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Baby Food Menu – Infant Chow Line

Posted by Mission Commander on June 24, 2015 in Dad Field Manual |
Keeping meal time from being boring since 2015

Mission DTG: 23JUN15 1900HRS

Location: Kitchen District
Within recent months the Area Commander advised me on the need to change our plan for ration support to the little local from liquid supplementation to something more solid. Our first attempts at offering the temperamental little person a different form of ration was met initially with resistance, but over time he has begun to come around to the new concept. While I suspect this new form of ration support has somehow led to the recent increase in IEDs (improvised explosive diapers), I am told we must still press on and continue the mission. I’ve advised the Area Commander as to the risks and possible safeguards we should implement during this phase of the mission, but it seems despite all safeguards the local infant insurgent is still finding ways to make a mess of things.

Sometimes I get the feeling that my son feels much like I did when I was overseas and on my way to the chow hall at meal time. When we stick him in the high chair and get the baby food out he gives me that same look I had as I stood in line to sign in at the DFAC, that look that says “None of this is going to be appealing, but my stomach is growling and I need sustenance so I’ll choke down what I can for now”.

I’m not even going to get into the whole “breastfed vs. formula” debate (and don’t worry troop, we’ll get into ‘staying out of it’ when it comes to all of the dumb controversial crap about parenting later), but suffice to say there’s one major advantage to going the breastfed route (okay two, because boobs) and that’s the magic word: FREE. Well, I say it’s free, but that’s aside from what you shell out for the bottles, maybe a pump, and other stuff like bottle cleaning/sanitizing equipment and storage bags. But other than all of that, is doesn’t cost you anything, as opposed to constantly buying can after can of formula and baby water (seriously, there’s special baby water you have to use, I guess it comes from a magical spring frequented by unicorns and leprechauns). Then there’s all the specialty formula, like if your rugrat has spit up issues, or is milk sensitive, all of that fun stuff. Luckily for us when we had to switch to formula we’ve only needed the normal stuff. Still, that adds up to a pretty penny.

Which is why when you’re minion is old enough to start working on solids you will be ecstatic. This probably won’t be until 4-5 months at the earliest, but like a lot of other things there’s no set time. It’s not like suddenly one day you’ll wake up and your wife will issue you a FRAGO to start getting little containers of beginner baby food at the store.

But let’s backtrack to the bottle for a minute, because even when you start working on solids they’ll still be hittin’ the bottle most of the day anyways. Breastmilk/formula is like handing babies a bottle of Guinness: it’s got all the nutrients they need to fill them up, and once the tank is full they’ll get all milk drunk and drowsy.

See exhibit A:

milkdrunk

“Dad…they cut me off…can you cover my tab? I left my wallet in my other sleeper…”

This specimen is in the most ideal state: satiated and ASLEEP. Generally when this happens you’ll feel like you’re back in basic during an in-ranks inspection because you won’t want to make the slightest move for fear that you’ll wake them and shatter the momentary silence you’ve just discovered.

Eventually though, you’re going to need something more than just the bottle to get them back to this docile, non-hostile state of being. If nothing else than an attempt to maintain your sanity as they begin to suck down entire bottles and not quite reach that milk drunk state. This is where you’re going to turn to solid foods to start bridging that gap. The general consensus goes like this:

  • Are they sitting up with minimal support?
  • Have they gotten past that initial reflex where they automatically push stuff out of their mouth with their tongue?
  • Are they trying to pick stuff up with their little nubs you’d call fingers?
  • Are they reaching for your food when you eat?
  • Most importantly, even if they aren’t teething yet, are they trying to gnaw your fingers off like crazed little cannibals?

If you’re hitting on 3-4 of these then it’s probably not a bad idea to start giving solid foods a shot. Now you don’t have to be Jack FancyPants and start looking for designer baby food or be exclusive to ‘organic non-GMO gluten free’ or anything like that. Baby food at this stage is essentially just mushed up fruits and veggies. Anyone that says otherwise deserves a solid knife-hand followed by “Shut yer yapper JACK”

When faced with stupid parenting advice, remember your Knife Hand!

When faced with stupid parenting advice, remember your Knife Hand!

 

When you get to this point though, it’s all about trial and error. Most references will tell you it could take up to ten times before that picky little midget decides whether they like something or not so it’s all about persistence. You’re not going to sit them down in the high chair, strap on their drippings-catcher (aka Bib) and present them with a baby food menu with the day’s offerings. One thing I will caution you on is temperature, but this goes for breastmilk/formula too. Now don’t buy too much into the hype of making sure the bottle is nice and warm before giving it to them, babies aren’t THAT picky. Cool to lukewarm is pretty much the ideal sweet spot as far as temperature goes.

Remember the do's and don'ts of temperature testing there Hero

Remember the do’s and don’t s of temperature testing there Hero

 

So you’ve got the little cannibal strapped in, daily allotment of veggie mush at just the right temp, and you’re ready for action. All I can tell you at this point is good luck Jack. The fine art of spoon feeding in this first stage is like mastering Zen Archery. Bottom line if you can shoot for getting about 70% down their gullet with the remaining 30% at least on the bib/tray/anywhere but the floor then you’re doing pretty good. Odds are good though that at the end of chow you’re going to be looking at something like this:

"It's cool you can leave the rest where it's at, the dog will clean me up later"

“It’s cool you can leave the rest where it’s at, the dog will clean me up later”

 

Now move out and draw fire!

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8 Comments

  • Sarah says:

    The essence of baby food can be a nightmare in and of itself. I’ve always been gung-ho about making my own baby food, pureed and all in the freezer. But honestly, the stuff off the shelf is just better. I have a super picky toddler now and could barely get him to each much. He’s on table food now and I still have old stuff still sitting in the freezer I never feed him.

    • Mission Commander says:

      Lol I certainly feel your pain there Sarah! We started making our own baby food, had special trays like ice cub trays to freeze it into 1oz servings so we could just pop one or two in the microwave to defrost it and warm it up a bit, but that only lasted so long before he was totally over it. Now he’s working on solid foods and we still have two of the trays of baby food in the freezer!

  • Andrea says:

    HAHAHa I love the part about the baby water being frequented by unicorns and leprechauns, that is funny. I had no idea there was special water for preparing formula, I breastfed all of mine, as for starting solids, I fed my babies mushed up banana and mushed up avocado or yogurt, they were so easy to prepare.

    • Mission Commander says:

      lol thanks glad you liked it! I had no idea there was special water for formula either till we had to switch from breastfed around the time he was 3-4mo. We started with rice cereal at first but he was over it fast, so we used avocado too. Now we make our own food by steaming and blending other veggies then freezing it in 1oz servings 🙂

  • Debra says:

    As I was redaing your post I began to wonder if you had a military background. With that question inferred as a yes, I will just tell you how much I enjoyed your humor and commentary.

    I think some of the best home video can be gotten from watching babies try out new foods.

    Watch out though, they can enjoy the tastes as an infoant, but they sometimes don’t like the textures of whole foods as they grow.

    • Mission Commander says:

      Lol yes if it wasn’t obvious enough, I come from a military background which was what inspired me to put all things dad into a language my fellow veterans could easily understand and get a chuckle from

      You certainly aren’t kidding about the video of them eating new things. The very first time we tried solid foods we went with a mushed up bit of banana with some of his formula. Apparently it wasn’t mushy enough and he was NOT having it. It was hilarious.

      The textures thing is definitely true. Right now if the food we make for him is still a little lumpy at all he won’t like it, it’s gotta be at that perfect mush consistency XD

  • Sindi says:

    Ha! I loooove it! I’m so glad you started you own blog. It’s a fun way to document you daddy duties and you can show it to him when he’s older! Cute. Love your writing style. Keep it up!!

    • Thank you Sindi! I’m starting to get a better feel for how demanding it can be, but I love writing and figured it was only a matter of time before I gave it a shot myself 😉 As for when they get older, I’m sure by the time they’re in high school they’ll want to change their names so their friends don’t find this and see all the pictures of them when they were little lol

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