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Mymomsbest advocates breastmilk as the best food for baby and after 6 months of age, supplementing with home-cooked solid foods. Read what the doctors said about starting solid and also find out more regarding allergy.
COOKING FOR BABY
(a compilation of mymomsbest forum members’ suggestions and ideas – by Chan Lilian)
I cannot envision myself eating packets of cereals for breakfast, bottled lunch and canned dinner everyday. Neither can I endure getting my daily dose of vegetables or fruits processed and bottled months or even years. Why should I when we have plenty of fresh foods around due to our perfect tropical climate? With this same reasoning, I am one of those moms who relish being an innovative cook in the kitchen for the sake of my children and babies. I thought that I am one of the few women whom others deemed foolish to spent time labouring over some muck which baby is likely to splatter all over the floor, wall, hair, everywhere except into his little tummy.
Many of mymombest forum members are doing it and all of us enjoy sharing recipes even if the recipe involves only one or two ingredients and the method is nothing but cook and blend. A chat with a lady paediatrician revealed that she also makes sure that her children are fed home-cook porridges made with fresh ingredients when they were babies. According to her, it is so simple to prepare and very nutritious too.
One need not be a culinary expert to prepare babies food. However, mothers has to be aware of the foods to avoid for babies of certain age, remember to introduce new food one at a time, practice good hygiene, know the signs of food intolerance and allergies. This basic information can be obtained from your respective paediatricians, nurses in the district clinics, books and magazines.
Matthew was given rice flakes mixed with expressed breast milk starting from 4 months old. He was accessed by the paediatrician and found to be ready to start solids as he was showing signs of wanting to eat whenever he saw us eating and has good head control. However, the first month or two was just practice sessions rather than serious eating.
I began experimenting with all the various vegetables and fruits from 6 months onwards and it was fun creating my own recipes from locally available foods like papaya, banana, sweet potato, pumpkin, spinach etc. Through notes sharing with friends, I have modified and simplified some of the methods to make preparing baby foods really simple and easy.
Some of Christina’s suggestions regarding Chinese confinement foods:
Just to let you know that white fish tail boiled with half-ripe papaya will cause your breast to open up like a tap overflowing with milk. According to Chinese records, the sap from the papaya and protein from the fish enriches the milk glands and drinking this soup occasionally during the breastfeeding period will fill up your natural milk reservoirs. For Teochew, more fish are encouraged in their diet to increase milk flow. So it depends which dialect group you are in. My friend’s relatives from Pantai Remis (a fishing town) takes prawns cooked with sesame oil and wine and flower crabs cooked in wine to so called “get rid of toxic elements and to immunise the body system against toxic ingredients. The seafood helps in milk production and the wine helps in blood circulation. You can consume “Batt Chun Tong” besides the tong kwai. You can also double-boil black chicken with “wai san”, “kei chee” and dried longan flesh. This also serves to soothe the nerves so that the tired mother can have a good sound sleep. Also recommended is the “Sap Chuen Tai Po Tong” boiled with a pig tail because pig tail will benefit the mom’s lumbar region. Another suggestion is soya beans with pig knuckles. Seems that the soup will also open up the milk glands for the “heaty’ new mom. Pig knuckles provide gelatine and protein and thus this soup is filled with nutrients for those who are bf. For veg. kail lan fried with lean pork or snow peas stir-fried with lean pork is recommended. Always remember to add at least 2 slices of old ginger.
Wincarnis (a sweet wine) can be added to your cooked food – chicken wine or fried kai lan. You can use some chicken fillet (marinade with a bit of cornflour so that it would not taste tough) to stir-fry kai lan. Firstly saute with more garlic (suppose to fragrant the milk and also act like antibiotic) and some ginger slices before adding in the chicken fillet followed by kai lan. Either I add in some soya sauce or a little salt. After which I’ll add in a tablespoon or two of Dirty Old Man (DOM) or any wine and off the fire. There is one called MAMA POH CHIEW which I used not too long ago. STONE’s ginger wine can also be used – green cap is from young ginger and red cap from old ginger roots. Can be added to the chicken wine or cook neat.
HERBY OMELLETE (another Christina’s creation)
The following herbs are all fantastic fried in omellete. Kunyit, cekor, sweet basil (selasih), ‘heah’ (a kind of herb that sounds like ants in Hokkien), mint/daun pudina leaves.
Take a bunch of any one type of the above herbs. For kunyit and cekor leaves, cut into small pieces. For mint or sweet basil, no need to cut them up.Break two eggs, season with a little salt & pepper. Add the herbs and make an omellete.
Dried chillies with shark meat (another Christina’s speciality)
Regarding shark meat, I love it cooked “koong poh” – fried with dried chillies or fried with young ginger slices and spring onions (keong choong). Can marinade the fish and add to porridge like when you’re cooking with other fish fillet. The bones, I’ll boil it with ginger slices and goes with my rice. Normally, I’ll get baby shark and it is not easily available.
Ingredients (suggested by Lilian)
1 kati (500 gm) shark meat or chicken or vegetarian kidney/squid, cut into cubes
6 dried chillies, 2 onions quartered, ginger slices, – Heat oil and saute the ingredients
Add meat/shark/whatever, add sauce below
Sauce – 3 tablespoons thick soya sauce, 2 tblspn light soya sauce, 2 tbl sugar, 1 tbl oyster sauce (optional) mixed with 5 tbl water and 1 teaspoon cornflour.
You can find more recipes for Chinese confinement foods on this blog.