Are you looking for a funny and useful mom blog?

Good, you came to the right place!Hi, my name is Chantal Sarkisian and I am a new mom who had a sweet baby boy named Victor in Feb 2013. Join me on this blog to follow my new mommy journey while I am on my maternity leave. I'll ramble quickly about all the random thoughts that go through my head when I am feeding in the middle of the night, or trying to put my son to sleep. I'll also blog about my favourite things, give you helpful tools, and explore activities to do (mostly in the Ottawa region) with kids and maybe some product reviews too! Thanks for reading!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Off Road Cooking for Little Teeth

In the Beginning

So, I realize it's been a long time since my last post, but between taking care of my little man, going back to work, trying to have an awesome summer and keeping up with the house... needless to say I have been busy!

My little man officially has his two bottom teeth at 6 months and is now eating three square meals a day and has a huge appetite! Finally, I can cook for him :)

So, here is a bit of backgrounder information. Little man, a.k.a V, never latched when he was born, which made breastfeeding difficult/impossible. I used a shield which messed up my supply and kept up my puny flow pumping every 3 hours ( or when I found the time). I saw 3 lactation consultants, talked to every mom I knew, visited the lactation clinics, read books, watched youtube videos... I did MY best. Until this day, I feel like I have to explain my entire story because I feel judged that I had to formula fee my baby, while supplementing him with my breast milk for the first 2 months of his life. Yes, I could have pumped for longer, and bless the women that do... I just couldn't do it, while keeping my sanity. In the end, V is a thriving and healthy baby boy who as it turns out LOVES eating solid food. He was a natural right from the beginning.

Since he was born, I couldn't wait to feed solid food to my baby. Not only do I love cooking, but I wanted to give V a second chance at nutrition and do this the right way!

Off Road Cooking- A Bumpy Start

So, as much as I was anticipating cooking for V, I was so nervous as a new mom, what with all the rules and guidelines for feeding babies. No peanuts, no egg whites, no dairy.... I started adding rice cereal to his milk at about 4 months. At 4.5 months, I gave him his first bite of rice cereal and he ate it up like a champ! No spitting it out with the tongue. Just a straight swallow! I gave him rice cereal and banana for the first bit, once a day. He was young and I wasn't sure what I was doing. I wanted to make sure he was still drinking all the milk that he should be. I also gave him prunes which helped with digestion and #2 :)

Finally 5 months came around and I felt better giving him a larger variety of food. At first I was against store bought food. There is NO way I am giving him processed food! He is formula fed, the least I can do is make him delicious nutritious gourmet food! Right? Wrong! I bought some baby food and out of convenience started giving him the store bought cooked veggies and meat.

I unpacked my baby bullet and was amazed with all the accessories that came with it!
STOP! What on earth am I doing here? I just said that I wanted to give the very best and give him a second chance at eating healthy! The veggies in the garden are blooming and this is the promise I made to myself! This is the moment where I went to the basement and dusted off the "Baby Bullet" that I got as a gift and thought I would never use. I also started reading a baby cook book that I received as a gift, which really helped to inspire my culinary fire!

Baby V's Gourmet Pallet

Turns out, V hates store bought food. I think it's way too bland and lacks flavour. So it was time for me to roll up my foodie sleeves and make the baby food I have been dying to make!

Apples, peach and plum with cinnamon
I of course started with fruits and veggies, even though meat is recommended. The way I see it is that Formula contains so much iron, my son is not deprived of it. If I were strictly breastfeeding, then I would have introduced meat right away.

I started with plain food like avocado, steamed/boiled sweet potatoes, carrots, peas and chicken. I know you are supposed to wait a few days to check for allergic reactions before giving new food items...but I didn't. V just loved eating and wasn't showing any bad signs, that I quickly found myself making mini purees that consisted of a mixture of grains, veggies and meat. I also loved making fruit compote with a medley of seasonal fruits!

A little info about flavour- As it turns out, I have been using lots of different things to flavour the food that I make; onion, celery, sage, basil, parsley, cinnamon and a tiny bit of salt for meats. I truly think this is what makes the difference in the food. When I taste the food, I find myself loving it, and no wonder V does too! I also noticed that he loves meat in his food... he is definitely my son ;)

Find your Routine

V now eats 3 meals a day which consists of Oatmeal with fruit for breakfast, 2 snacks for lunch (yogurt and avocado or small dinner with fruit) and dinner always consists of a hearty meal that contains meat, veggies and a grain/starch.

Some Foodspiration for You

Here are a few of my hits with Victor. Please be inspired to create your own concoctions :)
I think we were so lucky with timing because the veggies in the garden are coming out and the Ontario produce are ready!
Don't forget to explore with starches, legumes and grains like Yucca, parsnip, sweet potato, quinoa, cracked wheat, barley, lentils, chickpeas and beens.

Fruit Compote
Banana and blueberry
Apple, peaches, plum and cinnamon
Mango, peach and plum
Blackberries, banana and peaches

Bulkan style yogurt (6% fat)... V's Fave!
Humous... V's Fave!

Ground turkey, onion, mushroom, potato, sage (HUGE hit!)
Beef, cracked wheat, tomato, parsley, kale
Quinoa, zucchini, tomato, onion, kale
Barley, Kale, Tomato, Pork Tenderloin, Parsley and Lentils
(smelled amazing!)

Lentils and green peas with boiled chicken and celery
(V wasn't a huge fan of the dry consistancy here)

Have fun in the kitchen and do share your recipes!

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