In our weekly mommy get-togethers, I brought Super’s baby food for lunch. Since most of the babies there are on their fifth or sixth month, the mommies got into the conversation about baby food. One of the mommies shared that her doctor told her to feed her sixth-month-old baby with one to two spoons of baby food once a day from six to eight months. The idea behind this is that the baby will still get the main nutrients from breast milk, and the solid food will only be secondary. But my mommy friend shared that she thought it’s not enough, and her baby tends to want more. I agree with her on this because when my kids turned six months onwards, I was feeding them three times a day already, with a bowl full of baby food (depending on their appetite, i.e., teething or not feeling well), and still feeding them with breast milk after that. And they turned out to be great. With my eldest Uno and my second child Alpha, I breast-fed them till they were one year old. With my third child, my VBAC baby Super, I’m still breast-feeding him until now, every after he eats his meals. He eats really well, and yet his appetite for breast milk didn’t wane. In fact, I feel he is more insatiable now than before.
Just to share some of my ideas on baby food, I learned from my research that it’s best to eat uncooked food because cooking/heat kills the enzymes. We got into the habit of eating raw food when I gave birth to Uno eight years ago. In fact, his first baby food is ampalaya juice. Of course, I had to make sure I got organic vegetables for him. Though organic produce is more expensive, especially in Manila, where we lived for two years, I made it a priority in my budgeting because we want to give our son the best food (pesticide free). So why ampalaya, you might ask? Because I learned that babies don’t have “judgment” on what is sweet or bitter since their taste buds are still “naive” (as compared to being an expert). I had to refrain from making a weird face when I fed him, even though I can clearly smell the bitterness of the ampalaya. But good thing he just continued to open his mouth and finished the small bowl. From that day on until now, he loves eating ampalaya and different kinds of vegetable. Compared to my daughter who is picky with her veggies, Uno loves green salads and even our native pechay and kangkong.
With Uno, I gave him a no-cook diet (except for his oatmeal or boiled kamote during breakfast) until he was two years old. Personally, I refrained from buying commercial baby food as these have preservatives and other ingredients I’m not familiar with. My sister, who used to work in a company that sells bottled baby food, gave me a supply, but I just gave them all away because I didn’t want to feed it to my baby.
Usually, I just used cardava (as base) and carrots and other blanched leaves. Contrary from what others think that uncooked cardava can cause constipation, my son had a regular bowel movement. I also remember feeding him banana, papaya, and most especially avocado (as a source of good fats, vitamin E and B-complex vitamins among others). Whenever avocado is in season, I usually incorporated it in his diet. My kids love this so much.
And though we don’t eat an all-raw-food diet presently, I picked up some of the values in this. I see to it that I let my kids eat fruits every day especially during breakfast, and I see to it that I make fresh carrot-pineapple-cucumber juice every week. This really helps in detoxifying the body, and it really works great wonders with my daughter Alpha, who sometimes has bouts of constipation even with our high-fiber diet.
To make it less stressful in preparing my own baby food, what I usually do is plan our menu and saw to it that we have vegetable soups. If we have ginataang mongo with kalabasa and malunggay, that will be a perfect baby food. I just blend it with rice and add a little water. I usually make two batches—one for lunch, one for dinner. I just let my yaya put the container for dinner on top of the cooked rice before she feeds my baby for dinner.
So here are some ideas for baby food, and hopefully it can help you figure out what your baby needs or likes. I suggest sticking to the same kind of food for three days to one week before shifting. That way it can save you from hassle of thinking what to prepare next. You can also catch any allergies your baby might have. Of course, the idea here is that your family is also eating/enjoying the same kind of food because it’s one thing to feed the baby good and nutritious food, and it’s another thing to really practice and instill a healthy diet for the whole family. For me, my husband and I had to practice and believe in healthy eating before we were able to teach it to our kids. That way, we won’t have a hard time telling them to eat their vegetables because they see it in us. So, Mommies, happy eating . . . and feeding! Cheers to healthy and happy babies!
Rice (if possible, brown/organic rice)
Vegetable soup (preferably no salt/seasoning, not overcooked)
Water (if needed)
Vegetable I usually use:
Squash (utan bisaya or ginataan)
Malunggay (present in almost all of my recipe)
Sayote (tinolang manok)
Carrots (for corn soup)