Jan 18, 2010

Baby food: My nine-month-old's menu

The baby had corn today. No, not the grated type. After having raised two babies before him, this Filipino mom still doesn't own a grater.

But as we were eating corn-on-the-cob, the baby kept reaching for it, and I realized it was soft enough to be masticated with just one's gums, so I picked a kernel off my cob and gave it to him.

He seemed to enjoy it, so I picked a few more, and gave those to him as well. Several times. All right, he finished half my cob.

If my father-in-law had been there, he would have yelled at me -- in his sweet, laughing way. He would not have been surprised, though. He has seen me feed my kids "strange" things before.

And since my kids have both survived their mother's feeding habits, I now dare to post my list of things that I know a nine-month-old baby can eat when he or she gets tired of Cerelac:

1. Corn kernels. But grate them. Please. The baby did not choke only because I am a very lucky mom.

2. Rice and soup. As far as I've seen, any kind of soup or sauce will do. So far, I've tried that of Filipino dishes such as pakbet (vegetable stew), nilagang baka (beef stew), tinola (chicken stew), afritada (chicken with tomato sauce), and adobo (pork steak).

3. Mashed anything. Carrots, potatoes, camote (sweet potato), banana, hard-boiled eggs, apples, pears, and squash. Yes, they all went in and out of the baby without a hitch.

Incidentally, make sure that the egg is hard-boiled, not soft-boiled. The heat used for soft-boiled egg is not enough to kill any salmonella bacteria that might be lurking inside the egg!

4. Shredded vegetables. Because this Filipino mom don't own a grater, I've had to use a spoon and fork to finely shred vegetables such as steamed lettuce, cauliflower, kangkong, talbos ng kamote, and saluyot before feeding them to the baby. I'm very eager to introduce vegetables to my kids early because I don't want them to grow up not eating them, like their mom.

5. Breakfast cereal. These are great finger food for the baby -- they literally melt in his mouth. So far, with EJ, I've tried Honey Stars and Koko Crunch, and to keep the mess level down, I keep the cereal in the bowl but the milk in the bottle.

Now before I end this post, one important word of caution ... wait, let me highlight that:

CAUTION: As with anything that can fit inside your baby's mouth, these foods may cause choking!
Therefore, every parent should know how to do the Heimlich maneuver* for infants. If you don't, go to your local Red Cross and have them teach you! If you can't do that today, here's a video that will guide you on the basics.

But remember: It's always best to have a professional teach you face-to-face how to do a procedure that could mean life or death for your baby. Take the time to learn how to do the "Heimlich maneuver" right. I did.

*I call it the Heimlich maneuver because it is the most familiar term, but the Heimlich maneuver is no longer officially used by the Red Cross and many other medical training companies.[Source]

Why? Details on the next post.


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