As a mama of two, I’ve definitely made my share of homemade baby food. With my first child, I was very careful to follow my guidelines below (and those of my pediatrician) for introducing each food stage by stage. I would go to the grocery store and buy tons of veggies and sweet potatoes and make these delicious purees and freeze them in glass containers. And then, with my second child it was a totally different story. She wanted nothing to do with these purees, so instead I followed Baby Led Weaning. In a nutshell, it’s basically the opposite of what I did with my first… No purees, no ice cube trays, no food processor, no potato masher, no baby rice, no weird fruit and veg combos… and just eating “grown-up” food at 7 months. Last night she ate salmon, green beans, and sweet potatoes… a girl after my own heart 🙂 The bottom-line is that each child is unique and different and they will let you know which approach they prefer. I wanted to share my guidelines and tips below as a starting point for moms to use as a resource. And of course, always check with your pediatrician when it comes to allergies. My husband has nut and shellfish allergies, so we introduced peanuts early (at 7 mos.) with both kids and they both love their peanut butter!
FIRST FOODS (4-6months):
- Ripe Avocado
- Ripe Banana
- Infant Cereal
- Baked and Pureed Sweet Potato
- 4 to 7 day wait rule, but no longer than one week of the same food.
- Introduce Single Foods before giving “mixed dinners” or “squeezable pouches” of multiple ingredients.
- Watch for signs of Allergies
STAGE 2 (6-8months):
In addition to the foods for 4-6months.
2 meals per day and breastfeeding (about ~4-5x day) or 32oz of formula
Introduce more greens and veggies before more fruits
- Brown Rice Cereal, Millet Cereal, Oat Cereal, Barley Cereal
- Cooked and Strained: Apricots, peaches, pears, plums, prunes
- Raw mild fruits: Mango, Papaya, Pears
- asparagus, green beans, broccoli, zucchini, spinach
- Apples, applesauce
FINGER FOODS (8-12months):
In addition to the foods for 4-8months. They start to eat what you are eating and maybe at the same time 🙂
- Egg yolk (first)
- salmon, codfish
- chicken, turkey, beef
- tahini, chick peas, black beans, lentils
- kale, brussels sprouts
- Quinoa, buckwheat “kasha”, pasta, orzo,
Always ask your pediatrician when they recommend the following foods, because they may may trigger allergies!
One parent with allergies= 25% chance —- Both Parents with allergies= 40% chance
- cow’s milk
- egg whites
- nuts, peanuts
- strawberries, honey, citrus fruits
- artificial additives, chemicals
TIPS & TRICKS:
- 1.) Think ahead! When you go to the grocery store, be sure to buy enough to food to puree and/or cook that will last you at least 3-5 days. Make a large batch of sweet potatoes, carrots, white potatoes, broccoli, zucchini, and (a) use the food processor to blend everything together and freeze in small batches (b) freeze separate finger foods to mix and match different combinations.
- 2.) Budget Friendly for the whole family 🙂 As a busy working mom, I don’t have time to make separate meals. Food brings us together so have fun eating at the same time! If we are eating salmon for dinner with green beans, than so does the baby.
- 3.) Healthy!! I find that some parents spend time and energy on making their kids plates healthier than theirs or vice versa. We all enjoy colorful food, full of nutrients, and lots of flavor, so help yourself and your kids develop a clean, nutritious, and delicious palate.
TRY THIS DELICIOUS RECIPE FROM HONEST FARE
- 3 Red or blush apples
- 9 Prunes
- Yogurt (optional)
- 1.) Awesome Apples:
Wash and core 3 apples. If you don’t have an apple corer (which most of us don’t) just use a knife to cut out the center, starting at the stem and working your way down as best possible. Sprinkle with a little cinnamon inside cored area and over skin. Stuff 3 prunes inside each apple. Cover with aluminum foil and bake at 350° for about 30-40 minutes or until apples are very soft. Remove from oven and cut apples in half. Place prunes and apples (with about half skins still on) in blender with 1/3 cup water. Blend until smooth.
* Optional: add ¼ cup plain yogurt to mixture and blend for the creamy delicious version.
Options for puree, cooked, or baked!
- Green beans, pear, pea
- Kale, apple, mango
- Sweet potato, apple, carrot, cinnamon
- Banana, Peach, Mango
- Carrot, Sweet potato, peas, beets
Enjoy! And have fun with it!!