Let's talk about baby food. I've been keeping track of what I've been feeding miss Phoebe all week and wanted to share how we introduced solids and how we try to keep introducing new flavors. So far Phoebe loves food! Can you blame her? My main philosiphy is to feed her how we eat in hopes that she will have a healthy foundation for lifelong good eating habits. I asked you guys what you wanted to know on facebook and wanted to address some of those questions as well! It can be a struggle to stay creative and gasp what happens if you run out of "baby food." Been there! Hope this modest guide (of what works for us) can be a starting point for you guys to share what works for you too...
We introduced Matilda at 4 months with rice cereal. This time with Phoebe, because we don't eat a lot of grains in our diet, I decided I'd prefer to introduce her to fruits and vegetables when she got a bit bigger. We waited until she was 6 months old. As far as I was concerned, exclusively breast feeding was much easier and I was in no hurry!
Bee's very first food was: carrots! If you follow along with me on Instagram (say hello!) then you would have seen the classic "first food all over my baby's face" picture. :) She loved it. We then introduced: prunes, bananas, peas, sweet potatoes, pears and apples. Because we were still renovating at the time I fed her only jarred food (we prefer organic earth's best). I didn't feed her food three meals a day at first, we gradually worked up to that. I'd say we fed her once a day the first week, then twice the next, and so on.
Food combinations 6-7 months:
My philosophy is to let my babies try tastes of fruits and vegetables with each meal. I read once that if you only introduce fruit at first, you'll have a tricky time getting your little one to eat their veggies. I am working on thinking of meals differently, meaning that you don't have to have grains or something sweet with breakfast and that you don't need a huge dinner. In this mode of changing my own behaviors, I am also trying to teach my children the same thing. Guess what? You can totally have veggies for breakfast. I also let Phoebe be our guide, if she acted like she was still hungry... I fed her. Your baby will let you know. Once they won't eat anymore, time to stop. Unlike us, they listen to their bodies and know when they are full. Here are some of our favorite combos:
- sweet potatoes + peas
- apples + butternut squash
- bananas + broccoli or zucchini
- mangos + peas
- green beans + apples
- avocado + sweet potatoes
- pears + green beans
Making your own food:
You can get as creative as you want to here. If you are making your own, I like to blend fruits and veggies raw in my Vitamix. I feel like the more raw fruits and veggies, the more vitamins. I did have a bad reaction from Phoebe when I gave her kale, so I think milder greens like peas and green beans are a safer bet. I also found that mixing apples and bananas with a little bit of unsweeted coconut milk made them creamy and delicious. For freezing food, I love the Beaba multiportion freezing trays. So easy to get the food out! Matilda loves the little cubes too. Sometimes I feed Phoebe icy fruit when she's teething (side note: I also really like the Tommee Tippee spoons).
A few tips:
- try to get a lot of food made on sunday.
- in the mornings pop whatever frozen food you have in the fridge.
- try to avoid the microwave. microwaving food zaps most of the nutrients out of it.
- warm food if you want on the stove (I feed most of Bee's food to her at room temp).
- make the food however you normally would (minus salt - babies can't process much salt) and then blend it up, this way you aren't creating double work. roasting sweet potatoes for the fam? save some extra to blend for baby.
Confession... I had no idea what baby-led weaning was until someone on facebook asked me what I thought about it. In case you are in the same position... baby-led weaning is the process of introducing self-feeding to babies in addition to milk. It's not "weaning" like we typically think of it. Instead of giving them "baby food" you cut up whatever you are eating into small pieces. They can eat as much as they are interested in and experience the tactility of eating. Because a couple of you asked... here's what I think: Great! Sounds awesome, definitely less work, but I think however we introduce food... we will all end up eating it the same. :) Phoebe had a terrible gag reflex and for us I think waiting to introduce solids after purees worked well.
We introduced solids as well as meat (just a teeny bit) and dairy at almost 8 months. I'll give her bites of cheese and YoBaby organic yogurt in the morning. I started blending up whatever we were eating. My mom made some amazing spaghetti so I lightly blended it, leaving enough texture so that it wasn't pureed. I will just give her tiny bites of different things as we have them around. I try to buy seasonally as much as I can. This summer she tried: strawberries, blueberries, oranges, pluots, plums, broccoli, zucchini, spaghetti, cauliflower, artichokes and a few others I'm sure I'm forgetting.
Here are some of my favorite things to give her to self-feed:
- cut up grapes
- cut up cucumber
- sweet potato puffs (aka baby crack - don't always buy these because they aren't nutrient dense)
- cut up cherry tomatoes
- diced cheese
- banana pancakes (one of our faves!) - take 1 banana, 1 egg, 1 T coconut flour, a pinch of cinnamon. mix it all up and then pan fry with butter. HEAVEN.
My dear friend Jodi introduced me to her friends at Stokke who generously sent us their famous Tripp Trapp chair (shown here in natural with the aqua baby set and beige stripe cushion) to test out. What I love about their chair is of course it's stylish modern looks, but also that it invites Phoebe to be directly with us at the table. I also love how much she loves tapping her feet on the footrest. The other amazing thing about the Tripp Trapp? You can use it for life. It grows with your child all the way into adulthood. Pretty great investment. Also, the baby set goes right into the dishwasher. Gotta love that. Thanks again friends at Stokke, we love it!
Have a question? Ask away!