August is six months old today. I can't believe that he is half a year old already. Some days I have a hard time believing that I'm either old enough or mature enough to be a mom in the first place. I look around at my "mom" peers and think, wow, I'm actually one of them. But they seem so put together, like they actually know what they are doing. I'm still following the "fake-it-till-I-make-it" plan; feeling very proud on days when the little ones are smiling, nap well, we are able to be on time (at least once) and I can shower and brush my hair.
Now that he's old enough to do so, it is time to explore solid foods. It has been three years since I first dove into making baby food. And now I am pureeing all over again. This time a bit wiser and probably a bit more easy going. I learned a lot when Charlie and I started exploring the world of solid food. With all the day to day need to do's and even want to do's I have a lot going on, but making Auggie's (and Charlie's) food is super high on my list--way higher than brushing my hair (that is why someone invented hair rubber bands, right? I am even thinking about looking into the dry shampoo thing; lazy, maybe, efficient, absolutely.) Some may think that making food for a baby is hard or time consuming, but with the right tools, it isn't that hard. And I have found that making my own food for the little ones helps speed up the transition between super pureed and chunky/textured and then finger food. And with a three and a half year old, I am all about having them eat similar if not the same things as soon as possible.
Since Charlie was my trial baby, there were probably equal number of hits and misses when it came to my homemade food; and Auggie is definitely benefiting from what Charlie and I learned. I did splurge and bought him new ice cube food trays, a new food mill, and bibs. I bought a ton of bibs, this boy drools, a lot, and is an always-puts-his-hands-in-his-mouth kind of guy, which makes for messy meals. He receives a lot of hand me downs, so new food products are the least I can do.
My little guy is growing, growing, and growing fast. His rarely satisfied tummy proves it. While some recommend not introducing solids, at all, until 6 months, August couldn’t wait. He has been excitedly gobbling up apple sauce, avocado, peas, sweet potato, banana and even a little rice cereal (not my favorite option as it seems really boring, but what are you going to do?) since he was about 4 months and 3 weeks old.
This past week I ventured into red lentils; Charlie loved red lentils. I would make and freeze batch after batch after batch for her. Mixing them with avocado, assorted veggies, quinoa, and even yogurt. We’ll see what Auggie thinks after the second or third taste. His first exposure was not love, but not hate. At this point he loves anything with avocado, but sweet potato seems to be his absolute favorite.
Charlie loved sweet potato puree as well, and now loves them cut into wedges and roasted. I ask, "How about sweet potato fries with dinner?" Then I usually follow up the question with a little tune/chant and dance I made up: sweet potato, sweet potato, sweet potato fries.
At first I chose to roast and then puree a whole sweet potato for August, while also making fries for Charlie. Once I new that Auggie was OK with and loved sweet potato, I've started making the same for both. Obviously Aug cannot eat a fry like Charlie and she isn't interested in pureed food, but if I smoosh-up a wedge, he can eat all he wants. I have found that this recipe, while really easy and simple, is a crowd pleaser, even with the adults.
Sweet Potato Fries
Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees
Cut a washed sweet potato up into equal sized wedges (as narrow or wide, as long or short as you like)
Spread the wedges on a foil lined baking sheet.
Drizzle with olive oil.
Evenly grind/sprinkle salt and pepper on wedges along with a few pinches of Herb de Provence.
Bake for 10-15 min.
Flip wedges over and continue roasting until they are fork tender.
Feel free to bake them longer or shorter depending on how crunchy you like them. The time will also need to be different if the wedges are thicker or thinner. Currently, I am cutting the wedges pretty thick, which guarantees that there is a large quantity of soft insides for August.
I should also note that roasting a sweet potato for pureeing is very easy.
Wash a sweet potato, using a fork, poke a few holes in the skin and place on a foil lined baking sheet.
Roast until the yam is fork tender, remove from oven and let cool.
It is almost impossible to overcook the sweet potato. I completely forgot about one in the oven once and it turned out great. I think it was in there over an hour, the skin was almost completely burned, but the inside was close to perfect.
Spoon out the soft insides into a bowl and mix with a fork until smooth.
If a smoother consistency is desired, feel free to whizz it up in a food processor.