Sometimes I blog about this kind of thing in the hopes that it would help someone. Sometimes I do it just so that I can remember just what the heck I did since selective mommy memory is a real thing around here. I’m saying this is a little of both. 🙂 Keep in mind this is just what worked for us and my girls. All babies are different heaven knows.
I waited to start “solids” with both girls until 6 months. I write the word solids in quotes because there isn’t much solid about the foods you start with. I bypassed the standard 1st food of rice cereal due to the studies about the amount of arsenic in rice these days and went with an organic sweet potato instead. I peeled, cut up, steamed, and blended a nice sweet potato, the orange ones, called jewel yams here in my area of California. Then I mixed it with enough breast milk to water it down to a fairly liquid consistency, not pour off, but dribble off the spoon.
Both the girls took no time to learn how to take a bite from the spoon (they had been watching us eat for weeks) but it did take a few feedings for much to actually go down their throat. Ha! Most of it dribbled out of their mouths and onto the bib.
The first few weeks I only gave them “solids” at dinner time. I would do a short nurse right when I got home from work then offer an ounce or so off food while we were eating dinner. At around 7 months, we started in with lunch too, and 8 months, breakfast. Still only 2 oz at a time. All this time they would get 3 – 4oz bottles during the day and nurse first thing in the morning and right before bed. As the months went on, they would eat more solids at meal times and decrease the amount of milk they drank.
As allergies don’t run in our families (except my shellfish allergy), we only fed a new food 2-3 days before changing it up. If there are family food allergies, I would make it more like 4-5 days. In the end Evelyn can eat everything and Rose is allergic only to Mango. Luckily that showed itself quickly by giving the poor thing a flaming diaper rash. We still have to avoid it which is harder then you think!
I make quite a bit of the purees myself as it its cheap and easy to do. I would post recipes but really, it’s buy organic veggies and fruit, steam until soft, blend in the blender until smooth, add breast milk or water until the desired consistency. If it’s too watery (I started to feed it thicker after a week or two), add baby oatmeal. I like the Happy Baby brand with the probiotics. Once you introduce a number of things you can start blending them together. Especially the not as sweet veggies. I add kale and broccoli to something sweeter like sweet potatoes or strawberries. While my girls would eat the more bitter things at first, they stopped once they got an opinion. Ha! I freeze the pureed mixes in flexible ice cube containers then store them in the freezer in ziplock bags. 30 seconds in the microwave and you have a cheap and easy meal.
When Rose was a baby they had come out with square plastic containers which were nicer then the glass as they were lighter and you didn’t worry about breaking them in your diaper bag. However, by the time Evelyn was born, they had come out with the fabulousness that is the squeeze pouches. These flexible easy to pack things are so great. They even makes tons of organic ones. I just put a soft silicon top on it (not required but easier on her mouth) and she sucks it right down. There are refillable ones that I put my homemade purees into. They even have spoons that connect to them for when the babies are just starting out.
When you buy those don’t just run to Target. My own hometown grocery store Raley’s actually has them 30-40 cents cheaper. Score!
The baby food aisle in Raley’s. Tons of organic at good prices!!
I use the pouches when out and about, or when I want to feed more fibrous greens. The companies industrial sized blenders make a much smoother puree. I usually end up with unappetizing chunks. 😛
We also did some baby led weaning. Sooner with Evelyn then with Rose (that whole second child thing) although I have found, at least until they get molars that can chew things more efficiently, I need to make sure I feed purees as well too make sure they got enough food. Especially once I weaned and they were not getting a good amount of healthy breast milk anymore. It just takes too long for them to eat to get enough food.
So there you have it! Once Evelyn gets more teeth, we will make and buy less purees and do more of just what we eat but until then, it’s a great way to make sure she is eating all the good stuff she needs.