|Thinly sliced sweet potatoes ready to be steamed|
This past week began what I hailed as the most important journey for me as a homecook: cooking first solid foods for my baby! My son, Nuree, is six months old. I felt as if I have graduated from some sort of elementary school for parenting! And for my son, eating solids start out as a fun and playful event without him knowing the nourishment food provides. He's certainly embarking on a lifelong pursuit of gastromonic pleasures.
He tasted his first food—colostrum, or first milk, a form of milk that boosts a newborn's immune system and is packed with nutrients—from my breasts just shy of an hour leaving my womb. Six months have past and I'm now excited to prepare his first real solid food.
Cooking for baby presents a new set of challenge: what to introduce first for baby's vulnerable and tiny body? How best to cook it to preserve nutrients? What shapes and textures work best for my baby's not yet developed chewing skills? How to work the process into the preparation of our routine family meals?
So last week after much research, I came up with sweet potatoes for its similarity to breastmilk's sweetness. I boiled the sweet potato first and then pureed it in the blender, while imagining the happy smiley face on my little one when I feed the sweet potatoes into his mouth. Yet what happened was he not only gagged, but spit up the whole thing after I fed him a good tablespoon of food.
A week after, I tried again, with a new method—steaming. Not only did he like it this time, he opened his mouth automatically spoonful after spoonful in anticipation of the awesomeness of solid foods. And the beauty of steaming is that it preserves nutrients best and takes only 10 minutes. It's so easy that a recipe may sound redundant but I'll try my best to lay it out here.
Very delicious steamed sweet potato for baby
Time: 15 minutes, includes 10 minutes of cooking
Serving: 10-12 ice tray cubes
1 small to medium sweet potato, peeled
Bring the water to a roaring boil in the steamer or a wok steaming set-up. Slice the sweet potato very thinly and put them on a shallow plate. Place the plate on the steaming rack, cover, and steam for 10 minutes or until soft to the fork/spoon, whichever untensil you're using to mash the sweet potatoes to appropriate baby food texture. For your own entertainment, feed the baby with a blue spoon ;)