Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The joys of pureeing

I LOVE that Harlie is eating by mouth each day. In a "typical" day, she gets four oral feedings, which I think is great. She had another stellar day today, eating a total of 18.75 ounces!!! She set the bar pretty high with that 20 ounce day a few days ago. I have to try to remember not to push her too hard. It's just not realistic to think that she can do that - or better - each day.

But, as much as I love the progress, I HATE pureeing food. I really hate it. It's a royal pain in the butt. It is very time consuming. Especially since I am in the early stages of learning. 

Some foods need to be strained after pureeing (like berries). Some foods have to be cooked first (and I HATE cooking) and then cooled, and then pureed.  Geez, I'm tired just talking about it!

It is taking a lot of trial and error to figure out how much liquid to add to achieve the right consistency. I know that probably sounds ridiculous. I'm sure you're thinking, "how hard could that be?"  Well, I'm glad you asked.  Here's what I mean...

Put the stuff in the blender.
Put the top on the blender.
Turn the blender on.
The blender doesn't move all the food.
Turn off the blender.
Open the top, stick a wooden spoon in to move it around.
Add more liquid.
Put the top on.
Turn the blender on.
Repeat this process about 10 times.  No kidding. 

I don't mind pureeing peaches or pears. They are pretty easy. You don't have to stick a wooden stick into the blender for those.  But, I'm not allowed to limit her diet to peaches and pears.  Bummer.

Mistakes I've made:

Bought the very large can of yams.
Opened the can, poured the juice into a separate container (it is easier to add liquid than it is to remove it)
Poured the entire can (did I mention it was the very large size?) into the blender at once.
Repeated the process detailed above until I added all the juice after all, and then a whole lot more. Mental note to self, starches need a bunch of liquid or it just turns into concrete.
Yams were overflowing the blender, so I had to pour some into a separate container so I could mix half at a time.

Do you have any idea what kind of mess this makes?  The day I pureed the yams, I also pureed some other foods, too.  My kitchen was unrecognizable!    

Another mistake I made was trying to puree a bag of frozen fruit.  I don't know if I've mentioned it, but I'm not much of a planner.  So, when it came down to feeding time, I looked in the freezer, realized I didn't have any peaches or pears - but saw the bag of mixed fruit.  Great, I thought.  Um, yeah, not so great.  Mental note to self, let frozen fruit thaw before attempting to puree.  

We added fruit juice and water until it FINALLY moved with ease in the blender. And by the time I sat down to feed her, I was holding a bowl of JUICE, not pureed fruit.  So, I threw it away and started over.  Never gettin' those 30 minutes back...

Messes do not discriminate and are not limited to the actual pureeing.  Here's a mess I made heating up some frozen pureed peas.  

Tom was cooking our dinner while I was trying to prepare Harlie's dinner.  And I dropped the bowl of peas as I was trying to put it back in the microwave for a few more seconds of heating.  

I was so proud of myself tonight.  Allison wants me to add at least one new food per week.  Since we have feeding therapy tomorrow morning, I pulled out the bag of frozen mangoes (new) and let them thaw while we were all eating dinner. They pureed beautifully.  Ahhhh....

I think I might be catching on.  But I still hate it.  



B-Mama said...

Oh, you're bringing me back to my make-my-own-babyfood days. That lasted through child #1 and then I jumped ship. Harlie is a lucky gal to have such a persistent mama!! :) They have a really awesome machine now that does all the cooking, steaming, pureeing, etc. in one--its the Beaba Babycook and I've heard great things about it. A little on the pricey side, but perhaps you could find one on eBay! Good luck!!

Susan said...

I would imagine pureeing different foods with every meal would be a huge pain. I'm so that she's eating all those different foods. It's amazing really.

ANewKindOfPerfect said...

We have a Bebea Baby Cook, and it is AWESOME for making purees! Granted, we feed all of ours through a g-tube but still. :)

Donna said...

I so feel your pain Christy! I love that Alex is eating by mouth, but I HATE, HATE, HATE pureeing every night!!! We should have a pureeing party and just cook for a few hours and then freeze everything so that we have stock!

Michelle Van Meter said...

Kristie -

I was laughing so hard reading your latest post. Why?? Because I know EXACTLY what you are talking about. The other thing that is a pain for me is that we do not have a big refrigerator/freezer and really no space for ice cube trays, so we spoon everything in extremely small quantities (Abby only eats 2 ounces per meal)in baby jars. What a pain.

Great savory and sweet additives to "fix" something too watery are saltines and cereal (Cheerios and other "flakes"), but yes, these have to be added slowly too, so as not too make it too thick. I agree with Donna - let's have a pureeing party!!!!

Ann said...

Love your "reaction" boxes :) and love that you always manage to find the humor.


Jennifer and Elizabeth said...

right there with you!! I totally understand everything you have mentioned. Been doing purees for asmost a year now and still dread it! I do up 7 types of food every 5 days as I was told in E's feeding program they are good for 5 days. This way i have a variety and I only have to measure out each food at each meal. It does take me almost 2 hours every 5 hours to do this though. I have made the huge messes as well.

Anonymous said...

Have you tried an emersion blender, or a "stick" blender? I cook everything on the stove, and then puree using the stick blender right in the pot. This saves the step of filling up a blender (one less dish to wash!).

Take a look at the book, "Gourmet Baby Food". It has many great ideas for simple purees and gives ideas on how you can incoporate them into cooking for your entire family.

Good luck!