Friday, May 30, 2008

Breastfeeding and Baby Food

Unlike when I had my first child, with my second, I have not used commercial baby foods. Mostly because living in Africa makes it difficult to acquire and very expensive. There are many ways to do it yourself at home with the foods you have available to you. One thing I have done before, which seems to be standard, is to use a "baby food grinder." These are very handy and I did use mine often with my son. I brought it to use for my daughter, but didn't use it as often as I thought I would.

One reason for less use is because with this baby I did extended nursing. That is, I nursed exclusively till she was about 9-10 months before introducing other foods. She is still nursing a few times a day and she just turned 2 a month ago. I intend to nurse her until after we move back (less than 3 months from now) for adjustment purposes. I might decide differently given other circumstances.

Moving to Ghana when my daughter was only 3 months old made us decide to do this helping to boost her immunity. She is the healthiest of all of us in this house. She rarely gets sick. Being in a hot climate and in Sub-Saharan Africa where malaria can be all too common, it was important to us to give her the best start possible. Breastfeeding is just plain convenient for me.

Of course, a very good option and something I have done, is to puree in a blender (or baby food grinder) and freeze (in ice cube trays) foods for your baby to eat as needed. You can find many resources for this easily on the internet and in your local library. Often I just used my fork to mash up her foods right in her bowl or plate. With cooked foods, I would just make sure it was cooled and added water if needed.

Being a breastfeeding "advocate" of sorts, I can't say enough how important breastfeeding has been for this simple and frugal household of ours. Being in Africa just affirms my notions about how some formula companies will stop at nothing to get all cultures to stop breastfeeding their precious babies.

A few days ago I took a couple of photos of my daughter's breakfast. Baby bananas, papaya, and avocado. Here is her plate.

Besides this, she wanted two more baby bananas and she nursed as well. Sounds like a great tropical breakfast doesn't it?

Another view...

I welcome your comments and questions.


LinesFromTheVine said...

What a great meal! My little one loves pumpkin (well, bananas are his favorite). One pumpkin can make a ton of baby food. It's such a great deal and so much healthier than commercially purchased baby food....I've never thought of papaya- I'll have to try that!


Sarah said...

That's great!! Breastfeeding is definitely the best...and also very frugal and convenient. I am breastfeeding my 1st now, and pregnant with my 2nd.

Sarah Halter said...

What a wonderful tropical breakfast! Aren't those bananas THE BEST!?!? I could seriously eat several bunches of them in one sitting.

It is very interesting (sickening, really) to watch formula companies give "free samples" to women for them to use just long enough that their milk supply starts to dry up and they end up having to switch over and buy formula. For many poor families, the formula gets watered down to stretch farther and in many developing countries, babies get sick from contaminated water used to mix formula.

Daniel and Teresa said...

We've enjoyed all the good fruits and veggies we can buy to make baby food. The only "commercial" food we give him is rice and barely cereal (ok, and cheerios as a treat). We live in the Dominican Republic and it's sad how many people here formula feed because it's a status symbol. They don't understand the benefits their babies are missing!