broccoli, Cauliflower, Sweet Peas, Barley

- most of these were chopped, steamed for around 10-15 minutes and blended then frozen immediately into around half a cup a portion

A note of frozen fish shapes: We found these particularly useful when she starting teething, we'd give her one or two to soothe her swollen gums and whilst chewing away, she'd also eat a good amount of vegetable or fruit.

Combined Food Purees



The above list plus 
White onions, Bell Peppers, Leek for flavour

- using the same process of chopping, steaming, blending and freezing we simply tried different permutations and combinations of the above food items

BREAKFAST!

As per the routine mentioned above, we continue to introduce fruits at breakfast time, but now in the form of purees. These are great to have a bigger quantities even, as they come in handy when you had no time to buy fresh fruits the day before, or those constipated red-faced days. 

Fruit Purees Cooked 
Apple, pear, melons (cantaloupe, honey dew), guava, blueberries, plums and peaches

- Apart from blueberries which we only steamed for 8 minutes, the rest were steamed for around 10-15 minutes depending on the quantity

Fruit Purees Raw
Kiwi, avocado, mangoes, bananas, cherry tomatoes, dragon fruit, watermelon and strawberries

- We blended the harder ones, but the softer ones we also mashed or simply chopped finely for her to self-feed with a small fork


4. Porridge 


I actually had to sit J.G. down and ask him one time in order to write this post because he painstakingly prepares her porridge each morning before heading to work. Truth be told, she does eat a lot more when he cooks it, even if I follow the steps religiously. Ah well, less work for me!

Soup Stock

Busy lifestyles call for cheat codes, that includes short cuts for baby food as well. Minus the processed food option that it. We prepare soup stock for a week in advance, bringing it to a boil, then freezing it in 250-500ml portions in glass containers. 

a. Fish Stock - Ikan Bilis, Red Onions, Yellow (Soya) Beans
b. Chicken Stock #1 - Chicken bone, Carrot, White Onions (with / without Potatoes)
c. Chicken Stock #2 - Chicken bone, Pumpkin, Spring Onion, White Onion 
d. Pork Stock - Big bone / Pork ribs, Red Dates, Winter Melon or Lotus Root

Using the soup stock, we bring the rice (we use white rice, but you can use mixed rice) to a boil whilst preparing the rest. 

Porridge ingredients

Refer to the puree list for most of the ingredients we use. But we also add -

Vegetables
Leafy greens - Kai Lan, Xiao Bai Cai, Chye Sim etc.
Others - Cabbage, Asparagus, Long beans, French beans

Meat
Mainly fish - Cod, Salmon, Threadfin (or whatever else is available)
Mince beef 

Others
Egg (introduced only after she turned 1)
Tofu
Egg Tofu
Fish balls / fish paste / fish cake (introduced only after she turned 1)

These we then chop up and add into the mix, stirring diligently until its soft for her consumption. We are currently using a 500ml Zojirushi (Elephand Brand) Thermos, which can keep her porridge warm for up to nine hours!

--

That's all for now. We've been introducing her to our food lately and thus far she's been enjoying every meal with us. Although, we do get disapproving looks and terse 'tsks' from onlookers now and then. I'm sure one sweet potato fry won't kill her!

Have a restful weekend everyone~

Joyful,
Amy


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