Cooking for baby

I was really excited when my in-laws gave us a Babycook and a baby cookbook. I could not wait until Emma was big enough for solids, I was going to bust this bad boy out and cook up the best baby food ever! Months later Emma is finally ready for cereal. I am so freaking excited it's a little scary. I read about the different kinds of cereals and opt for an organic baby cereal easily found at our local grocery store (we live in a small town lacking in shopping options). After about 2 cans of this cereal at about 5 bucks a pop and one donated box of cereal from a coworker whose baby is a few months older than ours, I finally remember that I have the baby cookbook. I flip through it mostly to study up on what I can feed Emma and when. I stumble across a recipe for baby cereal. I don't know why I didn't think you could make your own baby cereal, I blame baby brain (turns out "pregnant brain" is permanent).

Side note: Part of our parenting strategy is to do as much as we can as cheaply as possible. We spend so much money on our super awesome daycare that we have to make up the difference somewhere. So when we can we cheap out. I'm not talking buying-formula-off-craigslist cheap but cloth diapers, make your own baby food and breastfeed as long as possible cheap. To outsiders we may look like the crunchiest granola parents ever, but really, we're just cheap. PhD student may sound glamorous, but the paycheck sure isn't.

Back to making baby food-I learned that you can make your own cereal. Simple enough concept but again never even crossed my mind. It is so much cheaper and more fulfilling to make Emma's cereal myself. I know exactly what is in it and I can play with the texture more by grinding the grain for more or less time. I just visit our local health food store where I can buy grains in bulk (oatmeal, brown rice, millet, barley etc.) and with the help of my new BFF the coffee grinder I become "Tracy- cereal maker extraordinaire" at least that's what my title should be.

I now prepare all of Emma's food myself. Yes it takes time to do it but honestly, it's fun to do it and I get a sense of pride knowing that I made what my baby is eating. No expensive jars of food from the super market or  unpronounceable ingredients, just what I pick up at the farmer's market or the grocery store or once a month from the Whole Food's that is an hour away from our dinky little town.

I will rant later about the "recipes" found in baby cookbooks.


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