Thursday, September 16, 2010

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Testing Zucchini

Cati tried zucchini. I love that she's eating all these veggies because I feel like less of a fat a** when I go to the grocery store. No one questions your selection of donuts, Lucky Charms, Oreos, and Cuban pastries when you've got zucchini in your cart. Cati seemed to like zucchini when she first tried it but it seemed to be hit or miss the next few times I tried giving it to her. Here are the lessons I have learned when it comes to introducing solids thus far:

*Eat with your baby. Cati is more enthusiastic about eating when I sit down and have my breakfast and lunch with her. I think it helps her understand that it's mealtime and that eating is something fun we all do.
*One thing can ruin it all.  I wouldn't say Cati is a picky eater, but she is temperamental when it comes to eating. If she doesn't like one thing about her meal, she won't eat anything else. During the second day of zucchini I tried giving her pear again and that ruined the entire meal. The minute the pear touched her taste buds she gagged and refused to eat anything else.
*Follow the baby's cues. This one is straightforward. The baby will let you know if he or she is hungry. There's not point in trying to get the baby to eat when he or she doesn't want to. Trust me, if you try you will end up with food everywhere and one upset baby.
*Don't be afraid of liquid. Load the purées up with liquids. Don't worry if it's too liquidy now because you can always add a little bit of cereal later on to thicken up the purée. I made the mistake of not adding enough breast milk to Cati's carrots once because I thought she could handle a thicker consistency but she didn't like the consistency. After I added more milk to thin the carrots out, she ate like a champ. This ties in to following the baby's cues and making sure you give him or her food in a consistency they like and are willing to eat.
*Don't be afraid to mix things up. When I first introduced Cati to veggies I gave her one veggie at a time. Now when I introduce a veggie I mix it in with another veggie she likes. That way, she's at least getting something I already know she likes so even if she isn't crazy about the new veggie, maybe the one she already likes will provide enough incentive for her to finish eating all her veggies. This worked wonders with apples because I mixed it in with her sweet potatoes.
*Roasting.  Throw some veggies/fruits in the oven whenever you are using the oven. Roasting veggies/fruits has been a lot of fun but if the veggies/fruits aren't tender enough the purée isn't going to be as smooth. As it is, I feel like I get a much smoother purée consistency when I boil Cati's food instead of roasting it.

Zucchini Purée
Makes 1 cup

3 small zucchini, sliced
Breast milk or formula (optional)

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.

Place zucchini slices on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil. Bake for about 20-30 minutes, or until tender. Remove from oven and let cool. Place in food processor and purée until smooth. If purée is too thick, add fluid until zucchini reach the best consistency for eating.

Storage: Good for 3 days in the fridge in an airtight container or up to 3 months in the freezer.

Note: I put about 1-2 oz of breast milk in the zucchini to thin it out, but it was still a little thick. I think I should have added more so that it would have been more enjoyable to eat.

The players. 
Zucchini Puree
The puree.
Zucchini Puree
The baby.

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