Okay, so this isn’t really a Going Green post, but since it fits in with the idea of eating fresh, eating organic, I’ll add it to the series.
Have you heard of Baby Led Weaning? It’s a new, well actually, old idea on introducing solid foods to infants. Way before we had baby spoons and Cuisinarts, babies learned to eat ‘adult food’ by handling, sniffing, tasting, gumming and squishing whatever they were introduced to.
That means big chunks of food for babies to ‘palm’ (since most don’t yet have a pincher grasp by 6 months) and play with. Big chunks might include a strip of toast, a slice of peach or a large chunk of chicken. Any food cut long enough that they can both grasp it in their fist and gnaw on it.
Some of Liv’s favorites? Sliced peaches, pears and apples (sometimes raw, sometimes a little cooked or stewed), strips of roasted carrots, broccoli, sweet potato, squash (roast all of the above with a little salt, pepper & olive oil – let cool), diced plums, blueberries, apricots (small pieces to practice grasping), hunks of chicken, pork, beef, ribs (really!) and sliced bread (loves it toasted), cornbread, avocado and eggs.
At this point she’s still 100% breastfed, so the quantity she takes in is up to her.
BLW means skipping pureed and mashed foods for ‘table foods’, or basically whatever the family is eating for dinner. We decided to experiment with the concept (no extra work pureeing everything? the opportunity for Liv to pick and choose her foods – and hopefully grow to love our dinners – herself? sounds great) and introduced Liv to roasted carrots and Italian broccoli (you know, the long kind that looks a bit like an asparagus) at about 6 months. She’s checking out sliced plouts (plum + apricot = yum) and cornbread above.
I still cut up food that is of choking size (such as these little blueberries which she devours) so she can feed herself.
No, she’s not really pointing . Liv’s been practicing her hand eye coordination to get that pincher grasp (thumb and forefinger) down – all while playing with her food.
The one downfall? It’s so messy!!
As you can imagine, if baby gets to control where the food goes, it goes everywhere. Thankfully our yellow lab, Bodie, is quick to catch most of the chunks that go tumbling off of her tray!
You have to get used to the idea that about 2/3 of the food that you first introduce will be wasted and in piles on the floor. Slowly that number drops and slowly babies begin to consume more of the food itself.
I think Liv might even love the clean up part just as much as the eating part.
We love it. BLW means I get to put a few choices of food in front of her and she gets to feed herself. I can eat lunch, make dinner or otherwise work with her right next to me. If you’re interested in learning more, Google ‘Baby Led Weaning’, there are a ton of great blogs and resources out there – including this book.
It’s a great option but we’re not strictly BLW and we also don’t discount purees for when they’re best, such as when we’re traveling (once Liv knows we’re eating she insists on being involved, so there’s no just waiting for a later time in the day to feed her). While out at restaurants we feed her right off of our plate but offer bite sized pieces of beef tenderloin or potatoes so that she doesn’t need to grasp everything (because let’s face it, sometimes a crazy mess of food in every direction just won’t fly).
What we do love is that she gets to participate in our meals! And she totally digs it.
Posted in Family & Friends, Going Green | 13 Comments »
We’ve been working on Going Green over here through our remodeling, household purchases and especially in the way we cook and eat. One of the best ways to do that is through our local Farmers Market! Gotta love wholesome, locally grown, farm-to-table food (especially now that Liv joins us at the dinner table! More on that soon).
While we are registered with a local CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) group and pick up a box chock full of delicious goodies once every other week, sometimes we like to supplement with the local Farmers Market, and since San Diego supports over 50 local Farmers Markets - there’s a plethora to choose from.
But… can buying local be as cost-efficient as buying from the grocery store? I headed out to our Sunday morning Hillcrest Farmers Market to check it out.
My mission: Spend $25 for a weeks worth of organic fruits and veggies.
My finds: 1 canteloupe, 1 acorn squash, 3 large bell peppers, 2 bunches baby carrots, 1 head of garlic, 1 bag each (about 8 total) of tomatoes, peaches & apricots, and for good measure – two $2.50 bouquets of flowers, 1 container fresh mozzarella cheese and one loaf of locally baked bread.
The results: My locavore basket beat out the local supermarket by about 50% (I’m sure with coupons and specials you could get awfully close though) and when I added up the finds it was roughly Farmers Market: $25, Supermarket: $38. Score one for the home team.
Best tips: I prefer to hit up the Farmers Market about an hour before closing. The selection is usually just as great but the vendors are eager to part with their wares (to not truck anything home) and offer great sales. Bartering is always to be expected around this time, too! Pick out a range of ‘ripeness’, such as melons a week or so out, peaches that are still hard and squash that will last for a while in your fridge. You don’t want to be stuck with an entire basket that’s bound to ripen up (or is already ripe) too soon.
So delicious! I usually roast my squash and carrots to draw out the natural sugars (450 deg tossed in olive oil, salt and pepper) – also great for any root veggie, BBQ stone fruits (such as my peaches and nectarines – add a bit of honey and yogurt) and saute the bell peppers with fingerling potatoes. If we do have veggies and fruit that we won’t eat quickly enough, into the juicer they go.
By eating locally, we’re supporting our ranchers and farmers, keep our hard earned dollars in the local economy, eating fresher produce (no shipping and shelf life here), reducing energy consumption (transportation and storage) while protecting our environment, and getting the opportunity to cook in season with ingredients that might not often be found in the store (yay for the funny looking vegetable you’ve never tried before! or, chocolate mint, anyone?). Plus, most of the locally produced food grown by family farmers is organic and chemical free.
Posted in Family & Friends, Going Green | 6 Comments »
We’ve been working on painting the office over here and we went for the bold… but it’s not quite finished yet. Thank you for all of your comments and suggestions!
Here’s a little peak though at this year’s Mother’s Day presents for Liv’s Grandmas. I know it’s a couple of months past Mother’s Day but photobooks are the new photo-chronicling method here in the Spenla household and it’s the greatest. I’m working on huge, over-sized hardbound coffee table books for each year (how neat will that be with just a giant ’2009′, ’2010′, etc on the front of each) and made smaller versions highlighting Liv (pregnancy through 3 months or so) as a special present.
Here it is displayed at my mom’s house.
Mixbook makes it really easy to assemble a photobook quickly. As an avid Photoshop user, I’m skeptical of the photo editing capabilities of any photobook program, but I’m pleased to say that I happily edited nearly all of the photos for this book right at Mixbook.com. Furthermore, Mixbook allows you to pull photos from your computer or Facebook – so genius. No double downloading necessary.
They offer a range of templates and designs but you can probably predict that I went with all black and a blank slate. I prefer designing my own layouts and it’s rare to find a photobook program that allows you to do that. You have complete control if you want it.
For this book I went with a simple, classy layout – solid black background, one giant 8×8 photo rimmed in white per page, just a bit of text thrown in for context.
After reviewing the program and ordering a book to check out, I’m a huge fan and I will definitely be using the site again. Especially after nabbing one of their awesome GroupOn deals! Use this promo code at Mixbook: PEPPERMX20 for an extra 20% off.
I’m the worst at falling behind on photos and scrapbooking, so I’ve found that it’s easiest to start one of my year-long photobook projects in January and finish pages once a month as that month goes by. Soon I’ll be ordering my giant book for 2010 and it will be a great way to share memories with all of our visitors – and something special for Kev and I to flip through as the years go by. Yeah for helpful organizing solutions!
How do you store and organize your photos?
Posted in Family & Friends, Product Review | 5 Comments »