Friday, August 24, 2012

Babies & Food: Frustration and Hope

By the time babies are a little older, nursing is (usually) fast, simple, and free. So starting Nicholas on solids was actually a pretty frustrating experience for me. I began giving him solid food when he was 6 months old, and I had no clue what to feed him. His pediatrician gave us a feeding chart, but it didn't really help with what exactly to feed him. And this kid likes to eat a LOT (hence his lovable abundance of rolls).

See how happy he is at the highchair? He knows food is coming.

Starting on solid food is a fun milestone, but it's also overwhelming. It's a bit expensive and I didn't know where to start. I loved the ease of pre-packaged baby food, but I also wanted him to have fresh fruits and veggies. But what should I give him? And how do you make it? It's been a bit of trial and error (oh wait, what isn't in parenting?) :)

At this point we do a mixture of pre-packaged baby food along with making big batches of fresh food that I freeze/refrigerate. DISCLAIMER HERE - I am NOT great in the kitchen, and I don't have a lot of extra time - so I'm being real with you when I say that making homemade baby food isn't as bad as I thought it would be. Truly, with my stress level and my inability in the kitchen, if I can do it, you could too. I am not Susie Homemaker, I promise.

I don't judge anyone who uses only pre-packaged food - I've just found that pureeing my own veggies or just mashing up a banana or avocado can be a lot cheaper than buying individual jars of food. But it's great to have jars on hand for when you're running low on homemade food, or when you're on the go. (Or when it's summer and the idea of baking sweet potatoes in your already hot house sounds like a nightmare.) Plus the jars can give you great ideas for what types of food combinations your little one might like. 

At 8.5 months (and with 5 teeth), Nicholas's meals usually look like: breakfast and lunch of mashed up banana, avocado, applesauce, or Yo-Baby yogurt; dinner of veggies like pureed sweet potatoes, squash, carrots, etc. He also eats those little melt-away puffs and has tried an array of food off of our plate, as his body is able to safely handle it.

I share this with you because maybe you're in the same boat as I was - wanting to make healthy food choices for your baby, but not sure where to start. I am NOT pretending to be a nutritionist, so please talk with your kid's pediatrician about the feeding choices that you make. But I do want to share my journey of feeding Nicholas, and some resources that I've found incredibly helpful.

Wholesome Baby Food is a LIFE-SAVING website. It has great food charts for at what age to introduce specific foods, tons of easy (and yummy) recipes, and info on food allergies. (Plus a lot more!) You can search pretty much any fruit/veggie and it will come up with nutritional info and recipes. I love this site!

- The "Baby Bullet" user manual has saved my butt. My sister has the Baby Bullet, and though it seems gimmicky, it's actually incredibly helpful and on the natural side of things. The user manual has great tips for what to give, when to give it, and how to make it. The only bummer is that the actual recipes aren't in the PDF copy of the user manual, only in the user manual that comes with the Baby Bullet.

- My favorite organic and "natural" pre-made baby foods are Sprouts organic baby food and Gerber Nature Select. They are a good bang for your buck.

I hope that if you're overwhelmed with how to start feeding your baby, I've given you a little bit of encouragement! You'll quickly learn what your little one likes and what is best for them, and for your family. And don't forget to stop by my blog next week, as I'll be sharing just how simple it can be to make your own baby food, including a recipe! All you need is a blender or food processor and some jars to store the food in.

Have a great weekend!

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  1. This is great! I have a baby bullet already and plan to use it as much as possible when my baby is old enough to eat some solids. I am always curious of recipes foods that are good for whatever ages they are so this is helpful! Thank you! :D

  2. Oh my goodness, you have no idea how timely this is for us! We just started on solids last week and it is reeealy confusing! Thanks for the tips and encouragement :)

  3. I heart your blog! I'm a new GFC follower :)

  4. I don't even have kids but I found this post interesting. I definitely want to try to make my babies their food when the time comes but I can definitely imagine how time consuming it would be!

  5. I'm excited to start Archer on some foods, but not yet. He's almost 5 months old and I'm going to wait until 6 months, too. Thanks for the tips!


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