Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Feeding time

So far, in my 10 months of baby rearing, the hardest part, for me, has been the feeding.

While I was pregnant, I didn't give much real thought to feeding my baby every day. I planned to breastfeed and knew it wasn't going to be a complete breeze so I went to my pre-natal classes to learn all the tricks of the trade and felt prepared and comfortable with what lay ahead.

Until late into another sleep-disturbed night, about a week before baby was born, when it dawned on me that this feeding lark was quite an undertaking, a huge responsibility. With a gnawing fear growing in my belly, I realised that it wasn't a case of just feeding a few times in the hospital, it would be every two hours or so, EVERY DAY....FOREVER. That I was responsible for feeding this child until she left home, as an adult. Yikes.

Now, you may think I'm being crazy and naive, but I can't be the only parent to feel this way. Being pregnant, for me, was lovely, but the reality of having a real-life, bouncing baby in there did not become apparent until we stared eye-to-eye in hospital last July.

Well, unsurprisingly, the breastfeeding was hard; it was painful and tiring and incredibly time-consuming. Just when all I wanted to do was look after myself and my very sore body, I had to put that to one side to feed a hungry little girl every couple of hours. In the first few weeks, I began to resent this bodily-takeover and I used to dread the feeds (those few hours inbetween used to go way too fast).

However, after a month or so, without even realising, we began to get into the swing of things, my confidence grew, the pain went away and we were both happy with the situation. I came so close to quitting and swapping to bottles on several occasions, but looking back, I'm so very glad I stuck at it as it's been the most incredible experience.

One of our first successful feeds!
So, after 6 months of just milk, it was time for some solids, I guess. As with the milk feeds, solids started off on a rocky road and it took her a few weeks to get the hang of this new taste sensation (mmm, rice cereal, yummmmmm?!!), but with persistence, we overcame the hurdles.

First 'solid' food
Well, we have been successfully feeding solid food for 4 months now and Imogen has three meals a day with meals looking something like this:

Breakfast: Porridge oats with milk and some pureed fruit (apples, pears, peaches, strawberries, blueberries etc)

Lunch: Sandwich with various fillings - cheese, cheese spread, avocado (a real fave), egg, tuna, marmite (another fave) followed by fruit or a yoghurt

Mid-afternoon: Snacks or carrot sticks and hummus

Dinner: Chicken or beef casserole, fish pie, tomato pasta sauce, macaroni cheese and vegetables.

Milk twice a day

Now I know this all sounds really nutritious and yes, I am very proud of the effort and time I put into her meals; it's turned into a labour of love. James is always complaining that she eats a hundred times better than him and it's probably true. But I feel there is so much crap food out there that she will probably spend her life eating, so I feel it's the least I can do to have her eating perfectly while I can still control it.

 a MUST have freezer tray
I spend days sometimes cooking, mixing and freezing foods and the freezer is full of delicious meals but now, I feel like I've hit an inspirational brick wall. I like to make meals that I can freeze in batches as it's so cheap and lasts for weeks and most of the recipes I have used come from Annabel Karmel (baby feeding GENIUS). 
My saviour, Annabel

Current freezer situation
However, after a while, I think there's only so much damn chicken casserole I can cook before I start to lose my mind and when I look for recipes online, I'm always disappointed.

So here is my point, oh wise people out there: I would love to be refreshed with some delicious and easy baby dinner recipes to save me from fish pie boredom! Please let me know of any good books or websites that you all use...Thank you.

1 comment:

  1. visiting from the Pledge Hop. Feeding can definitely be the most challenging part of raising kids. I have been pretty lucky; mine aren't too fussy.
    All my 3 babies loved a mixture of sweet potato, mango and chicken. I would just put it all in my little blender, and then freeze in trays like you have. This was my "go to" meal...if they were fussy, tired, plain ole cranky...they always ate it. Another one they loved was pork (I used pork tenderloin because it shreds nice and is tender), applesauce, and carrots.


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