(Beginning) Baby Food
Can we talk about baby food for a sec? I love when (my) babies reach 6 months because it means so many things:
1. They are starting to do things…you know, scooch around, sit up, laugh any time I talk or kiss them (gah, I just love the laughing!) and so much more. Real people things.
2. They BOTH sleep 11.5 – 12 hours. Can I get a hallelujah?! I feel human again and conscious enough to realize how stinking adorable these boys are. Try to tell me otherwise.
3. The schedule, a schedule. 4 bottles, 3 meals. Down to 2 naps. Sometimes 3, yes, but a semi-consistent (crazy) day. Finally.
4. We settled in. Crazy is the new normal & I guess I am figuring out how to embrace it.
5. I get to make real food for them! They are excited, too.
You can certainly find numerous baby food recipes and guidelines with a quick google search. I have William Sonoma’s Cooking for Baby cook book, which I just love. (And, it should go without saying, these are just my opinions, please follow the guidelines provided by YOUR child’s doctor.)
Today I will talk about my tools and process for baby food making, stage 1. A beginner’s guide; my experience thus far*.
The Baby Bullet is easy to use, store & clean (vs my big blender). I basically steam, boil or roast my fruits and veggies and purée them in the bullet with water. For stage 1, i.e. the first month or so, I mostly boil or steam.
I realized when in doubt, keep blending and adding more water. It will eventually get to that nice smooth consistency.
These are actually for bite-size brownies but they are perfect because they are perfect for mixing, which we will get to in a sec.
Stage 1 for me is basically veggies, fruits & cereal. I did start with veggies, resisting the urge to feed them a delicious ripe banana. I still feed them veggies before the fruits at each meal, unless I’m mixing the two. This is Evan’s, “where are the fruits, mom” look.
I followed a 4-meal vs 4-day schedule. Meaning, I fed them each food 4x before moving onto the next (again, disclaimer to follow YOUR doctor’s guidelines). Per mine, I wasn’t as concerned that they would have an allergy to the zucchini or avocado but perhaps their tummies need some time to digest the various foods.
I started rice and oatmeal at 5 mos….not interested. Aiden picked up on it at 5 1/2 months; Evan not til 6 months. Frustrating because they were hungry but it-is-what-it-is. Now, they are 7 months old and HUNGRY! I do not recall feeding my daughter this much; maybe because they are boys or maybe because there’s 2 of them so I’m making a ton of food.
This is the order of which I introduced:
…and so on…
I have read enough that babies (& kids) need to try new foods multiple times before ruling it out. The nice thing about babies is they have no idea, literally, and underdeveloped taste buds, so to speak. (enjoy it while it lasts, right?!) I love mixing different foods/flavors and hide in food they really don’t prefer alone. For instance, although edamame was not a favorite (refer to Aiden’s reaction above), I still mix it in with other foods. I refuse to believe that these boys don’t like avocado so I just mix it in with other foods, as another example.
And some things have just a strong flavor alone, like mango and cherries, so I just mix. I haven’t mentioned it yet but try the purées! The plums weren’t ripe enough so they were a little tart – too tart for serving alone so I mixed with apples or pears.
Pear purée is perhaps my favorite (it’s so good!). It is a perfect mixer for so many other flavors. In the mornings, I usually serve pears mixed with some other fruit and oatmeal.
Some of my (e.g. the boys) favorite combos:
Sweet potato plus oatmeal with a dash of cinnamon
Mango & carrot
Pear with plums or strawberries
Butternut squash & apples
Sippy cups have entered the scene with the food. I like these because they have the soft spout. Filled with water, I offer the boys some a couple times each meal, just to get used to it.
I love cooking so this is fun for me. It may not be for you so that’s ok. Make what you can/want and buy the rest. I’ve made a lot of peas because they are so easy (boil a few min and a quick purée) and the boys love them. I made apples once, but it’s not apple season, so I am buying applesauce instead. Peaches are not yet in season so I purchased the canned peaches in fruit juice, drained them well and blended them….a little sweet, so they are perfect for mixing with other foods.
We are 7 months today and just so cute & fun!
Growing so fast; I’m trying to appreciate this little stage because before we know it we are on to the next…
*disclaimer – this post contains my opinion; please follow guidelines provided by your pediatrician.