Picture source: toptransport.com.eg
To keep myself from being a “depressed housewife”, I have decided to share my feeding experience on facebook – Healthy Food for My Baby, which I will update on my blog (the reason why I will post in facebook first before I blog it – is usually because little 17chipmunks doesn’t allow me to be on the desktop and I could just type on my phone – which is faster than to post on facebook).
It is a vast difference between sharing and not sharing. When I started sharing from the second month as a stay-at-home-mum, I really got motivated by mummies’ words of encouragement – so, I did it almost everyday. I am not sure if I am too addictive to it but it really make my life livelier and I made new friends that share the same goals. Though I am sharing, I would certainly admit that I AM NOT QUALIFIED to give advice.
Overtime, some mummies have started asking me for “advice”. Sorry, not to be rude, but I am also like you mummies – I am a first time mum and not gifted with mummy skills. In addition, no one guides me. Whatever I do is based on my maternal instinct cum research. So, there’s no right or wrong.
Seriously, there are people that think I am so free (though it is possible for me to manage many things at one time even with an active toddler):
“I think 17chipmunks need to mention/justify in advance coz some question/judgement because some of the mummies are new here and some mayb they weren’t follow/read your post b4. It’s here for sharing……”
And, some got offended when I answered, in their perception, sarcastically. Seriously, some people are pure “nosy” by asking “I am curious why you give your daughter xxx?”. But, do you really have to bother what I give my daughter? Or maybe you doubted my “intelligence”. More importantly, she is my daughter, not yours and do you think you should dictate what I do for my daughter?
At times, I have been questioned by parents on why do I not mete on punishment during mealtimes on my girl – for instances when she become picky or does not sit down. Here’s the answer to it: Punishment during mealtimes? Think twice…
It has been more than one and half a year I have been preparing food for my little one – from researching on food items to utensils to feeding tips. Most of the research is done online, seldom I bother people by calling or even messaging others – as I understand that every parent has their own family life. The most i do is post it in a public Facebook to ask – as mummies who are free can attend to it. If I can do this, I don’t find why many others can’t.
Just want to express that – if you have time to find out your own clothing brands, your foodie, dramas and outings (your own entertainment) and how to “deco” your baby via Google, can you please take more effort to do so for your baby’s food & stop calling “us” to ask stupid nonsense (this is specifically directed to that someone that has been causing disharmony – I hope you are reading this, if you care).
So, therefore, I would like to answer few questions here (which will be updated overtime if I have time and remember or get new questions):
Q1: Can I give my baby cold stuff like sorbet? (Or, I see that your baby is eating watermelon/ drinking coconut water almost everyday, isn’t that too cooling for her)
A: It is REALLY up to you. For me, I don’t believe in baby catching cold/ cough because of eating ice cream or sorbet. I also don’t believe that certain fruits can cause cold/cough. Moreover, despite my girl eats some “cold” stuff everyday, it is just a small portion of the overall portion she eats in a day.
Q2: Why do you marinate your meat with fruits like orange and grapes?
A: My policy of no salt/oyster sauce/ soy sauce calls me to help sweeten the meat by natural ingredients. Moreover, by doing so, it is said to help tenderise the meat. For orange, I will usually use the squeezed out fresh orange juice while for the grapes I just blend it (with both seeds and skin). There is no particular type of orange/grape that I use, as long as they are fresh and affordable.
Q3: I see your girl eating fruits after meal. This isn’t good for digestion.
A: My girl is a “fruit-arian” whereby she eats fruits “all day long”. So, I prefer her to take her proper heavy meal before taking fruits, which she requests on her usually.
Q4: What brand of mixed grains rice do you give and how do you cook it?
A: I mix the different types of grains myself (different brands) – so, no particular brand. The grains include brown rice, quinoa, millet, lentils, buckwheat and oat. I soaked them overnight (Note: the purpose is to lessen the amount of acid and ease the digestion of grains – especially for babies) and then cook them in rice cooker just like ordinary rice.Sometimes I do use overnight rice if there’s remainder. By the way, I only started giving my girl mixed grains rice after 13 months old when I turned a stay-at-home mum.
Q5: Isn’t it bad that you give your little one frozen puree/ leftovers?
A: I definitely agree that freshly made puree/ food is the best. But, frozen puree is better than any commercial baby food. As mummies we know what are the best for our babies given the time constraint and resources we have. Who doesn’t wish to give daily fresh cook food – when we have no maid to help up at home, when we need to rush home to pick up our baby (given that no one would be there to help look after our baby even if we are late for an hour), we don’t have enough resources to buy the best gadgets that can help prepare sufficient daily amount without wasting food, we do not have the privilege to do grocery shopping on a frequently basis? And, why should we throw away good to eat leftovers when we should teach our kids about conservation. We are just doing the best that we could. Though I am a SAHM now, I have undergone the stage that I mentioned above when my baby was between 6-12 months.
Q6: Which brand of honey do you use?
A: Currently, no particular brand. I will buy what I can buy on shelves and deem affordable to me (I have to take cost into consideration since I am a SAHM now). In addition, little 17chipmunks doesn’t consume honey in a large quantity basis – just we adult do. But, I heard that Manuka Honey is one of the best honey – which you may want to try.
Q7: I see your girl’s plate is usually filled with food. If she doesn’t finish it,what do you do with left overs ?Do you serve it to her at a later time or eat it yourself?
A: It depends on whether she squash the food or not – most likely, yes. So, usually I will just throw it. If she doesn’t and the food still look appetising, I will take it. I don’t keep the leftover on her plates (unless untouched) – because I think they could be bacteria from her saliva.
Note that: While the amount seems large, it is already a small amount to prepare it. So, I am not sure how little more can I go.
Q8: Do you still keep breastmilk stock in fridge for emergency?
I am a stay at home mum (SAHM) since my girl 13mo, donated some of my forzen breastmilk (fbm) collected during my employment days and saved some for my girl’s last milk bath at 16mo. I didn’t pump since 13 month – because as a SAHM, I don’t have time to do so, even if I have – I rather dedicate those time for my girl; and my girl just dl from then on. Moreover, my girl doesn’t accept bottle at home.
However, at times I do marmet hand expression when she is napping and I feel engorged. I keep it in the fridge and let her have it chilled and she enjoyed it. <Example>
Q9: How do you get your girl to self feed herself and how long does your girl take her meal? Does she finish all the food you prepare for her?
When it is time for meal, I will put all the dishes on the table. Then, I will tell her it is time to eat. Sometimes she ignores me but I didn’t bother about her – but start eating myself first. As she sees me eat, she will soon come to the dining area. I will usually put her on her high chair; occasionally she wants to sit on our dining table. To start her with self-feeding herself, I will feed her first while she self feed herself – that way I could get her started to eat. Sometimes she does reject the food. I will then leave the food on her table. She will eventually eat/play with the food especially if I ignore her. I actually don’t mind her playing with the food because she is in the stage of learning the different textures and taste of food. The time she finishes her meal depends on her mood. Usually, it is about 15 minutes – provided not much distraction.
No, she doesn’t always finish all the food that I prepared for her. In fact, she does play with her food when eventually she feel full or bored. Sometimes I just let her play with the food or distract her by giving her some fruits while I try to feed her the remaining. The actual amount that she eat each time varies, depending on her appetite.
At 23m13d –
She has been doing better each day in scooping from a spoon; though still messy (but surely less messy). I am glad that I have persevere and be patience with her. Nevertheless, I cannot guarantee myself that she will be doing this repeatedly each day without fuss. What works today might not work tomorrow; and vice versa. She still self feeds herself for not more than 10 minutes (usually completed about 70-80%) and then request to wash her hands. Thereafter, she will come look for me to feed her.
I found it a great idea to occasionally give her different types of spoon that make her feel excited about eating; then sit and focus on eating. You can try!
Q10: I see your girl enjoy hami melon very much. Do u always buy whole and can she finish them fast enough? What type of hami melon do u buy? I heard that hami melons are from China.
A: Yes, I buy the whole hami melon. The hami melons that I buy looks like these:
There’s no particular “brand” or “type” that I go for. I get whichever I can get and most importantly, fresh. If you were to ask me how do I pick my hami melon, I would usually ask the fruit seller to choose for me (I reliable fruit seller is important) or else, I would just make sure the surface is dry when I choose them. I will usually cut the pieces that my girl will eat (I would estimate the pieces). The other uncut one will be cling foiled and left in the fridge. My girl usually finishes one hami melon in a week. This same goes for her the other favourite – honeydew.
True, hami melons are from China, but they are also grown elsewhere, for example, the ones in the picture are from Cameron Highlands. But, I do not restrict myself from buying China grown/made products – I feel that’s alot of things that we can’t avoid from “China”.
Q11: I see that you always offer chicken wings to your girl. It is known that “chicken wings” are the worst parts of chicken.
A: Chicken wings are the parts that my girl is willing to take currently. I think it is much more important for me to train her eat any parts of the chicken than offering her the “best” chicken part now. Having said that, at age 19th month, she is willing to have other chicken parts, provided I “peel” the chicken flesh for her.
Q12: What brand of raisins do you give to your girl?
A: I have tried Country Farm Organics, Sun-maid and Ligo with my girl. I don’t follow particular brand, but basically I prefer buying the smaller boxes Sun-maid ones as it is easy to carry around and I don’t have to pour out specific amount for my little girl.
Q13: Can I put salt/soy sauce into my little one’s food?
A: It is up to you. But, generally, it is encouraged to do so after 3 years old. For me, I am adhering to this, hopefully until my girl reaches 3. The reason can be read <here>. Moreover, here is the guideline on salt and sugar intake for babies/toddlers. <Here> I don’t expect people to adhere to my “rule” but I wish people would respect my decision.
Q14: Do you buy all organic food for your little one?
A: No. I only buy selected organic food, probably certain grains. I am aware of the benefits of eating organics food, but I do not want our family financial to be burden by the stance of buying only organics good. I would certainly turn to organic goods if finances permit while now I focus on ensuring my girl is fed with clean and healthy food. Most importantly, she is eating what I cook on a daily basis.
Q15: Besides orange, lemon and grapes, any other fruits that is suitable for marinating meat?
A: I tried before papaya, honeydew, apple…Most of them because they going to spoil soon; some say kiwi is possible but I feel it is a bit costly to use kiwi. Other mummies also suggested pear and pineapple, which are not bad options!
Q16: I realise that you use yogurt and different types of flour in your bread/bun making? Are there reasons for it?
A: I read that yogurt could help improve the texture of the bread, which is true after trying to do so. Similarly, mixing different types of flour can also give better texture.
Q17: You mentioned that you don’t use soy sauce and oyster sauce; but some of your dishes look like they contain those sauces?
A: It certainly does not contain soy sauce and oyster sauce. After I sauteed meat, there is usually remaining brownish sauce from sauteeing – and there’s where I could make sauce that looks like soy sauce or oyster sauce by adding more vege/chicken stock. It is a very natural flavouring, I would say.
Q18: Why do you add cornflour to your meat marinade? Is it to soften the meat?
A: No, I read that by adding cornflour/corn starch, it can help seal the marinate to the meat.
Q19: How long do you keep the chicken/vegetable stock? And, how do you keep it?
A: I usually make extra stock so that I can save time and cost. I will usually put them in a normal container and store in the refrigerator to be used within 3 days. If I expect it to be kept longer, I will store it in the freezer (but seldom the case now since I am a stay-at-home-mum). In the freezer, I think it can last one to two months, but try to finish it as soon as possible.
Note: There’s a list of stocks/soup recipe <here>. I don’t record the types of soup/stock I make nowadays as I just mix and match whatever I have in fridge.
Q20: I realized you like to give your little one hami melon a lot. Is it really good? I thought plenty of sugar in it? Or something? haven’t researched. Also the berries, they said blue berries has a lot of pesticides, that’s why it’s always whitish on the skin. What do you think?
The following answer provided by mummy Melanie Lim Soo Yen (which I totally agree) –
A: Regarding sugar in fruits, it is alright because it is natural fructose, unlike white sugar that has been processed and stripped off its goodness. My take on this is feed your child whatever you are comfortable of.
Excerpt from the net for mummies quick viewing: http://healthyeating.sfgate.com/sugar-fruit-bad-you-3928…
Fruit contains a natural sugar called fructose. Unlike sucrose, or table sugar, fructose does not cause abrupt fluctuations in your blood sugar levels because your body digests it more slowly than sucrose, according to researchers of a study published in 2008 in the “American Journal of Clinical Nutrition,” who added that diabetics are often advised to use fructose as an energy source because it may aid glycemic control. Fruits that taste sweeter, such as cherries or peaches, generally have more natural sugar in them, while more tart fruits, including lemons or avocados, have less, but few fruits contain enough sugar to make them bad for you.
The whitish on blueberries skin is called bloom, not pesticides. It is the nature of blueberries to have bloom to protect the tiny & fragile fruit. [17chipmunks: Wash the blueberries with water & vinegar before serving]
Strongly suggest you google and read further to understand. Don;t just listen to other people who might provide the wrong information since we as mummies aim to provide healthy food to our children, the least we can do is research away. Cheers!
Q21: How do you keep your block/grated cheese?
I keep them in air tight container and put them in the highest level of the refrigerator (just below the freezer). This same goes for keeping instant yeast.
Q22: Can I give fruits yogurt to my little one who is having fever/ unwell?
I don’t know how you feel about this – but I give anything (healthy) that my girl is willing to take during her feverish/unwell days; and this includes yogurt + fruit; because she likes fruits naturally, and because of fruits, she tends to heal faster – so it is really up to your maternal instinct I guess – I am aware that some people are with the belief that fruits are “cold” and not good to give cold food to little one when they are sick.
Q23: Is it alright to offer tuna in can to our little ones?
I read about giving tuna fish from can. This could be an alternative to offering fresh tuna and the amount should be moderate (and not excessive). In addition, I read that it is better to choose the tuna in oil. You can google for more information.
Q24: How long do you keep your yogurt?
I usually keep it until before expiry. I just make sure I scoop out the amount I want using a clean and dry spoon. I also ensure that there is no mold growing on it and it does not taste bitter before offering to my little one. Note that yogurt is naturally sour.
Q25: See that you make spinach bread quite often. How do you make spinach puree and how long do you keep?
I steam the spinach (both stems and leaves) under high heat for 5 minutes. Then, remove them from the steamer to avoid it turning too cooked. After cooling down, I blend it and store in the fridge up to 3 days if I don’t finish using it.
Q26: Will overnight soup make little one’s tummy bloated?
I guess it is up to your own belief. Moreover, I alternate fresh and overnight (i.e. not everyday overnight soup). So far, no issue for my little one. Please also refer Q5 and Q19.
Q27: How did you teach your little one to self feed herself?
Q28: What were your little one first solid>
Q29. How did you teach your little one so good in handling the container while eating?
It wasn’t good initially when I started teaching her to do so when she was 13 month old (I had to teach her so as I turned a stay-at-home-mum and needed to ferry her around at times; and one way to control her at her seat is by giving her a container of food). I would say “practice makes perfect”. I started giving her a smaller amount in a bigger container and then moved to a smaller container with more amount. Also moving her from big stripes of fruits to smaller sized cheerios in the container. Yes, there was mess all around in the initial stage (and I got to bear with it) but slowly she improves – now, there could be still mess but probably one or two stripes of fruit left on the car seat. I don’t just practice this in the car. I do it at home when I give her snack while I do the house chores. I think she also taught herself that by turning side ways/ upside down – there will be no food for her since those food fall off. And she realises that by making a mess, I would be angry and if she did a mess with the food in the container, she will pick it up. It also helps that I let her explore herself and gave her coordination “games” at home like filling up bottles, bringing filled up bottles to another spot and picking up toys.
Q30. How does yogurt play a role in pancake?
I read that adding yogurt to pancakes batter make it more fluffy and a great way to work in some extra nutrition into the most important meal of the day. Also, sometimes I want to clear the expiring yogurt.
Q31. I see that your girl uses her hand to eat quite often. Why don’t you train your girl to use spoon to feed herself? Also, the spoon that she’s holding is “big. Have you tried letting her use a smaller spoon?
I always give her cutleries but she still prefers hand. I often advise or remind her to use spoon but I just let her be since she is enjoying it so much using her fingers to pick the food. Using hand/fingers can help her to explore the texture of the food; not a bad thing for the time being. My girl tells me which spoon she wants to use; I don’t really get to determine. And I figured out the bigger spoon allows her to scoop rice enough for her to eat – because if she uses the smaller spoon, by the time it reaches her mouth, no more grains on the small spoon. I have experiment alot of things with my girl. Thanks for the advice. I am doing what’s best for my daughter at this point of time.
Q32. May i know if you lay anything on the floor to minimize your cleaning? Or just bare floor?
I just bare the floor (my friend always advice me to put old newspaper though); at first I thought of putting a mat, but another extra work of washing and hanging dry it, I find it easier to sweep and mop the floor! We live in our own home, so I just do whichever way I find easier for me! One friend of mine has pet dogs, which will help her clean the floor mess! And another friend bought a vinyl mat quite big so she just let her daughter drop her food on the floor and when her daughter is done, she will bring it out and flip it out.
Q33. There are few types of cheerios in the market and I bought the white box one. Is it wrong?
The white box cheerios is Nestle brand. It is not “wrong”, but based on my own understanding and research, it has higher sugar content.
Q34. Do you put the TV on while your girl enjoy her meals?
I have no TV at home. At first I did put on the tab when she just started solid. Then I read somewhere that it is not good to do so. So, she is completed off the tab/tv when she turned 7 month old (up till now). I usually just talk and make funny faces; capture her faces and play background music that she likes when she is eating. And now she also makes choices like where she wants to sit – high chair or dining table; which cutleries she wants to use and sometimes she will demand for water/dessert first – as long as we “fulfill” these demands, she will sit and eat. When she is done – full – she will just get off! When she wants to get off, I take it as she has enough. And i don’t practice force feeding; except she has no mood to eat or has eaten too little, i will go feed her while she play with toys
Disclaimer: My girl is not one that can sit quietly on the chair
Q35: Seems like your girl drinks cold water during/after each meal. I heard that it is bad for digestion.
Q36: Why don’t you do this….or do that….so that your daughter will be more discipline, important to cultivate good habits, bla, bla, bla?
Every parent has their own parenting method and each child is different; just do what we perceive right.
Q43. Is dried beans in food jar (thermal flask) safe to consume? Some nuts like kidney bean can be toxic if not cook properly.You may want to read:http://www.beyondveg.com/tu-j-l/raw-cooked/raw-cooked-1g.shtmlhttp://vegetarian.lovetoknow.com/Are_Raw_Peanuts_Dangeroushttp://theboatgalley.com/dried-beans-in-a-thermos/ Q44. Just wanna ask when did u start giving molasses to your LO? Mine is turning 1 yr old soon. I have not been using sugar for her, but I want to relax her diet restrictions after she turns one But not sure if it’s too soon.
I only use molasses sugar in bread baking, which I started baking after she turned 13mo. I didn’t intentionally add molasses sugar in my daily cooking up till now.
Q45. Does your girl eat half boiled eggs?
Yes. I know alot people say cannot coz salmonella and bla bla bla….. But it is really up to mummy’s comfort.
Q46. Will she want your food?
When only my dad & mum come to our house, she didn’t want to eat but when they left she ate. So my parents pretty “seng muk” (intelligent in Cantonese) not to come during mealtimes and if they are here before her mealtimes, they will leave when my girl wants to eat.
Q49. How do you confront your bias in laws regarding feeding issues?
When my girl was 7mo, my mil dangle the yar char kwai & said ‘poor thing you cannot eat’. Then during her birthday this year, she was carrying sil daughter who was like 10mo during cake cutting ceremony, she own self tell everyone the 10mo ‘cannot eat because too young”. And I have to ‘accept’ this is fair treatment. Not just that, when they ‘compare’, they take weaknesses points to talk about my girl. For example, my girl didn’t have her first tooth until 9 months but sil daughter had it at 6 months. Come on, these milestone are not comparable plus babies should NOT be compared as everyone is unique.
Basically, I don’t stay with them and I try to minimise meeting them – to reduce further bias confrontation. We explain million times to them – and it gets repeated. But our determination pay off – in the sense when I take out my girl’s food jar, they just stop asking ‘can she join us for dinner?’
And I would say they are the biggest culprit when it comes to not only feeding solid, but also breastfeeding, homeschooling, visiting the Dr whenever sick…etc. And they easily ‘sway’ my hubby so I got to educate him so that he is firmed too. I have to persistently educate myself so that I can answer it off. It is great too that I have mummies with similar objectives that can help provide me feedback. So far, we have not ‘fallen’ into their different approach to ‘parenting’ – now that our girl is 25m14d, healthy & active.
Also, I believe that if they want our respect, please respect us and our little ones too!
Q50. Does your little one gets distracted at meal times?
From 2 year old onwards (especially), my girl is very easily distracted at this stage – so I try to keep mealtimes at home as much as possible. Plus, they (toddlers at this age) have very good memory now and great in their imaginary game – which distract them during mealtimes too. My girl not really picky now, but a very busy-minded one. She has to be constantly reminded that she is having her meals. She usually self feeds herself for first 10 minutes and then go off to her play area, but comes back to me for more spoon fed. Some may say that I am not instilling discipline or it has become a habit, but I still very much believe that ‘punishment’ should be avoided during mealtimes – not that I didn’t try to, but it does not work. So, why make the girl unhappy and stress myself – as long as she eats happily? that’s my method, I don’t really ask others to follow me but I need them to respect my method.