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Sunday, 5 October 2014

Popsicles

As a new mom with my first child I fell into the trap of buying bottles of baby food (the fruit options) at the grocery store. If the pediatrician said to introduce it, then it was the only option that was safe. It did work for a while but as my baby got older and a lot fussier, commercially-made didn't cut it anymore. At around the same time, I learned how chilling a teething ring would make a world of difference to the pain experienced during teething. My daughter's two canines came through first so she used to look like a little vampire! We tried our best to get a picture but she wouldn't grin for long enough or hold still for us to get a clean shot.
Teething did present a challenge for her and sometimes caused her to have a hard time breastfeeding or bottle feeding. As I was forced to get creative with alleviating teething, so too did I have to with her first foods. Her readiness to suck on a chilled grape made me realize I could easily combine the two. So I went after some watermelon and kept it chilled in the fridge. But as the incisors started to push through I turned from chilled to frozen in the form of popsicles.
These are easy to make as long as you have a good mold. When baby is ready they will learn to grasp the handle and have a field day with it on their own! You can do this with any fruit. Please note that if your child is younger than one year old you should not add salt or sugar to any of their foods. Honey is just as bad as they can get botulism. However, when your child is older and probably becomes more picky you can add a little sugar to increase the appeal. I personally don't believe in adding it at all as long as you can get them to eat fresh fruits.
Your local haberdashery store should have nice molds. Or you can order from a wide range online.
Method:
Blend your choice of fruit(s) and you can optionally add one or two drops of lemon juice. Pour into the mold and put to freeze. For fruits with a high water content like watermelon add drier fruits like banana to get a good consistency.
Get creative with your combos, changing them from week to week to see what your child prefers. And be sure to capitalize on local offerings. Just make sure that the utensils that you use are clean as these things are not pasteurized or cooked.
Yoghurt is excellent at this stage in a child's life as one of their first solid foods and gets some good bacteria into their digestive system. Don't give this to them if they are less than one year old as it is usually made from whole cow's milk that they will not be ready for. A great idea is to blend the fruits of choice into the yogurt (use an equal ratio of volume of fruit to yoghurt to get a good consistency) and then freeze as usual to get your popsicles.

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