As a first time Mom and whiz in the kitchen, I am convinced I can raise a good eater. Fortunately, I have a hungry baby that insists there are times when I haven’t fed him and he is SO famished! One of the best products I received as a gift was a baby food maker. I’m not endorsing any products here, but it has been a fabulous addition to my limited culinary essentials. This little bullet purees much better than a blender, food processor, and other items I have tried plus it comes with the storage containers and freezer tray. When I first started feeding him, I used basic single ingredients and have kicked his taste buds up a notch now that’s almost one! The kid is his father, looks like him, is curious like him, and evidentially likes it a little spicy! I’m not going all Sriracha on the little man, but so far he really enjoys chipotle pepper on roasted sweet potatoes, garlic on many items, and salsa in scrambled eggs!
So how, do you begin? Ready to introduce more culinary delights to your little? Let’s get started!
Early days: You’re in the beginning, just starting to feed your Little single ingredient, super smooth and liquidy purees…my advice, start with the greens. They are usually likeable and are a good starting point. Orange colors are great next as babies love keep their mouths opening like little birds! For example, I would buy frozen peas, cook/steam in about ¼ inch of water for a few minutes. Not the whole bag here people!!! Baby steps! 1 tablespoon of puree can be enough to fill up that small stomach! Then transfer the peas AND water to bullet blender and hopefully remember to put the lid on (tad sleep deprived still) and blend! Make sure it’s smooth. Texture can be your enemy here. Add more water, breastmilk, or formula to thin out as needed. Keep it basic, it’s all foreign and new to them.
Once you’ve mastered the single foods, start combining to get those little mouths wanting more. My sons favorite combinations were: apple & blueberry; potato & broccoli; apple, oatmeal, & cinnamon; carrot, apple, & mango; strawberry banana with a squeeze of orange. Don’t be shy!
As you both gain more confidence and when your Little is ready, start with more textures and flavors. Another thing I love about the bullet is you can vary
the texture easily. If you start to feed him and realize it’s still too thick, in 30 seconds you can have a smoother texture. Onions, garlic, chipotle pepper, parsley are all staples in my ingredient list. I even sprinkled cumin into a bean and rice mix, which he enjoyed as though I hadn’t fed him all day.
Learning to chew, swallow, and self-feed takes time and development. Do not get discouraged by this. Allowing your little to play in their food is excellent fine motor skill training and hands will end up in the mouth, so….there you go! Hopefully you have a food glutton dog to help clean up what lands below the high chair.
Finger foods are great to encourage self-feeding. Baked sweet potato sticks (imagine sweet potato fries), grilled cheese sticks, soft carrot wheels, blueberries (no teeth? 30 seconds in the microwave with a little water), kiwi slices, and rice husks are staples here. I have found that at this stage, I am able to use more of our dinner foods for him. Vegetable beef soup, shredded pork, tuna noodle casserole, fajita mix, baked beans; all things we have for dinner that are basic ingredients I give him he enjoys. If you can mash it easily with your tongue or the back molars, their gums can do the work.
Storing and freezing: Portion out the servings into small storage containers and/or into the bullet freezer tray or ice trays. Date each container and sharpie a freezer storage bag with the item and date. 1 minute in the microwave and voila!!!
Table time is what you make it. Allow exploration, you set the example and tone of the meal. Whipping out your favorite plane, train, and automobile sounds to get that little to eat is expected and fun. Eating with your child is important too, imitation is a developmental milestone.
10 things to remember when feeding your Littles:
- It’s okay to try jarred purees to see what your little likes.
- The trying things 4 day rule is a good rule of thumb for a reason, though I didn’t always stick to it.
- Vary it. They are people too. Attention spans are short.
- Pick up a baby food cookbook!
- If it doesn’t taste good, then it should be common sense…
- Add some flavor, but no salt please!
- Everything is a phase, good and bad, short and long.
- Small, but big enough to work on that pincher grasp!
- There is a gag reflex for a reason.
- If it causes diarrhea, a little vomit, or a rash, then….here again people is common sense. Take that food out and reevaluate.
Thanks for reading! Please comment below with your “Littles” favorite baby food combination you made OR your favorite baby food cookbook!!!