Friday, September 28, 2012

How to Make Baby Food in Five Easy Steps

In today's fast moving lifestyle, it's really hard to keep up with the pressures of everyday life and have to worry about making your own baby food. Most parents end up buying it at the store.

Making your own baby food is definitely not hard, in fact it's actually super easy. It may take a little extra effort but in the end you'll end up with a more fresh and nutritious food that your baby will be sure to enjoy.

The benefits will also make you wonder why everyone isn't making their own baby food:

    Know exactly what's going into your baby's body.
    Freshest food possible.
    Taste the real flavors of the food.
    Saves you money.

The ingredients are common everyday items that can be found in your grocery store such as apples, bananas, pears, carrots and sweet potatoes. Wait a minimum of 3 days before introducing new types of food in case your baby is allergic. This goes for any type of baby food, including ones purchased from the store.

Step 1: Peel

This step is pretty straight forward. Peel the skin off your fruits and vegetables. There are times however that you may be able to skip this step or decide that you'd like to skip this step. Obviously, no peeling is needed on things like bananas and green peas.

On certain items you can choose to leave the skin on. The skin is packed with nutrients and vitamins, but there are some things to note. If there are any pesticide residues, it will be found on the skin. Be sure to wash your ingredients thoroughly, even if it's organic and may not have pesticides. Also the skin may unset your baby's tummy so be mindful during and after you feed them.

Step 2: Chop

Chop up your ingredients into 1/2 inch squares. It doesn't have to be exact. Just make sure that they're small enough to cook through and blend well.

Step 3: Steam

Steaming is the best way to make baby food. It is fast and it retains most of the nutrients from the ingredients. You can also bake or boil your ingredients. If you decide to boil your ingredients, just be mindful that some nutrients may be transferred to the water. Steam the fruits and vegetables until soft and fork tender (usually about 10-15 minutes).

Step 4: Blend

Blend the ingredients into a fine puree. If your baby is just starting solids, add some breast milk or formula to get a thinner consistency. If you boiled your food, you can add some of the water.

Step 5: Store

You can store the food in ice cube trays but I usually like to put them in separate 2 ounce containers. Leave in the fridge for up to 3 days and in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Annual B.I.R.T.H. Fair

October is quickly approaching, and with it comes the annual B.I.R.T.H. Fair! If you are in the Houston area, the B.I.R.T.H. Fair is a must! Sage Beginnings and the Houston Doula Cooperative will be hosting a booth at the event and have a few giveaways, including some awesome books and the Ultimate Diaper Bag giveaway - filled with awesome items from amazing companies.

Join us for the 11th annual B.I.R.T.H. Fair! There will be a number of workshops, keynote speakers, film screenings, and other events! I will be one of the speakers, along with midwives, doulas, childbirth educators, authors, psychologists, MDs, and more. This is a great opportunity to learn about Houston birth and parenting options.

Get the latest information on vaccines, cloth diapering, birthing options, circumcision, breastfeeding, baby wearing, father's role at birth, VBACs, postpartum options, and more!

Every attendee will receive a goodie bag filled with resources, coupons, and samples. There will be an activity area for children and numerous opportunities for community with area professionals - over 50 in fact! This event is free and open to all ages.

For more information:

B.I.R.T.H. is a non-profit organization of parents, midwives, physicians, childbirth educators, doulas, professional labor support and lactation consultants . We are working to create the emergence of a Houston community which promotes healthy, natural and safe birth for mothers and babies by providing access to information and resources in person, in print and on-line. We encourage high standards and provide a support network for Houston’s birth community.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Perfect New Baby Gift for Those Stuck for Cash

It was 2008, and my sister Amanda had just been born. I remember this young enthusiast chap with a clip board in hand visiting every single bed. He was asking mums and mums-to- be for their music requests. We were thrilled to hear our names and the music from the Police coming through the loud speaker in the ward day room later that evening.

That was the last we heard of this particular station as it was only permitted to broadcast to three hospitals. It didn't even have a local FM transmitter, instead programmers were broadcast via the internal telephone system. But quietly these stations have been providing an important service to the patients.

They've cheered millions up, provided important hospital advice and played a diverse range of music requests. There are stories of patients actually being brought out of comas when hospital radio stations have broadcast familiar music. Today, patients are in hospital for a shorter amount of time.

Many hospital radio stations have realised this and now broadcast their shows on the internet. It means anybody, anywhere can choose requests. With many people now feeling the economic pinch, some are now turning to more modest means of giving more thoughtful gifts. Often it's the smallest of gestures that will be remembered. These new online radio services understand patients' needs.

Through the heritage they may well have built a huge collection of records. They are indeed ideally suited for passing on special messages as gifts to patients including mums and mums-to-be. There is now software which can record audio from the web which means that music requests can be recorded too Hospital radio stations are now becoming online radio services. They make an ideal way for people with or without money to show their congratulations to new parents.