Friday, May 29, 2009

things to do

clematis x 2
I've got a lot on my never-ending to-do list for this weekend -- grocery shopping, laundry, mailing a package (yes, M, it's for you), weeding, planting stuff in the garden.

Then there are those other projects that aren't exactly on my list, but that I really need to do. Like, eventually. These include: new rugs for the family room and living room, touching up paint in various places around the house, reorganizing closets, finding a place to get my hair cut and highlighted.

And then there are a couple of things that, if you're so inclined, you could help me with.

  • Cole is ready to start eating solid food. At daycare, they've been feeding him rice cereal. Any suggestions for foods to try next? It's possible that I'd even feel ambitious enough to make some baby food. Any recipes?

  • Though, luckily for me, they don't seem to like tomatoes, for last couple of years, most of my garden's meager harvest has been devoured by squirrels and skunks. Any ideas (preferably not involving shotguns) for keeping those pesky critters away from my zucchini?

  • I'd really start exercising regularly again, but I can't seem to motivate myself or find the time. How can I establish a new routine?

eta: Many thanks to Missed Conceptions and Yolanda for telling me about this über-kühl* baby food site.

*Funny-looking marks over and under letters make me go all weak in the knees. Especially å. Also.


Kristin said...

I don't have any recipes, but I do have a suggestion that helped me when I made baby food. Make it in larger batches and freeze it for storage in an ice tray. These are almost a perfect serving size and that way you can have a variety of foods available once he is eating more solids.

Tash said...

- I remember just cooking and pureeing things in the food processor and freezing them like Kristin said. Oatmeal is a good "solid" if you want to get away from rice, and Bella lurved avocado.

- cats! dogs! fence?

-- let me know when you figure this out. Peer pressure seems to work for me -- that is, I tell people ("I'm gonna run 4x this week!") and then I have to go face them again and tell them if it worked.

MFA Mama said...

For the critters, a lot of times in warmer weather if they are eating your veggies it's the water they're after rather than the taste or the nourishment. If you put out pans of water they might drink up and leave the veggies alone (at least according to my organic gardening book).

Kathy McC said...

Mashed raw avocado and banana are great first foods. And easy!

As far as the rest, you can steam veggies in the microwave with a couple tablespoons of water and puree them. The ice cube trays are a great way to store extras. You can just put the food cubes into plastic freezer bags and thaw a couple at a time.

Most fruits can be pureed raw, although you can steam them if you prefer.

Meats and tofu can be started at six months. Meats can be poached or baked and ground up in a blender.

Yogurt can also be started at six months but I never made my own.

Here is a good recipe for rice porridge that you can start at 6 months:

1 1/2 cup rice
3 boxes (32oz) low sodium organic broth
3 slices peeled fresh ginger

Combine ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for at least an hour, or until rice absorbs the liquid and takes on a porridge-like consistency.

You can freeze the rice porridge in cubes just like the other foods. It is great with pureed veggies mixed in, or just plain. It's originally a recipe to settle the stomach, but my babies loved it.

Kathy McC said...

P.S. I use jasmine rice for this. You will want to stir it several times during cooking.

diana said...

I have this brilliant paeditrician who established a system that worked perfectly with every of my babies:
half an apple, half a banana and a teaspoon of unsalted cottage cheese, blended, everyday for the 10am meal;
the next week, vegetable broth, homemade (plenty of carrot, a tiny bit of onion, a potato, and any other "root" vegetable you use), starting with an ounce and going up to two ounces, before milk, at the 14pm meal, in addition to the fruit/cheese puree at 10 am.
For the rest i'll continue tonight, I have to go now. I don't know for the squirrels, aren't there any odours they don't like?

Rachel said...

My son loved avocado & banana (no cooking required), applesauce, and sweet potatoes when we first introduced solids. As long as you go slowly, you really can't go wrong.

I haven't had a problem with skunks, but with rabbits and cats in my tomatoes. I sprinkled cayenne pepper around my plants and didn't have anymore trouble after that.

Mrs. Spit said...

Sigh. Squirrels and deer are really pesky buggers. Really pesky.

Water cannon type arrangements might work, also trapping. I don't actually believe there's much else they don't like.

Aurelia said...

Hmm, for the critters, I get this product from my old vet office. It's a very bitter spray that keeps dogs and cats from chewing on wires and things in the house. It's non-toxic, so it can wash off, and it won't kill anything, but they truly hate the taste.

Am also a fan of night sensor watering sprays. Basically, at night when the critters come out, if they go near designated ares like gardens, they get sprayed by a blast of water.

As for baby food, I sent you an email with a link, and God help me, I don't know about the exercise. Let me know what you do!

missing_one said...

I made all my own baby food and it was so easy. I started using the Fresh Baby Coworkbook, but basically what you do is take any vegetable (maybe start with butter nut squash or something along those lines), you steam it until it's soft, then blend it (add some of the cooking liquid back to get desired texture) then put it in ice cube trays for single servings. If you do it once a week it takes about half an hour once a week and it makes a lot of food!!

Exercise, I would suggest starting small and involving a friend. Start taking 20 min walks or stroller walks, do just a little bit every day. Then you will get the workout bug and you can work up the intensity.

Anonymous said...

I was told to start with the cereals (rice, oatmeal), work through the yellow vegetables (sweet potatoes, squash, carrots), move to the green vegetables (green beans and peas), and then move onto the fruits, allowing 3-5 days after the introduction of each food to check for allergies.

I got bored and threw in avocado and hummus. It made me feel rebellious. Oh, and she had watermelon one night in one of those mesh bags with the handle.

I have heard that you shouldn't make your own spinach or carrots. Something about nitrates.

If you figure out how to get motivated to start an exercise routine again, PLEASE share!

Yolanda said...

I used this site pretty religiously with Lyra. I made 90% of her baby food, but also bought Earth's Best.

I will say that while in the US we start with bland, unseasoned foods, this is not universal by any means. As with all things baby-related their is hyper-hysteria surrounding feeding/food introduction order/and allergies.

I felt that in addition to training my child how to eat solids, I was also training her tongue to taste and experience texture. So, I pretty much mixed fruits like pear with homemade oatmeal and brown rice cereal from very early on. I added nutmeg and cinnamon. I salted water for her orzo. I used pepper and cumin.

Exercise? Umm. No advice. Except that several moms I know love Wii Fit and have added daily fitness that way.

A said...

Layla's top four first baby foods were avocado (mashed up with a little lime on it), Sweet potato (just cover it in foil, bake it, and mash it up), peas (steamed and mashed with a little broth to thicken) and oatmeal with baked apples mixed inside.

erica said...

The only thing I've found that deters squirrels from eating what I don't want them to eat (in my case, bird seed) is to feed them something else that they like better. Raw peanuts in their shells, for example. You could construct a frame out of chickenwire or something, but it might be hard to get it squirrel-proof AND allow you to get to the veggies when you want them unless you have carpentry skills or know someone who has them.

Bon said...

i have no clue about the skunks. we have some under our shed and i'm sure they'll start in on our garden as soon as it gets its groove going, so i will be following commenter's suggestions with interest.

as for baby food, i found butternut squash, pureed, was sheer baby love and easy to freeze. other than that, i go in for avocados and bits of banana, mushed or just in teeny chunks, once you think he can handle it, and also bits of tofu and cooked egg fairly early. protein is important, IMO...the rice cereal doesn't have much nutritional value beyond its fortifications.

exercise. ha. :)

Aunt Becky said...

Aren't you forgetting "Come over to Aunt Becky's and help her diagnose her rose problem?"

And "Write poems about Aunt Becky?"

Antropóloga said...

I would steam organic carrots and spinach and puree them and freeze them in blocks and add them to shit...but I guess she was older then. For littler babies I recommend tofu, avocado, sweet potato fries, cottage cheese, pears, steamed stuff. But Nora liked to feed herself. We never did rice cereal but she liked oatmeal.

As for the gardening thing, chicken wire.

painted maypole said...

i'm totally trying the cayenne pepper trick in my garden.

and exercise. ugh. i was just thinking about this today.

Anonymous said...

um, baby food. We did oatmeal, mashed banana, homemade applesauce, pear sauce and pureed sweet potato. That lasted us a while till they started to munch on bagels, etc.

do you have food mill? That works wonders for puree anything and straining out the chewy bits.

garden protection: um, I think some people plant nasturtium, other people use a garlic spray or hot pepper flakes. The smartest people I know fence it over the top....not as pretty but they are serious about their harvest, so they care less about its appearance in the yard...
exercise? ha, ha, ha! Our gym has daycare, but every time I start a new routing, someone gets sick and I can't go till they are well, at which point, the other one is sick...sigh.

flutter said...

on the exercise thing? just start with 15 minutes.

Hope's Mama said...

i don't have any living kids yet, but lots of my friends' kids seem to love avocado. apologies if others suggested this, i was too lazy-ass to read the other comments!

Magpie said...

Get one of those baby food mills and put whatever you're eating in it.

And do you really want to save the zucchini? When I was a kid, my mother tried to grow it, but her evil children would knock all the flowers off. We knew how things worked.

Smiling said...

I am having more luck with exercise than feeding babies in my life...

The things that work for me...
- rowing, not just cuz its addictive, but because there is a club. You go down to see who's there, you have regular days, I go sunday mornings and 2 evenings right after work. I know they'll notice my absense and I know I feel better afterward. I don't have to think or make decisions while there either which is heaven

- ipod with music and podcasts. I find times to walk so I can listen. I get of a stop early on the bus. I take the train instead of the bus because its a longer walk to office, then choose to do the stairs instead of the elevator because I really want to finish listening to the podcast. NPR has lots of free podcasts you can download from itunes - this american life, fresh air, planet money, car talk all work for me

- finding someone at gym/club that you are intrigued by.. I can always get down there if I think a certain someone might be there.

- my friend with a young one, does the walking while they nap in the stroller thing every afternoon which she's built into a social thing of going to visit a friend who works from home.. I know I need a destination

- grab a map and find random places to park and walk/jog and then come back to car. When in boston/chicago I did this but using the train. I'd get off at one stop and then find away to get to the next stop. I was less bored because it was always new sights.

- find a club/gym with a class that works for you - spinning, dance to music etc. Someone tells you what to do and you just listen classes work for me - when i can afford them. I used my flex time to book in an hour here and there and then just stayed late a couple nights to make up the time.

phew that is a lot.. really for me lately, rowing is what is working for me because it fits into my routine, I do running with the team with my ipod and i often have to walk from public transport to the club. I am always curious to see who will be there and what we'll be doing, and that curiosity gets me through the inertia problem of getting there in the 1st place

Anonymous said...

A quick note re: exercise. Try the 30 Day Shred - 20 minute (killer) workouts, so just the right amount of time that you can't justify NOT doing them, and so effective, too. Give it a try!

Anonymous said...

G started solids at 3 months. We started on rice cereal and within a week she was on pureed apple and pears in the morning and veggies (pureed sweet pot, pumpkin, silver beat, carrots,) at night. We never did the 'one veg at a time'. It was all in. After a month she had pureed meet in with it. I made huge batches and froze 3 weeks worth at a time. She is now 11 months and has been eating what we eat for the last 2 months. Tonight is honey mustard chicken with rice. As long as we are not having something spicy she sits up and makes a mess just like her father! lol


christina(apronstrings) said...

New Stats show you don't have to start with veggies and then move to oranges. Previous thinking said that fruit, because it was so sweet, would make them not like veggies. And then someone wised up and tasted bmilk which is honest to god like condensed milk.

I LOVE THE BABYCOOK. I buy cate organic fruit/veggies and steam them and then pureed them. she loves avocado and pears. and omg blueberries.

i mix everything with organic rice cereal b/c it has a lot of iron in it.

i feed her veggies and then blueberries.

she never likes anything at first-but i keep at it until she does. i don't force feed her-of course. i just get her to taste it until she is used to it.

oh, mix it formula with everything at first to get him to transition.


Anna said...

When he's ready for other foods, here's one of Sam's favorites:

Cook a cup of quinoa in water or chicken stock for about 12 minutes. Once the grain has absorbed the liquid, add a can of black beans and a banana or two. Puree with an immersion blender or in a food processor. Spoon into ice cube trays and freeze. At end of long work day, microwave a few cubes and serve. Homemade dinner in 45 seconds!

Cheap, easy, healthy, and the babies seem to love it.