The Little Fulla started eating solids two months ago. It seems like everyone buys baby food these days but I was determined to make as much of his food as I could. And so I delved into the world of baby food making. The Wholesome Baby Food website has been very useful if anyone’s interested. The Little Fulla’s very first food was kumara. I peeled it, chopped it & steamed it. Once it was soft and cool enough I whizzed it with some water in the blender to get a smooth consistency. Then I scooped it into ice cube trays, froze them and transferred the cubes to plastic containers to store in the freezer. It’s pretty straightforward really. The Little Fulla loved his kumara and has been an eager little eater since.
I made more baby food: purées, porridge, mashes… It took time and planning but it felt good to be giving my child fresh, home-prepared food of which I knew exactly what all the ingredients were. I carried on and before I knew it I had a ‘baby food drawer’ in the freezer. I am quite proud to say that I haven’t bought any baby food so far. If I had, I would probably have more time for gardening and other things but, well, the things you do for the love of a child!
The freezer’s ‘baby food drawer’ is currently completely full of cubed, containerised baby food: rice, porridge, beef, chicken, kumara, pumpkin, zucchini, green beans, peas, carrot, avocado, apple, pear and plum.
I love my child so much that I even cooked and whizzed up peas for him. I hate peas. They are my mortal food enemy. Fresh, cooked, frozen, disguised; I hate them all! And I will go to great lengths to avoid the nasty, shrivelled green balls. If I am out at a restaurant or someone’s house and am faced with a dish containing peas, politeness takes a backseat. I try to be subtle and poker-faced, but it is an almost automated response to remove any and all peas from the meal before me. If The Husband is there it’s great; I can shovel peas onto his plate with the deftness of a cat. He doesn’t love peas but he eats them. So handy. If he’s not there it’s a little more awkward. I avoid as many peas as I can if I’m serving myself, but I usually end up creating a little pile of peas on my plate. If there’s garnish or anything else left on the plate I might use it to ‘hide’ them, but I don’t really feel guilty about my little pile because I just can’t eat them.
The alternative would be resorting to my childhood efforts. I was a master at hiding peas. Let’s take a moment to appreciate the broccoli hiding in the flower vase. Genius. But back to the peas. Often I would hide them in my hand then excuse myself to go to the toilet and throw them out the window. Flushing them was too risky, as there could be floaters. If excessive toilet breaks were too obvious I would hide them in my sock or pocket until I could dispose of them. When we got a dog it was most excellent as he would eat almost anything, including peas. He wouldn’t dispose of broccoli though. I tried to explain to The Parents that I hated peas. They didn’t think it would last. On the contrary, my abhorrence for peas has grown over time.
But despite all this, I will feed peas to my child if he likes them. They are nutritious after all. The funny thing is, peas are the first food he’s tried that he really doesn’t like. I wish I had taken a video of his faces. Perhaps I should be a little more disappointed, considering I went to the effort to make a container full of nutritious, hideous-smelling, frozen, pureed pea cubes, but I must confess I’m not-so-secretly delighted…