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Feel I'm failing 9mo with food please help

(28 Posts)
burntofferings Tue 01-Sep-09 17:37:20

Namechanged because I find this really embarrassing. Have OCD and find preparing food a real problem (used to be fine but lost confidence a while ago and trying to get it back).

Up until now have fed dd hideously expensive Plum Baby/Ellas etc but am now just feeling so guilty about it. I'm making sure that the stuff she is eating is very textured and has no gunk in it (and it does actually taste of what it's meant to be - not the very bland stuff you can get) but it's not home made just the same. And it's also a bit restricted.

I feel horrible that the only thing she has that doesn't come in a pot is her weetabix and banana in the morning but everytime i think of what foods to give her for lunch and tea my mind just closes down.

I'd be grateful for some tips for quick meals suitable for this age that can be mashed up for her. We don't cook for 'the family' because dh often gets in hours after dd goes to bed so we usually grab something later on. I'm hoping that gradually preparing more stuff for her will lead us to eat more fresh too. But baby steps first as it were.

This all sounds pathetic I know and a few years ago I would have been hmm at the whole notion of being so wussy about food but I'm trying to do something about it (and absolutely determined that I won't let it affect dd).

So all help gratefully received grin

Schrodinger Tue 01-Sep-09 17:46:11

what about some white fish with mashed potato (like a mini fish pie) you can add sweetcorn or other veg, and mix some cheese in with the mash. Mashes up nicely and has lots of good stuff in.

Anything with rice is pretty good too. cook some veg (I am lazy and microwave frozen veg) and mix into a tomato sauce. same goes with pasta.

Sorry, can't think of many at the moment - i'll come back later if I think of more.

It will get easier, I promise.

Scrambled eggs are good for lunches too, what about mini sandwiches - is she ready for that kind of thing, or not quite there yet?

burntofferings Tue 01-Sep-09 17:55:19

Not quite there with the sarnies yet schrodinger - she is still on the rice cake stage (she's quite a bit behind her peers in any kind of physical development but is getting there!)

Um - embarrassed to ask - how to make a tomato sauce?

Thought about scrambled eggs but then HV warned off - but also, confusingly said that all eggs in uk were salmonella free anyway (she's a woman of contradiction who always leaves me more confused then when I started).

Schrodinger Tue 01-Sep-09 19:25:35

oh sorry - I just meant a pasta type sauce. Either cook up some toms and reduce them, add some pureed or finely chopped carrot or something if you like, and tip over pasta/rice

(or you can just buy some passata )

ah yes, the egg thing. There was a question about this on here recently and I think it'd actually advised not to give eggs til a year, but anything with the Lion mark will have been vaccinated against salmonella, and if you scramble them you can properly cook them through as well.

Hopefully someone more knowledgeable will be along soon.

Don't worry about her being behind her peers either - DD has only really just got the hang of sandwiches at 20mo!

oh, another piece of advice - ask MN before asking HV wink

Rhian82 Tue 01-Sep-09 19:49:11

Jacket potato with pesto - that's been my lifesaver in moving away from jars etc. Just cook it in the microwave, cut it open and leave it to cool, then mash it up a bit and add pesto (assuming there are no problems with DC having things with nuts in).

Strips of pitta bread dipped in hummus are good too. And M&S do little packs of ready-chopped butternut squash which are microwavable, which I'm planning on trying with some tomato sauce and maybe pasta soon.

Schrodinger Tue 01-Sep-09 20:00:39

Rhian - that's a brilliant idea, you could mix all sorts of things with jacket spuds as well

DD had a microwave meal today blush it was M&S though :-D

makedoandmend Tue 01-Sep-09 20:09:12

Thanks for the suggestions. This is a stupid question I know but how much do/did you feed a 9mo. DD seems to have a big appetite but is tiny. For dinner, for instance, she had an avocado with half a banana (well it's a start!), a 100g pot of Plum Baby savoury plus Organix pureed fruit. Rhian82 would you give the whole potato for instance?

makedoandmend Tue 01-Sep-09 20:10:09

Haha - so much for the namechange! I knew I couldn't keep it up blushgrin

Schrodinger Tue 01-Sep-09 20:12:25


makedo - just give her a much as she wants

drinkyourmilk Tue 01-Sep-09 20:14:39

I've found baby/toddler cookbooks helpful when i'm stuck. If you didn't want to buy one/weren't sure if you'd use it you can usually borrow them from the library.

Also re cooking for adults after children have gone to bed - if you feel it was a suitable meal you can always hold some back in a tub for her lunch the next day?

Horton Tue 01-Sep-09 20:47:51

At nine months, she should be ready for finger foods to some extent so you can give her any kind of cooked vegetable that you are eating or have recently eaten in chunks as long as you don't add salt to the cooking water. Ditto soft fruit (I imagine you wouldn't feel confident about handing her an apple yet, although she might well be fine with it). If you don't often cook veg (sorry, not sure what form your OCD takes), you can get microwave packs of frozen veg that you can do in a few minutes - they have nothing added and one pack would probably do several days meals for a nine month old.

Pasta with pesto was v popular with my DD at this age. In fact, she'd have eaten arsenic if you'd put pesto on it first.

An easy and tasty tomato sauce:

chop one onion, half a carrot, one stick of celery (all as finely as you can be bothered) and fry them all gently in olive oil for about half an hour or until they are a bit soft. Add one clove of crushed garlic and fry for a few minutes and then either a small tin of tomatoes or two or three large fresh tomatoes chopped up. Add water (and a pinch of dried oregano or thyme if you want) and simmer for at least half an hour, stirring as often as you need to to stop it sticking to the bottom and then liquidise it in a food processor or with one of those stick blenders. You can add any vegetables you like to this, more or less, at the frying stage - courgettes or aubergines are nice.

Butternut squash or any other squash like pumpkin is full of vitamins and v easy to do. Just chop into chunks, remove seeds and cover with olive oil. Roast in the oven at about 180C for about an hour. You can peel the skin off really easily after it's cooked and then mash it or give chunks. It is very soft and sweet and easy to eat.

I think it is advised to give only the yolk of eggs before a year old if there is any risk of allergies. In the same vein, celery is apparently quite allergenic so you might want to leave it out of my tomato pasta sauce recipe!

Dal is v easy, nutritious and nice for babies - just boil some yellow or red lentils in a little water until really soft, then fry an onion in some oil and add whatever spices you think your DD can cope with (I suggest a pinch of cumin and a pinch of turmeric to start off) for about ten or twenty seconds to the hot onion and oil. Stir. Tip oil and onion and spices into the cooked lentils which should still be in their cooking water and liquidise the whole lot. Nice with rice. You could even add baby rice if your DD likes that kind of thing. Dal plus rice is a great source of protein.

If your daughter likes rice cakes, you can spread them with hoummous, butter, cream cheese, fruit puree, jars that she likes etc to get her more used to picking things up.

Polenta also v v good for babies - you can add frozen spinach in those weird nuggets, grated cheese and tomato puree and have a balanced meal in ten minutes (the quick cook polenta in packets only takes about five minutes to cook). If you let the remains of the polenta cool in a dish, you can slice it into fingers for next day's finger food. I got this idea off another mother on a different forum and it's been invaluable.

Sorry, that was the longest post ever!

Rhian82 Tue 01-Sep-09 21:01:02

I would serve up a whole potato, but he would never eat it all. He sometimes eats most of it though - I do specifically look for small potatoes. It's just easy to do the whole thing and then we can keep going for as long as he likes. I normally stop when he's had a decent amount but is obviously starting to get a bit tired/bored with it, then give him a yoghurt for dessert.

makedoandmend Tue 01-Sep-09 21:22:11

wow Horton thanks very much. Don't have a liquidiser so dal may be a problem but like the recipes. Also love the idea of spreading stuff on the rice cakes - always think they're just sooo dull!

Do you and Rhian82 make your own pesto or buy it?

Rhian82 Tue 01-Sep-09 21:33:00

I buy pesto - I'm so not a kitchen person so I always go for minimum effort! He seems to like green pesto the best, but so far everything's been well received, though one brand (can't remember which) was particularly oily and he was a bit sicky afterwards. All the supermarket-own have been fine though!

Schrodinger Tue 01-Sep-09 21:33:04

wow - yes, listen to Horton (p.s. can I steal your tomato sauce recipe?)

Horton Tue 01-Sep-09 21:35:43

I just buy pesto. You can buy the fresh stuff which is often tastier and freeze dollops in an ice cube tray if you think you won't eat it all before it goes off then put the frozen bits in a plastic bag. This is really handy for a quick meal. Adding a frozen lump of pesto to hot cooked pasta both melts the pesto and takes the pasta down to eating temp pretty fast. Those bags of tiny baby pasta or soup pasta are good for starting off and you can also add them to a jar as you get your DD used to lumpier stuff.

Stick blenders are pretty cheap. They have them in our local Sainsburys for about £20 and they are really useful for babies and for making soup etc for yourself if you want to try it. Soup great for making a home-cooked meal for yourself and DD at the same time - just add some baby pasta or baby rice to her portion to thicken it a bit and only add salt once yours is in the bowl. You can also give her bread or rice cakes to dip into vegetable soup.

If you cook things until really soft, you can also just mash them with a fork.

Horton Tue 01-Sep-09 21:41:15

Heh, steal away! I also put lentils or chickpeas in the tomato sauce recipe sometimes. It's really tasty and much more filling than without.

Horton Tue 01-Sep-09 21:47:07

And I meant to say, would risotto be too scary to try? It's a lovely way to get babies more used to textured food and very tasty - can be as plain or as fancy as you like, really. I used to do risotto with leeks and a bit of chicken for my DD and it was always gulped down eagerly. If there are leftovers, you can let it cool and roll it into balls and fry it the next day (although maybe not great for an OCD person as it gets your hands pretty messy). Is worth it, though. It goes lovely and crunchy on the outside.

blueduck Tue 01-Sep-09 21:57:51

I make big batches of veggie soupy stuff/tom sauce/white sauce and freeze to add to rice/pasta potatoes so at least you can do things quickly - my biggest lack of inspiration is that some things just take sooo long that it feels like you're just feeding all the time. I just freeze in small plastic freezer bags. Just do a bit at a time and then it becomes less of a drag.....

blueduck Tue 01-Sep-09 21:58:48

PS I also cook mac cheese and puree that in muffin tins and then defrost - it comes out quite textured....

Horton Tue 01-Sep-09 22:15:16

Cauli cheese or broccoli cheese also good. Served with a bit of pasta or toast or a rice cake, that's a great healthy balanced meal.

makedoandmend Tue 01-Sep-09 22:53:16

Lots of good ideas thanks ladies grin

horton messiness doesn't bother me - my angst tends to be around making sure I don't poison anyone so I spend a lot of time cleaning utensils, hands etc so everything can take aaaages. I've also lost all faith in my own judgement about reheating etc and what's safe. Plus I doubt whether I've done something (you know - did I add the sugar/salt etc etc).

It's an absolute pita which is why I'm trying to take it in hand again. Having said that I've never been a great cook and a bit to reliant on the 'whispers' microwave. But things have got to change for dd's sake.

Actually I was going to ask a stupid question (on a roll this evening!) - for a baby this age with stuff 'on toast' do I wait for the toast to go really soggy before giving it to her? She's very very gaggy and will choke on anything (including bloody ricecakes hmm)

Anyway - thanks again - and any more ideas gratefully recieved. Am sloping off to bed now as dd has hideous cold which gets worse at night and has meant four hours sleep for the last two nights for us both sad

Horton Tue 01-Sep-09 23:07:37

Ah, I see. Thanks for elaborating. I didn't mean to pry. Hope you don't mind saying. Would it help if I say what my reheating practices are as a non-OCD person? Or is that one of those things that just goes whoosh in one ear and out the other no matter how hard you try to hear it?! I have had some OCD issues myself at times so I know that sometimes it's hard to actually listen to things that make perfect sense to other people.

I don't think you need to let toast go soggy, although obviously you need to let it cool a little. A baby of this age is more than able to reject things she doesn't like or are too hard to cope with. Choking is actually kind of good. It means she is able to get stuff that is bothering her out of her mouth. They ALL gag on things at this age, even the ones who have been feeding themselves for months, like mine who wouldn't let me put a spoon in her mouth after about seven or eight months old. She might not be ready for all finger foods yet, particularly if she is used to pureed things but just keep offering them and she will pick it up in her own time. And try not to panic if she spits loads of stuff out or bites off too much to chew. They all do it, really, and they all learn in the end not to do it!

Also, rice cakes are crunchy and she manages those, right? So crunchy toast should be okay, too.

Horton Tue 01-Sep-09 23:08:44

Hope you get a bit more sleep tonight!

RoryGilmore Tue 01-Sep-09 23:21:39

makedo - have you tried the Karvol plug-in things? they're excellent.

also, don't worry - it all gets easier. very very soon x x x

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