Friday, March 25, 2016

Baby food ideas

**I wrote this several months ago. Baby is now a year old, and mostly eats whatever we are eating. I typically cut things into bite-sized pieces and let her feed herself. She enjoys being fed from a fork, too, and when we put food on a spoon & allow her to get the spoon to her mouth!**

I like to do things myself, and making my own baby food for our daughter has been a given! I'm recording what has worked for us in order to remember for future babies, and to give others ideas.

I've listed things in the general order we introduced them (though I'm sure it's not perfect! I don't remember exactly when we gave her certain foods!). 

Items with an asterisk (*) are items I've frozen in small portions. I prepare a batch and then freeze scoops on a cookie tray or in a silicone ice cube tray. I keep the frozen portions in labeled Ziploc bags and pull out 1-2 portions at a time to heat for her meals, and I mix and match what I give her, usually, for variety. 

I frequently thin foods out with formula, or mix it in to cool something I just microwaved.

She's been a great eater, overall, and has done well with everything listed below.

Starting at about 5 months:
  • oatmeal (I grid up old-fashioned oats in a blender. It is easy to scoop some of this powder into a bowl and add water and microwave it for her breakfast)
  • applesauce* (I peel/core/slice gala apples, steam them until they are very soft, then stick them in the food processor)
  • pears
  • lentils* (cooked until soft, then pureed)
  • squash*: zucchini, butternut, acorn
  • rice* (I ground up brown rice in a blender. I found I had to cook it & freeze it afterward, instead of relying on it cooking in the microwave)
6 months:
  • yogurt (plain whole -- you can make it at home!)
  • avocado (I sometimes mash it with the back of a spoon, or sometimes cut it into small pieces that she can sort of feed herself -- it does get rather slippery, though)
  • chicken* (pureed baby food from a jar... or, alternately, I have boiled a chicken breast and pureed it (thinning it with some of the broth from boiling))
  • sweet potatoes* (roasted in the oven, then mashed with a spoon or pureed in the food processor)
  • carrots* (boiled or steamed and then mashed/pureed)
  • spinach* (frozen, then microwaved so it's softer, and pureed)
  • bananas (mashed, or cut into small pieces for her to feed to herself)
  • peaches (cooked & mashed -- but depending on how soft, this could be cut into small pieces as well)
7 months:
  • cinnamon (to flavor her oatmeal)
  • beef (pureed baby food from a jar)
  • turkey (pureed baby food from a jar)
  • peas (she feeds them to herself -- I just heat up frozen peas for her and sprinkle a couple tablespoons worth onto her high chair tray)
  • Cheerios (she feeds dry Cheerios to herself)
  • cheese (just bits of shredded cheese)
  • mango (frozen -- microwaved & then mashed. I give it to her on its own or mixed into cereal or yogurt)
  • blueberries (frozen -- microwaved & then mashed. I give it to her on its own or mixed into cereal or yogurt)
  • bread (she feeds herself)
  • "sandwiches" (I take a slice of bread, spread baby food meat on it (so it's an open-faced "sandwich"), and give it to her. She loves feeding herself!)
  • broccoli (steamed & cut into small pieces (florets only so far))
  • pumpkin (I gave her canned pumpkin slightly warmed. It mixes into cereal well, or meat)
  • barley (in the form of Malt-O-Meal, a cereal mix of wheat and barley)
  • cream cheese
  • sour cream
A lot of these things I combine now. Some unlikely combinations work pretty well. I like mixing fruit into her cereals, but some fruit mixes well with meat (like applesauce with chicken or turkey). I mix yogurt into cereal sometimes, too. 

Dinners usually consist of a starch/grain, a protein, and a vegetable. Breakfast is usually a cereal with a fruit and maybe yogurt. Lunch varies! 

At most meals I give her some finger foods, too -- peas, Cheerios, bread, cut up soft veggies. That allows for us to eat with her, too -- she works on the finger foods while we eat our food!

Resources I have found to be helpful:
  • http://wholesomebabyfood.momtastic.com/
  • http://wholesomebabyfood.momtastic.com/forbiddenbabyfood.htm
  • http://www.babycenter.com/0_the-10-best-foods-for-babies_10320505.bc
  • http://www.parents.com/recipes/baby-food/20-foods-to-feed-your-baby-before-age-one/#page=1
  • http://www.parents.com/recipes/baby-food/new-foods-to-feed-baby/#page=1

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