Personal Pick – Infant Breakfast

My friends ask me what I feed Joshua. He is not a fat baby (might be a genetic thing because my family are a bit skinny). Joshua however can eat and is a very active baby. Ever since his interest for solid food began, he was on a journey to try different kinds of food.

For breakfast everyday, we start with breakfast cereal. Cereals for babies are the powdered type of breakfast mix that requires hot water. Once mixed with the hot water it turns into a thicker batter ready to be eaten by your baby. There are several brands out there. The more famous one is Cerelac.

I have read somewhere that cereals can cause constipation to your baby. But its not the cereal per se, it could be the iron fortified as an additive to the cereal that can cause that. So, I have always done this mix… Cereal+oatmeal mix. This will give my baby enough fiber that solves the constipation issue.

I also did a bit of checking on the cereals out there. To be honest, Cerelac has an overly sweet flavor. Well, in my opinion, I don’t want my son to get used to so much sweets. So I have found other alternatives.

My next choice is Promina. It is a cereal made in Indonesia. It has no preservatives, no coloring, no artificial sweeteners, nor msg. It is also fortified with vitamins. It was sweetened enough and just right. Our favorite flavors are brown rice with milk and mung bean with milk. They also have chicken with vegetables flavor and it is more a lunch kind of cereal.

Then still I looked for options that did not have sugar. I found a brand made in the Philippines. Nutri-Del is a dry infant cereal with no sugar, no salt, no preservatives, nor artificial coloring and fortified with vitamins! With this one you can regulate how much sugar you put on your baby’s cereal. They also have several flavors

As usual, I always mix in a bit of oatmeal to the cereal. I like Australian Harvest instant oats. It has good quality oats that plumps up well with hot water.

As an additional tip I learned, avoid feeding your baby with honey. Though I probably served my son oatmeal with honey several times. I did not realize it can cause danger to him. According to my research honey can cause botulism bacteria and babies under one year old have a difficult time fighting it. But I thank God, Joshua seems fine. I totally stopped serving him breakfast with honey in the mix.

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This is the breakfast personal pick that my baby likes. Its good to alternate what my son eats, so he can widen his palate and enjoy all kinds of food when he grows older.

Mommy Boo-boos

Its no surprise that mothers have their fair share of funny boo-boos in raising their children. All the more for the first time mothers! I am writing this to share these light moments of learning with minutes of stress in between!

Oh No! No Sleeping Baby!

After 9 months of not having caffeine in my diet because of pregnancy, I started to miss sipping tea. Joshua was probably 2 months old, and I was entertaining a friend at home. I offered her tea, and I drank a cup too. Nothing harmful, it was nice and relaxing feeling until I breastfed my son. Boom! I saw my little infant suddenly on an upbeat mood with jumpy behavior. My baby passed his usual sleeping time (because at that age babies should be sleeping a lot) and was wide awake. After a couple hours, he was tired and could not sleep. He started to cry and whine! It was terribly stressful for me, because nothing could soothe him. It was really the caffeine that he drank through my breast milk! It takes about 6 hours to take out the caffeine from the system of a baby. When your baby non-stop cries, it feels like forever! I learned a very valuable lesson that day and have kept myself caffeine-free!

Baby, I spice up your life!

At 6 months old, solid foods just become another exciting part of a growing baby. As an excited mom to introduce food, I started with squash. Yes I kept the squash in the equation while adding other vegetables such as carrots, sayote, string beans. I kept the squash in the diet for 1 month and a half, eaten twice a day (during lunch and dinner)… The end result, I have a healthy baby with a yellow nose, yellow fingertips and toes! Hahaha, and mind you, it does not fade that easily!

Still on solid food, our pediatrician suggested to put some beef broth on the vegetables I was feeding Joshua. It was a brilliant idea because the bland flavor of the squash can now have a better taste. So, I was diligent to ask our cook to give me soup from his Tinola. He obliged to my request and so he gathered the very last of the soup of that Tinola in a bowl. I was so excited, I placed the vegetables in the blender and added the soup. It was a perfect blend. So I began feeding my son, and he ate. But starting the third spoon, he would take the food and cry right after. I wondered what was wrong. So I gave him milk and kept feeding. He would drink milk and stop crying, and after taking a spoon of food, he would cry. The funny part was we kept feeding, and he kept eating and crying. He finished the entire bowl! Later, I made another batch with the same soup. This time, I tried it. It was only then I realized why he was crying… The food was slightly spicy because of the large chili placed in the Tinola. My son had his first spicy food! I was laughing at the same time thinking, I was a bad mommy for not checking. The only blessing is, now Joshua does not mind a bit of spice in his food.

Oh, and the other boo-boo had to do with me trying to remove the squash from the diet of Joshua. Instead, I decided to replace squash with potatoes. So I had potatoes, sayote, malunggay, string beans, broccoli in his new mix for his lunch and dinner. The problem was I was putting more potatoes in the mix. In about 3 days of that new diet, my son had the most difficult time pushing out his bowel. He was crying in pain and he was really constipated with very hard bowel. I had to soothe him with milk as he was pushing because he was in so much pain. After researching the causes of constipation, I learned that starch causes constipation. It was the potatoes! From that day forward, I took out potatoes from his diet until he is more mature to digest that kind of starch. Wow, had I known, I would have saved him from that pain.

Going Paperless

My son now is interested with so many things. He actually is so curious that almost anything he puts in his mouth. So we try to put away things that might be dirty away from him. One evening, I had him with me on our bed. He was playing with the things on the bed including my newly opened citibank bill. So I left him because he does like looking at pictures. I was busy texting when suddenly I see him chewing something. The paper ad of citibank had a rip. So I opened my sons mouth and right at the roof of his mouth I saw a large piece of that paper ad. I tried to scoop it and it was so stuck in his mouth. We were both struggling! I was trying to get the paper out, and he was trying to get my hands out of his mouth. I was in panic mode because I could not get the paper out and it was getting soaked with his saliva so it was getting more stuck at the roof of his mouth. I had to ask assistance from his nanny to hold him so I can remove the paper. I finally got the paper out but he bit a portion of the paper and chewed and swallowed it. I was screaming his name “Joshua, NOOO…” But it was gone. Totally gone. Joshua had his first paper ad. What else can I do?

Now, I am trying to get Joshua away from paper, because his first attempt was not his last.

When I think about these boo-boos, I laugh. These have become tools for me to learn how to be a better mom to my baby. No mother is perfect, but a little humor makes motherhood a lighthearted fun journey.

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Motherhood made a Healthier Me

Before pregnancy, I was one unhealthy woman. I was lazy to exercise and I let go of my healthy diet and got my body accustomed to junk food. As skinny as I was before pregnancy, my lipid profile showed that my cholesterol was out of control. I also skipped breakfast, did a lot of midnight snacking, slept late (around 12mn to 2am). Talk about major bad habits, I had them!

The only thing I was proud of was that I did not smoke (I quit this one about 10 yrs ago), and also I did not really drink alcohol except on special occasions. But on the overall I was not healthy. Then, unexpectedly, I get 2 lines on the pregnancy test. This means fixing up my life. Now that I am providing nourishment to a baby in my womb, it made me decide to drastically change my lifestyle.

Healthy Me during Pregnancy

Healthy Me during Pregnancy

The good thing was my body started to crave for breakfast and so I had that back on my diet. Also fried food made me sick, so this made me want boiled food, steamed dishes, proteins and vegetables. I had to discipline my body to avoid junk food. Though I wont lie that I had several occasions I cheated. Ok… it was with Cheetos and chocolates (mommies admit that you can relate!). But I discovered that fruits replaced these cravings.

Since I got pregnant at a much later age and having no exercise, I really felt the age of my body. I decided to do yoga for pregnant women at home. That helped support my body for the weight, but really the back aches were no longer preventable on the last trimester. In my wishful thinking, I could have been more prepared for the pregnancy. But who knew I would even be pregnant after 7 years of waiting!

There were also foods that a pregnant woman is refrained from eating… Such as raw food – fish or meat (sashimi to prosciutto) because it can cause bacteria that can make a mother sick. Also having a balanced control of patries and sugar-filled food can prevent getting gestational diabetes.

After child birth, being healthy is still required for those who plan to breastfeed. Since my son is getting all his nourishment from me, I have to ensure I eat healthy to provide what he needs. That means staying away from caffeinated drinks (because it keeps your baby awake even when he is tired), away from too much sweets (because it depletes the milk), staying away from chocolates (it can cause allergies to your baby), staying away from too spicy foods (because it causes gas and reflux to your baby), and away from a lot of preservatives (because it gets passed on to the baby).

Ever since Joshua came into our lives, he has been my motivation to stay healthy. I pray I get to maintain this even after he weans. I have never felt this good about my body and its all thanks to motherhood!

The bible has a similar account about being healthy in motherhood. The story of Samson’s mom:

There was a certain man of Zorah, of the family of the Danites, whose name was Manoah; and his wife was barren and had borne no children. Then the angel of the Lord appeared to the woman and said to her, “Behold now, you are barren and have borne no children, but you shall conceive and give birth to a son. Now therefore, be careful not to drink wine or strong drink, nor eat any unclean thing