My Story

The chronicle of the journey from infertility, to miscarriage, to finally raising twin girls born in June 2012.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Baby food

This is just a random "how we're doing it" post.  I don't know if we're doing it right, or if I have any great wisdom to impart, but I think everyone is curious as to how other moms are doing things, so here's what we're doing to keep our girls fed.

At our 4 month ped appointment, we were given the go ahead to start solids.  We held off until about 5 months, partly because of the whole adjusted age thing, partly because I didn't know quite how to go about it, and partly because I was not looking forward to the baby poo that would result.  We started with the basics, mixing in some oatmeal or rice with breastmilk while they learned how to eat from a spoon.  We eventually started adding peas, sweet potato, applesauce, that kind of thing.  We bought standard jars of baby food, looking for the best prices we could find.  My primary concern at this stage was ensuring that the food was pureed to the proper texture and didn't really trust myself to do that on my own.

At our 6 month ped appointment, we were told we could get more adventurous, increase feedings to 2-3 times per day, introduce meats and such.  So that's what we did.  We tried the pureed meats, still keeping with the single ingredient foods, and they did not like that one bit.  Who can blame them?  Those things smell like cat food and have an icky texture.

We've purchased a Magic Bullet and are starting to make our own purees.  Those jars of baby food are flippin expensive!  I do recommend the bullet, it's so much easier than a standard blender.  And being much smaller, we're more apt to actually use it.  We're doing pretty good at pureeing our own fruits and vegetables, but we haven't quite figured out meats yet.  We'll likely start trying that later this week.

So far, broccoli is the biggest home made hit.  Cauliflower was also well received.  The last time we roasted a chicken, K took the carcass and made a good chicken stock so we've got ice cubes of stock in our freezer.  In order to slowly introduce meaty flavors, I've been melting those cubes and using them as the liquid when I puree vegetables.  When I made up the cauliflower, I took one of the baby food packages of a turkey vegetable blend and mixed that with some of the cauliflower.  Kind of a cheap way to extend the purchased puree.  When I make baby food, I fill up one or two leftover baby food jars and then freeze the rest in ice cube trays.  Once frozen, I transfer the cubes to a plastic bag, label it with what the cubes are and the date they were made.

Other sources of "baby food" - I looked in the baking aisle of the grocery store to find purees of sweet potato and pumpkin.  Double check that they are single ingredient cans.  It's much cheaper to buy a can of that puree than to buy a small jar of the same stuff in the baby food aisle.  I also look at the canned fruits and veggies aisle.  With fruits, it's hard to find something that doesn't have sugar added, but it's there if you look.  We recently did a Costco run and picked up cases of canned corn, pears, peaches, and peas.  We also source the frozen food aisle for bags of frozen veggies.  As much as I'd love to go with fresh, fresh tends to go bad before we get a chance to prepare it or eat it so we don't keep much of it in the house.

Ok, actually feeding the girls.  They start their day with just breastmilk, 6oz each.  After their naps (still at 3 a day), they have a bottle and then solid foods.  The bottles for the rest of the day are 3.5oz.  Any more than that and they leave it to rot in the bottle, and I'm doing my best to get as much milk into them as I can.  Sometimes they get an extra 2oz bottle at bedtime if bedtime rolls around more than an hour since they've last eaten.

My food choices for them are the same as they would be for me.  The morning is oatmeal with a fruit of some sort.  Fresh bananas grind up really well in the manual food mashers we have.  I use a jars worth of fruit and mix it with 2-3 oz of oatmeal.  We've purchased applesauce in bulk.  The girls just eat from a communal bowl and share a spoon.  Yeah, not exactly the most sanitary, but whatever.  I just alternate who gets bites until either the food is gone, or they start giving me dentist face and refuse to eat any more.  Usually they start slowing down and getting distracted when we're down to the last couple of bites.

Then I get more savory as the day goes on.  It's generally a sweet type of vegetable in the afternoon like peas, corn, carrots, or sweet potato.  If I'm using a jarred food, I'll extend it with some rice so I'm only using one jar between the two girls.  I really prefer not to have them go halfway through a jar because then I have to decide if I'm going to stick the rest back in the fridge after it's been contaminated by the spoon, or throw it out.  Usually I decide to stick it in the freezer to give those little bacterias the least amount of time to grow while still saving the food for the next day.

In the evening, I'll give them the most experimental food of the day.  Vegetable beef baby food, chicken noodle, generally some sort of dinneresque concoction, usually purchased though we might start trying to blend our own.  They really like the chicken noodle from Gerber.  Again, I'll just use one jar of that and extend it with a vegetable or some rice.  Cauliflower mixes really well with those savory foods or sometimes they'll have a side of vegetable instead of mixing it in.

She wears her broccoli well
I'm starting to prepare to wean off the pump but we only have a months worth of milk in the freezer.  I'm concerned that if I stop, we'll run out before we can convert them over to cows milk, or if they have some sort of aversion to it, we'll be stuck.  So we're testing formula at the moment.  We cracked open a sample can of formula and at one of the afternoon feedings, we're giving that to them.  We've found that they'll resist if the bottle is pure formula, but if it's half formula, half breastmilk, they'll take it with no problem.  We'll just keep doing that until this can runs out as it allows us to freeze a few more bags of milk in preparation for weaning.  So now we know, when we get to the last 2 weeks worth of breastmilk, if we aren't on cows milk yet, we'll be able to mix in formula and gradually convert them over to it.  It makes me feel a lot better knowing that we won't get stuck with no options should we run out.

So that's how we're doing it.  I'm open to other ideas on how to introduce them to new foods on a budget.


  1. We used to cook up a whole bag of frozen veggies, puree them with a blender, put the mush into ice cube trays and freeze them. Then we had convenient sized chunks to microwave whenever it was feeding time. Worked great! :) Good luck!

    Okay, when I say 'we' ... it might be a wee bit more accurate if I say that my wife came up with the ice cube tray idea.

  2. Love your ideas. I have something similar to the bullet already and will probably use that along with the immersion blender when I make baby food. Well that is if I am able to have a baby. Trying to think positive here.

  3. I love my magic bullet. It purees the crap out of pretty much anything. The only downside is, that it's a bitch to clean.
    For breakfast, my daughter usually has banana and avocado, mixed with a dollop of whole milk yoghurt, chuck it in the bullet and it comes out smooth and creamy. It also works well with mango and I add some baby cereal to thicken it up.
    My daughter also hates all things savory, so I tend to use a pouch (beef stew, turkey casserole, etc) and mix it with some cooked red lentils or Quinoa. That way if she out right refuses to eat it, I haven't just wasted over an hour preparing and cooking. If I do mainly a fruit and veg meal, I'll add some amaranth grain or cereal to pad it out.
    I try and experiment with different flavors and a lot of it is trial and error. I find chicken and rice do not puree well as it comes out like a thick, gluey paste, ditto pasta. There's a few reasonable sites out there you can use for inspiration (



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