Sunday, January 4, 2009

Making Homemade Baby Food - Part One

Posted by Farah MBAR at 3:27 PM

*this is especially for my friends out there who wanted to know more on how I make homemade baby food

I love Thong Sui and am not cantonese nor am I chinese.

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Though I look very much chinese. I suspect its because my anchestors came from Cirebon where the great Admiral Cheng Ho travelled and some who followed settled there and a lot of people from Cirebon DO look chinese and some of our food do have that influence.

But thats another blog posting....

Anyway...again I love Thong Sui. I usually pass on local malay desert with coconut milk like pengat.

In Cantonese, Thong Sui means sugar water or dessert. However rock sugar is used instead of granulated sugar. This is because granulated sugar tend to give wind in the stomach, but rock sugar doesn’t. My mom diligently boiled barley with rock sugar when I was young when it was heaty. She also uses rock sugar for her famous pumpkin or banana pengat gula (something like Thong Sui)

In recent years I'm really blessed to have chinese friends that I mastered some art in the making of Tong Shui. Those days it was hard to find halal tong shui shop. There was this tea lady who was a master in the art of tong shui and taught me a trick or two. I got envious of the fragrant smell coming out of the rice cooker turn double boiler and told her I wanna make some on my own, using my own 'Halal' rice cooker. I love fuji apple, sweet potato or papaya Thong Sui.

But thats another blog posting....coz I'm supposed to write about my experience on making homemade baby food for my girls.

I used to steam my fruits and veges for Aliya when she started solids. But ever since learning to make Thong Sui on my own, I decided that when I have A'aesyah, I would do the same but this time I would cook them in a double boiler. I decided to do that for the same reason why people double boil Thong Sui Ingredients - because they are delicate and you dont want to water them down and lose all those natural goodness.

I bought some china wear for double boiling infront of McDonalds a few months back to use but I am still envious of the double boiler my mother has at my parents home (real clay pot you know)

Commercial baby food is expensive (RM2.95 per small jar) - I only use them for travelling purposes. Its a tideous job but I firmly believe mom's cooking is the best (air tangan ibu kata orang melayu)

The new rice cooker DH bought is deep so its perfect for double boiling.

After reading that "if you DO choose to leave the skin on, however, you should buy organic apples in order to avoid the pesticide residues that accumulate in the skin of non-organic produce", I decided to peel them unless I bought organic ones (which can blow a huge hole in your pocket). I also wash the apples with a special liquid from Pureen as well but I notice that sometimes having the skin on makes the baby food a bit bitter and my girls dont eat as much as if they know. So though my mom always say the natural goodness resides in the skin most of all, I still peel them for those reasons.

Why should i peel fruits and vegetables for my baby?
Read here

Sya (A'aesyah) has been on solid for nearly a month now. My brother and myself have a history of food allergies, Sya is lactose intolerant (she is on soy based milk) so we use the 4 day rule to introduce new food so she's had apples, pears, japanese sweet potato and carrot. This week I am trying local sweet potato (the orange type) and bananas (pisang montel).

Why the 4 day wait rule? Read more here

4 day wait rule
Avoid Baby Digestive Problems and Pinpoint Problem Foods

So this is part one of my journey so far with homecook baby food. I will write some more of my experience in later postings. Do drop a question if you have any or share your thoughts on my subject if you wish.

For malaysian mommies who are thinking of making homecook baby food (though we usually are but making an alternative to the nasi bubur that has been forced on us by our elders) - kudos! I tip my hat off as respect as I know how much hard work it takes but I purely believe you are making an EXTREMELY EXCELENT choice for your kids.


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