Friday, May 17, 2013

Making your own Baby Food: A little help from "Super Baby Food"

Ruth Yaron's book:Super Baby Food

“Food you eat can be either the safest & the most powerful form of medicine or the slowest form of poison”- Ann Wigmore.

And I absolutely embrace this belief! I’d started learning to cook from scratch only when I was well in my third trimester. One, I realised that eating healthy AND knowing how to cook healthy go hand in hand and two, I finally had the motivation, knowing that the health of my baby lay entirely in my hands. Our critical window to establish long term health is from the time you conceive till the time the child is 2 years old. It’s also the time you have maximum control over what he eats! You don’t offer coca cola= he doesn’t know how it tastes= he doesn’t demand for it when you are at the mall. We have to incorporate the entire spectrum of food groups to ensure proper “soil” to our “seed”.

To begin with, we have to keep in mind that the author Ruth Yaron, is neither a dietician nor a doctor neither does she have any relevant qualification to write about baby food. She is a mom of three, who did a massive amount of research to put together a guide for parents, in a market where there is clearly a dearth of. Though that didn't deter me from spending Rs 1145 ($20) for a paperback from Flipkart (cheaper from Amazon but they don't deliver here!), I ended up reading a mere 10% of its whopping 600 pages. The scope of the book is a lot more than just food, and perhaps some may think it's good fun to immerse in pages and pages of arts and craft ideas, and how to make homemade everything under the sun, the only time I gave the remaining 90% a super quick glance, was to write this post!

What I loved is how passionate she is about food & health. I also liked how she uses charts. I had a notepad pinned on the refrigerator, on which I scribbled what I fed my baby on a daily basis! One page per week: so I could ensure most foods are distributed through those 7 days. So I don’t end up feeding green beans 4 days in a row or chicken more than 3 times a week. I’ve forgone the notepad now, as now it’s become a habit.

time to shop for awesome fruits & veggies!

Some ideas I found interesting and put to use were: Introducing nuts & seeds as early as 9 months (others suggest waiting till at least a year, fearing allergies), freezing avocados (which enables adding a small slice in his breakfast everyday), how iceberg lettuce is a nutritional waste of time & we should rather eat the darker greens such as spinach, the difference between sprouts and seeds, understanding protein complementarity (Most non-meat sources are incomplete proteins and need to be eaten in combination with another item in a specific ratio to complete it, e.g. peanuts+ milk or legumes+rice), making sure baby eats some protein daily, nutritional analysis as per food groups, nutrients, fruits& vegetables, or even something as mundane as how to test whether eggs are too old.

The remaining 90% of the book (skipped for now, may interest me later in life) contains stuff like non-meat protein options, recipes (including dips, super milks, desserts, beverages & healthy snacks), childcare, kitchen& household cleaning tips, and preparing homemade everything: play dough, diaper cream, toys, gifts, cleaning products, Christmas d├ęcor, Halloween costumes, you name it!

Although I picked a few great ideas from this book, I may not wholeheartedly recommend it, not because she's not qualified. But because I found some information contradictory and controversial (I will never serve such amounts of tofu to my kid inspite of living in Indonesia! Hasn't she heard of hypothyroidism?). Because $20 is a bit much considering the actual usuable information in the book is just a small percentage (unless you really want to know how to make homemade party hats). Because recipes are specific to American cuisine (the only thing American we eat are steaks & pancakes!). And also because I will never take all that effort to cook something like breadsticks at home!

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