Life with Twins

Archive for June 26, 2011

Baby Food

NOW: I mentioned in a previous post about veggies steaming on the stove.  I wanted to share a little about what we feed the kids.  I really buy in to the motto that Gerber has going right now: Start Healthy, Stay Healthy.  I am not the most healthiest person in the world.  I don’t eat enough fruits and vegetables, I eat too many snacks.  I’m trying to be better.  I want my kids to be better.  So far, it’s working out pretty well.  For them, anyway.  A lot of moms I know or have seen on blogs or message boards feed their kids what they eat.  It’s simpler.  And if you’re a healthy-eating mom, it works out well.

According to statistics, kids are not getting anywhere near enough fruits and vegetables.  Like 80% of kids under 2.  I think you’ve got to get ’em when they’re young!  They don’t know any better.  And they have to eat what you give them!  Of the kids that do get vegetables daily – the number 1 veggie consumed?  French Fries.  Vegetables already not that high in vitamins, dunked in oil and made crispy.  Now, I happen to absolutely love french fries.  So do the twins.  There’s nothing wrong with french fries.  Unless it’s the child’s main/only vegetable. 

 It’s true what they say too; you have to keep trying.  When the twins were really little, just trying out solid foods, we tried many different things.  Mushrooms were one thing that did not go over too well.  We kept making them, like every other week, and we kept offering them (along with other veggies we knew they already liked).  We tried them a lot and still no takers.  However, when they got a little older, around a year and a half, I had mushroom pizza.  They wanted to try it.  Lo and behold!  They liked the mushrooms and will usually eat them now.  Or pancakes.  For the longest time they would not eat pancakes.  Or Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwiches.  Or grilled cheese sandwiches.  But I kept making these things week after week.  I tried putting them into different shapes – like strips instead of little bites, or triangles instead of rectangles.  It took a lot of patience.  Now, they will usually eat these things also.  Especially pancakes.  Especially with just a tiny bit of “dip! dip!” (maple syrup).  And if they didn’t eat the main dish I was offering, they still had their vegetables and fruit to eat.  I threw out a lot, or saved it for another day, another try.  But it’s worth it (so far). 

At my house, I still make the kids “baby food”.  We never bought jarred baby food.  Not that there’s anything wrong with it, but making our own insured that we knew what went into it, what portions we wanted, and saved us a TON of money.   We would steam the vegetables once a week and them puree them to the consistency we wanted, either using the food processor or the stick blender. (That one is just an example of what I’m talking about.)  This is basically what we still do today.  But without the puree-ing.  Once a week, I take 4-6 different kinds of vegetables, chop them up (if necessary), and steam them.

(Organic) Sweet Potatoes


Frozen Peas

I put them into plastic containers to cool before covering and putting in the refrigerator.  Then, for lunch and dinner I portion out 2 different vegetables, microwave them, and serve them to the kids.  They eat 4 servings of vegetables this way.  Sometimes more, because they will often ask for more veggies.  Then, whatever vegetable Tim and I have for dinner that night, they get some also.  (Ariel is a HUGE fan of asparagus).  They will also get a side salad if we have one; lettuce and tomatoes with a little bit of salad dressing.  Even when we go to restaurants or someone else’s house, I usually bring their veggies just in case they won’t like/eat whatever there is available.

Baby Carrots and Frozen Corn - steamed and in containers

For lunch, they also get a meat – and again, I only make this once a week and then refrigerate it.  I try to rotate between Organic Chicken thighs, Grass-fed ground Lamb, and Turkey. 
For dinner, their “main dish” is whatever Tim and I are eating.  Or, if it’s something that we don’t have enough of because we bought it already portioned, or if it’s something the twins don’t like, they get something else.  But we always make them try whatever we’re having.  There’s an Elmo’s World episode that helps with this – Elmo says you always have to try everything twice to see if you like it!  Some alternative dinners are waffles, blueberry waffles, strawberry waffles, pancakes, or pasta.  
Dessert is fruit.  Now, again, I don’t abide by this myself usually, so my kids are healthier than I.  But they need it more than me.  In the winter I bought frozen fruit and defrosted a few different kinds once a week.  For now, I buy fresh and just pull out and wash what they want.  They usually ask for blueberries (they say it “babies”, so we joke with them about being cannibals).  They also really like pineapple, strawberries, banana, cherries, watermelon, kiwi; anything really.  The one thing they won’t eat is raspberries and blackberries.  I think it’s the texture more than the taste.  They get “treats” sometimes too.  They love freezie pops, popsicles.  I found these really yummy fruit popsicles.  Del Monte Fruit Chillers Freeze and Eat – they’re not in the freezer section though, they’re in with the canned fruit/veggies and you freeze them yourself.  We love them and so do the twins.  And they contain real fruit!  Cherry, grape or strawberry.  Perfect on a hot summer day.  This is now.
THEN:  On February 19, 2009 I went for a bloodtest.  I hadn’t gotten my period yet (yay?), but I hadn’t taken an at-home pregnancy test either.  Tim was getting pretty good at keeping track of my monthly cycle by now.  I was going to just go for the blood test without telling him.  Negatively, because if I wasn’t pregnant again I wanted to deal by myself for a while.  Positively, because if I was pregnant I thought I could surprise him.  He knew, however, when I was supposed to go.  We both went.  We took the day off again.  It was nerve-wracking waiting for the phone call from the nurse.  We got breakfast sandwiches from Tim Hortons and brought them home.  We waited.  We watched some TV.  We waited.  We did some light housework.  We waited.  We ate lunch.  We waited.  We watched more TV.  We waited.  We did some mild step aerobics on the Wii Fit (I was still taking it easy so my enlarged follicles didn’t burst or twist).  The phone rang.  I ran upstairs to answer it by myself.  I knew who it was (thank goodness for/curse; caller ID).  I was shaking.  I barely made it up the stairs. 
I’m shaking even now, typing this and remembering.
I was pregnant.  The bloodtest was positive.  A lot positive.  Like high numbers.  No chance of not being pregnant (I asked several times).  Congratulations!  Come back in for bloodwork in two days to recheck the levels.  For real?  For real. 
I took a deep breath and grabbed Tim’s You’re-Going-To-Be-A-Daddy gift.  I already had it in a gift bag (I KNEW IT I KNEW IT I KNEW IT). 
I ran back downstairs still shaking.  He knew.  Before I even said anything, of course he knew.  He hugged me and we both cried.  I never saw him cry before and I never have since.  We hugged and hugged and cried and cried.  I was supposed to go out to dinner with friends in a few hours, but we needed to go shopping first.
We went and found each of our parents a “grandparent” frame.  We made a Build-A-Frog for my sister, and a Build-A-Monkey for his.  They were each holding a toy bottle and rattle.  We went to his parents’ house and had his mom open the gift.  They were so (obviously) excited.  She didn’t ‘get’ it right away.  His sister came home.  We gave her the monkey.  She screamed.  Tim’s mom ran upstairs to get ME a gift.  A Valentine’s Day bib.  The psychic had said by Valentine’s Day.  Only a little late.
We went on to my parents’ house.  My mom and dad were crying.  My sister was at work so we went there next.  She was excited. 
None of our family had really known what we had gone through.  We didn’t want criticism.  We didn’t want them to worry.  We didn’t want questions or comments.  They knew we were trying.  They knew we were going to a doctor.  They knew I was on some sort of medication.  They weren’t sure what they thought about that.  So, it was better not to give them too many details.  Besides, who really wants to talk about your sex life with your parents?  That was then.