I Tri and Craft

thoughts from a mother of boys, a marathoner, a triathlete, a crafter, a wife, and a scientist


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Look! It’s her Teet!!!

I would like to warn you this post is about breastfeeding.

I understand not everyone has the same views on breastfeeding and breastfeeding in public.  This post is about something I recently experienced.  These are my opinions, and I hope that you respect them, even if you don’t agree, as I respect yours.

At the end of November 2012 our zoo welcomed a new member to the elephant family.  This is the second child of two of our elephants, this one a girl named Lilly.  Elephants will nurse exclusively for the first three months.  After a year the young elephant has the ability to feed itself independently but will still nurse till around three years of age.  It is thought that suckling after two years helps maintain growth rate and body condition.

Mama and Baby Lilly in March 2013

Mama and Baby Lilly in March 2013

Since Lilly is still less then nine months she is still nursing fairly regular.

The other week the boys and I were visiting the zoo and were inside the elephant exhibit.  We have a building where we can go inside to observe them, usually eating and this is where we went.

Both mom, Rose-Tu, and Lilly, were inside eating when we were there.  Lilly draws a pretty big crowd, as she is still little and really cute.

Mama and Baby Lilly July 2013

Mama and Baby Lilly July 2013

Also watching the elephants were two women who had at least four children between them, one was still an infant less then three months old.  The others were a girl around the age of 10 and two kids about 3 and 5.  I don’t know their story, or if there was other kids with them.  These are just the ones I saw them interacting with.  I do know that the older woman was mother to the three older kids, at least, by the way she was addressing them and the things she said.

This woman, the older one, talked in a very loud patronizing voice.  The kind of voice that she thinks she is educating and helping, but really just comes off as condescending.

I couldn’t help but notice these things and think about them while trying to watch the elephants because she was just so loud and made her self known to everyone.

Now, the reason I bring this up is because while sitting there watching the Ian and the elephants this woman exclaims “Look, [someone’s name]! It’s her TEET!  The baby elephant is feeding!  OH MY GOD!  Isn’t it the most beautiful thing?  Come look!”  She was practically yelling it, and the room echos.

It made me feel embarrassed.  And she wasn’t even talking to me, or about me.

My baby is still breastfeeding and is under a year old.  I have always thought it very important that babies get breast milk till at least a year old.  By the time they no longer need milk as a meal, and their bodies can digest cow’s milk, it is the time to ween them off mother’s milk.

The World Health Organization recommends exclusive breastfeeding until six months of age, and then to breastfeed with the addition of foods until at least two years of age.  The main reason for this recommendation is due to the antibodies that are passed from mother to child through breast milk, and to maintain adequate nutrition.

My personal belief, remember this is my opinion, is that it is not necessary after a year.  My children get adequate nutrition from their diet and we don’t live in an area with out appropriate medical care.  So I have made the decision to completely ween my children off breast milk after twelve months.

That doesn’t mean that on their first birthday I cut them off.  It is a gradual process, with Ian it took a two months.  But shortly after that we also eliminated bottles, so there was no need for it.

I think everyone who can, should breastfeed their babies.  Again my opinion, but I don’t judge those who have decided it is not for them, or who simply can’t.  You have to do what you think is best and what works for your family.

I think breastfeeding is great, and wonderful, and yes also beautiful.  But I also think it is something personal between a mother and her baby.

This is why I had such an issue with this woman and her drawing attention to the nursing elephant.  I wouldn’t want someone to walk by me while I was feeding my baby and shout and point at us.

I agree, that it was wonderful and amazing that the baby elephant was nursing, but I could help but feel that I was invading their privacy.  That we were all intruding on something so personal.

OK, yes I understand that elephants don’t understand English, and these ones are used to people standing on the other side of the glass watching them, but that doesn’t mean we have to be evasive of their personal lives.  Does it?

Ian and the Elephants

Ian and the Elephants

I am pretty sure the elephants didn’t notice or minded.  But I couldn’t help but think that if I had tried to breastfeed Sid while sitting there, she would have made a big deal of it, or at least drawn attention to the fact.  I know crazy thoughts, but what else do expect from me.

We just ended World Breastfeeding Week (Aug 1-7) and it got me thinking about all these issues.

It is hard enough for us mothers to breastfeed that others shouldn’t also make it social awkward for us.  Especially if we are nursing in public and accidentally have a some boob showing!

Happy Breastfeeding!

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Homemade Baby Food ~ Berry Yogurt Smoothie Pouch

My toddler loves those baby food pouches that are all the rage now.

The food pouches started coming out when he was about a year and a half.  I thought they were fantastic!

They were easy for him to eat himself and they wouldn’t break in my bag.

Since then they have come out with a slew of food combinations.  Ones that are just fruits or veggies and fruit/veggie combinations.  They also have ones with yogurt and ones with grains.

But have you ever bought any of them?  They are about $1.50 each.  I usually try to get them only on sale, but they are still over a dollar each.

I had thought about ways to make my own reusable bags.  But alas, before I could make a design someone else did.  Well, now really multiple companies have ones.

As I talk about in this post, I purchased a system to fill up pouches with my own cooking.

This time I decided to make a yogurt smoothie.

I had a bunch of berries and a big carton of yogurt.

 

 

Homemade Berry Yogurt Smoothie Pouch

I cooked about 2 pints of berries with some sugar to draw out and concentrate the flavor.

Yogurt_01_11July2013

Then I blended whole milk yogurt, the drained berries, dry milk powder, & baby oatmeal cereal.  I use the baby oatmeal cereal because it is designed to be used with a liquid, without additional cooking.  Plus it is a fine powder, so it will add nutrients and thicken the smoothie without any grit.

Yogurt_02_11July2013

The berries can water down the yogurt so I would also recommend adding some dried milk powder.

Yogurt_03_11July2013

I made about seven 4oz pouches, filled a couple of jars then froze the rest.

Yogurt_04_11July2013

Of course Ian was excited, because he still loves to eat food out of the pouches.

Yogurt11July2013

He said “mmm…dat was delicious”

If the pouches won’t be consumed before the yogurt’s expiration date, then it should be frozen.

You can freeze the yogurt as drops for snacks, in ice-cube trays or in baby food jars.

 

 

Homemade Berry Yogurt Smoothie Pouch

2 pints of berries

1 tbsp sugar

3 cups whole milk yogurt

1/2 cup baby oatmeal cereal (or other milled grain)

1/4-1/2 cup powdered milk (for thinking)

Heat berries over low heat with sugar for approximately 10 minutes or toss with sugar and let stand at room temperature for about an hour.

Drain the berries, reserving the juice.

Blend berries, yogurt and cereal or powdered grains.  If too thick add juice from berries, if too thin add powdered milk, until desired consistency is reached.

Here are some reusable food pouch resources (I have only used the Infantino product, so I know nothing about the others)

The Squeeze Station (this is what I have)

Keeper Squeeze Pouch

The Sili Squeeze 

Go Fresh Baby

U-Fill Snack Pack

Little Green Pouch

Yummi Pouch

Squooshi

Happy Squeezing

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I was not asked to write this post, nor was I compensated in any way for it and the opinions expressed are all my own.  I bought the products I have, and enjoy using them.


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Homemade Baby Food Plan

This upcoming weekend I plan on making some more baby food.

Not just plan veggies like green beans or sweet potatoes, but some things with more flavor.  I plan on freezing each of these recipes.  These recipes are suitable for babies over the age of 6 months.

Baby Food Blender

Sweet Potato and Carrots

1 medium sweet potato (orange-fleshed ones are a good source of vit. C and beta carotene) peeled and chopped

2-3 large carrots, peeled and chopped

Steam vegetables for about 20 minutes, until tender.  Try not to over cook.  Transfer to blender and puree, using water from steamer.  Breast milk or formula could be used instead of water to obtain desired constancy.

See-in-the-Dark Puree

(from Annabel Karmel)

1 small onion, sliced

2 Tblsp unsalted butter

1 pound carrots, peeled and chopped

1 1/2 cup vegetable or chicken stock

1/4 cup orange juice

Saute onion in butter until soft, add carrots for 3-4 minutes.  Add the stock and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for another 20 minutes, until carrots are soft.  Transfer to blender adding orange juice and puree.

Sweet potato with spinach and peas

1/2 Tblsp unsalted butter

1 large sweet potato, peeled and chopped

1/2 cup frozen peas

3/4 cup fresh baby spinach, washed and tough stems removed

1 cup water

Melt butter in sauce pan and sweet potato, cooking for a minute.  Add water and bring to a boil, cover and simmer for 7-8 minutes.  Add the peas and spinach, cooking for another 3 minutes.  Transfer vegetables to blender, puree until smooth, adding water from pan as needed.

Tomato, cauliflower and carrot with basil

(from Annabel Karmel)

2 medium carrots, peeled and sliced

1 cup chopped cauliflower florets

2 Tblsp unsalted butter

2 medium tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped (or a can of chopped tomatoes, drained & juices reserved)

2-3 fresh basil leaves

1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese

Put carrots in small saucepan, cover with boiling water and juices from tomatoes.  Cover and simmer for 10 minutes.  Add the cauliflower and cook for another 7-8 minutes, adding more water as needed.

Meanwhile, saute tomatoes in butter until mushy.  Remove from heat and stir in basil and cheese until melted.

Puree carrots and cauliflower with tomato sauce adding cooking liquid as needed.

Vegetable puree with tomato and cheese

(also from Annabel Karmel)

3 medium carrots, peeled and chopped

1 cup chopped cauliflower florets

1/3 cup sliced zucchini

1 Tblsp Unsalted butter

2 medium tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped

1/2  cup cheddar cheese, grated

Put the carrots into a steamer and cook for 10 minutes.  Add cauliflower and zucchini and steam for another 7-8 minutes.

Meanwhile, saute tomatoes in butter for about 2 minutes, until mushy.  Remove from heat and stir in cheese, until melted.

Transfer all ingredients to blender and puree until smooth.  If too thick add water from steamed vegetables or breast milk/formula.

Avocado and Banana

Some other recipes from Annabel Karmel that I plan to make:

(You might need to create a free account to see the recipes)

Eat Your Greens

Peach, Apple & Strawberry

Butternut Squash & Pear

This is a lot of baby food!

There is no way Baby Sid can consume all this food before it goes bad.  To avoid all this work going to waste, I plan on freezing most of it.

I will fill ice-cube trays with the puree and freeze.  After which I can place frozen cubes in a labeled bag or container.  Depending on the size of the ice-cube tray, each cube is about 1/2 a serving of food.

Place cubes for the day in the fridge to defrost, or to defrost quickly in the microwave or warm water.  Just be sure to mix completely so there are no hot spots.  If frozen puree are a little runny after defrosting just add some of your baby’s powdered cereal to thicken.

Happy Baby Food Making

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