Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Adventures in solids: Bananas & Blueberries

Let me start by saying that for both bananas and blueberries, I really enjoyed using my Nuk Fresh Foods mash and serve bowl by Anabel Karmel. It is just awesome.
It is basically a cute little bowl with ridges inside and a small mashing tool similar to a potato masher. It is great for quickly mashing any soft foods into a more manageable texture for the baby. The bowl is similar in size to other baby bowls and I can serve her the food right out of the bowl.It is easy to use and even easier to clean and best of all, it is compact enough that I can carry it out with me and mash foods on the go!

I originally thought that bananas would be the first fruit I would introduce to my daughter. They are one of the easiest fruits to handle and require barely any preparation as they do no need to be cooked or blended. The reason I waited a while before offering her banana was because I heard bananas were notorious for causing constipation in babies. This confused me a first, because I've lived my whole life thinking that all fruits were high in fiber and thus aided digestion and bowel movement. I also always assumed that softer foods didn't cause constipation. Clearly I didn't pay much attention in my  nutrition class in high school! The more I started reading about foods that cause constipation in babies, I realized that the texture of the food has nothing to do with it, and its much more about the chemical composition of the food. Dairy foods, or foods high in iron and potassium and low in fiber are big culprits for causing constipation in babies.
Of course it isn't a big deal for adults because we eat a wider variety of foods that are high in fiber and we drink much more water and fluids than a baby does. I also found out that applesauce can cause constipation in babies, although this wasn't the case for us.
So anyway I decided to wait and introduce bananas when she had a better hang of drinking water and when I could mix it in with yogurt. I've offered it to her several different ways; on its own in small slices, mashed and mixed in with yogurt or oatmeal but she isn't really a big fan of banana. I thought she would really love it,  but she doesn't care for it too much. She tolerates it and will eat it if she is hungry but she doesn't get excited and usually stops eating it after a few bites. So far this is her least favorite fruit so I only feed it to her occasionally.


I was excited to try blueberries, I liked the fact that, just like banana, I could feed it to her raw and not have to cook it, puree it and store it in cubes in the freezer like other fruits.  According to the EWG, blueberries are on the dirty dozen list for foods most highly contaminated by pesticide residue so its best to only buy them organic. I don't think I remembered this the first time I bought them... But I will be sure to keep that in mind from now on. Once I brought them home I washed them and then put half in a ziploc bag in the freezer for longer storage and put the other half in an airtight container in the fridge. I cut a few of them in half and fed them to her and she seemed to like them, I also used my mashing bowl to smash a few of them and then mix it in with plain yogurt. It tastes so much better than the yoplait blueberry yogurt that my husband and I eat!

All was going well for the first three days when we introduced blueberries but on day three she started crying and shaking and seemed to have a lot of pain in her belly. She seemed to be constipated and straining to poop. I didn't think it was the blueberries at first because why would raw fruit cause constipation? So I kept feeding it to her that day, and she kept on crying and showing signs of discomfort. When she finally was able to poop it was bright blue and really hard and this make me realize that the blueberries definitely weren't working out for her. I stopped feeding them to her immediately and gave her lots of water with a bit of prune concentrate by Baby Move.  I also gave her raw and cooked apple. And within a day she was back to normal, no more crying, no more shaking and no more scary blue poop. So that was the end of our short experience with blueberries. I'll wait a while before trying those again!!