Experimenting with Baby Food July 28, 2016

Recently, with the approval of my pediatrician, I decided to start solids with Olivia. She wasn’t quite ready at four months, so we waited until she was five months when she could hold her head up like a champ and showed interest when we ate. Slowly, we’ve been introducing new foods to her. I’ve read a lot on making your own baby food and since I already do meal prep on Sundays, I decided to take a stab at making my own baby food. So far, so good. 

We started with oatmeal cereal prepared with breast milk. Her first feedings were a mess, and frankly still are, but it’s super fun to see her reach for the spoon and enjoy the change. After a week of daily oatmeal cereal feedings, we decided to give some other foods a try. 

First up, sweet potatoes. To say she loved these is an understatement. Her first taste was a complete surprise to her and her facial expressions were adorable, somewhere between complete awe and overwhelming excitement. She downed those two tablespoons like a champ. She even clamored for more between spoonfuls. I made the sweet potatoes by baking them, removing the skin and blending with a bit of breast milk to smooth the texture. It was so easy, I decided to tackle some more food options. 

So, one Sunday I prepared apples, pears and peas. Making baby food is pretty simple, pretty much just pureeing steamed fruit and veggies. That’s it! It might be a bit time consuming, but that’s really a one time deal. After peeling, dicing, cooking and pureeing, all you have to do is freeze in an ice cube tray and you already have individually sized portions that you just have to thaw before serving. Plus, they last about six months in the freezer, so you can really plan ahead. 

She’s also a big fan of apples. It might be due to her progress, but she actually handles the fruit and veggies purees better than the oatmeal cereal. A thicker consistency seems to be a little easier to move to the back of her mouth and swallow. 

I’ll definitely try to keep making my own baby food as long as I can. Since she’s only eating those two tablespoons a day, I can get a few servings from a single batch of steamed veggies and be set for a while. Once she starts to eat a bit more, we’ll have to see if I can keep up. 

Some of the food items I plan to prepare in the future are: squash, green beans, chicken, beef, apricots, beets and carrots. After trying them and making sure she has no reactions to any of these, we can start mixing some of them up to create interesting flavors and develop her palate. 

Olivia might be enjoying the new flavors and textures, but the thing she really enjoys is to chew on that gummy spoon. Our feeding times might be messy, from learning to keep the food in her mouth and trying to grab the spoon and use it as a toy, but it’s definitely a fun stage to be on.