How have I missed winter squash all these years?! I think I've eaten it if someone else has made it but never prepared any myself until this year. Butternut squash is so good! Ethan really enjoys it too.
Before I discovered how simple it is to prepare, I fed Ethan Earth's Best brand of winter squash. He developed a flaring red rash all around his mouth and was fussy. I tried another brand of organic winter squash baby food and he didn't have an allergic reaction. I tried Earth's Best again and he had the same allergic reaction. Our allergist thought that Ethan may have been reacting to a preservative in it or that Earth's Best was cross contaminated. Making squash at home has been more successful, very easy, and prompted me to eat some with him.
I found spaghetti squash at a local market and decided to give it a try with Bertoli sauce (it's soy free). I'm making enough homemade food these days and needed a quick dinner so I haven't attempted making my own sauce. If anyone has a recipe for one though, I'd love to try it. The first time I baked spaghetti squash it was fantastic ... just like spaghetti! The next two times it turned out crunchy. Maybe I need to bake it for longer? I'm hoping to introduce spaghetti squash into Ethan's diet soon too.
I plan to try this recipe for acorn squash soup.
Other foods I've made that Ethan has loved are mangos, peaches, pears, and green beans. We've bought a few other pre-made baby foods but plan to make and freeze more homemade food. It seems more economical this way and then I will KNOW what is in it. Plus, Ethan is moving past the smooth purees and needs more of a variety of textures which I can easily accomplish by making his food.
I have also started giving Ethan whole peas to help him work on his pincer grasp. He can pick the peas up and has made a few attempts to put them in his mouth! It's wonderful to watch him develop and enjoy food. The sound of him smacking his lips makes us laugh. Anyone who tried to feed him just a couple of months ago is amazed at the difference between then and now. He went from clenching his mouth closed and refusing all food (except nursing) to showing excitement when he knows it's time to sit at the table to eat. What a difference!!
Although we've made such progress with his willingness to eat foods, we've had a setback with his reactions. We were doing so well and moving right along w/o reactions. Well, now that he's eating foods it has been even more difficult to determine what he is reacting to. Is it something I ate or something he ate? I haven't been introducing more than one thing at a time but some of his reactions are very delayed reactions. Since he didn't react when I ate the sprouted grain bread I figured gluten was ok and added oatmeal back into my diet. I didn't notice any reactions so we tried giving him oatmeal. All of the store-bought baby oatmeals have either dairy or soy in them so I made Ethan's from plain organic rolled oats. He was fine for nearly a week of him consuming oatmeal so I reintroduced one of the Enjoy Life Foods rice milk chocolate bars into my diet. That night was TERRIBLE and symptoms started. I can't decide if it is a delayed reaction to the oatmeal or a reaction to the chocolate bar. Regardless, both are gone until he feels better. Rashes, mucousy diapers, several night wakings, screaming & arching his back in the middle of the night, and overall fussiness have returned. It's been difficult on all of us.
*Oh and I had previously cut ALL rice out of my diet to see if his eczema patches on his face cleared up. After nearly 4 weeks of being rice free his cheeks were still pink but no bumps! They looked so great and didn't require any maintenance! It could have been the rice or possibly that the cat dander had finally died down enough. He still reacts to the cat dander/carpets in our bedroom though. So, another mystery still unsolved... is he intolerant to rice? The chocolate bar was a test to see if he reacted to rice milk. I should have waited more than a week after introducing the oatmeal into his diet or used something else to test rice. Ugh.