With your second child you become a lot more wiser. You realize the error of your new mom ways and try not to repeat the same missteps that you made the first time. One of my missteps as a new mom was buying baby food. I tired at first to make all his baby food but it was too time consuming. I was cooking all his food separate from everything else, and even had small dishes that I used to make him separate meatloafs! Baby Jack is eating baby food and I know that I want to give him nutritious and wholesome food that does come in a jar, so once again I will make his food but this time I know what to do to ensure that I do not give up when I have to return to work.
Making baby food for your baby does not mean extra work. There are a lot of foods that you can give baby to eat as finger foods, even if they do not have all their teeth. Baby Jack starting teething at 6 months, but at 4 months he was already ‘chewing’ on soft foods. Making food for baby does not mean that you need to cook or prepare something separate for them to eat every day.
Starting Baby Food
When your Doctor gives the okay for starting baby, or if you feel that your child is ready to start baby food (You know your child is ready to start baby food when they do not spit out soft foods places in their month. This occurs around 4 months) start simple. Use a portion of the vegetables that you prepare for dinner. We love steamed broccoli and/or vegetables at our house. After steaming the vegetables I would take a few pieces of broccoli and blend them with some Nursery water and place in a bowl for Baby Jack. This bowl would last me most of the week. I would use frozen veggies to make his meals sometimes. A handful of steamed peas, or carrots makes a quick and easy meal, and I could I also refreeze the veggies to use at a later time. When preparing fruits I always buy fresh. I would cut a few slices from an apple, or a few pieces of bananas and give the rest to my son for a snack. When introducing baby foods remember to only introduce one food at a time and let them try the food over a few days before introducing a new food. I would breastfeed baby first and then afterwards try to feed him the puree broccoli. Sometimes he would take a few bites and sometimes he would spit it out. And that is okay. When introducing baby foods, sometimes your baby will eat and sometimes they will not. The goal is to get them used to eating and swallowing, and it will take time. I would also have a box of organic oatmeal cereal to feed him that I mixed with breatmilk. Usually when starting baby food a lot of it is wasted. You baby will either spit it out, or they just do not want it. So you do not need a lot to start. I never kept freshly made veggies or fruit longer than a week.
Transitioning to food
When your baby begins to swallow and stops tongue thrusting their food you can begin to transition to food that has more texture. I started when I noticed that Baby Jack seemed to ‘chew’ on his food, although he didn’t have teeth. I began to still serve him food that he had eaten previously, but I stopped pureeing them. I give Baby Jack his broccoli not just cut into tiny pieces, and I mashed bananas up or sometimes give them to him in smaller pieces. We have also started to explore new foods such as edamame, butternut squash, zucchini, chicken and whole wheat pasta. I usually take my hands and pull the food into smaller pieces while I feed him and myself! And that his how I ‘make’ his baby food. Baby Jack eats at the table in a high chair, with the rest of the family.When he sees others eating he is more likely to eat more and he is learning the importance of family mealtime and conversations. I have read articles saying that babies can eat what we eat. We were at dinner at my Aunt’s house and Baby Jack was 4months old, he was hungry and I gave him his bottle and he kept pushing it away but he was watching me eat my food, so I gave him some roasted squash and he it all. When our grandparents were growing up you couldn’t buy baby food. When your baby wanted to eat they mashed up their food and gave the baby what the family ate. I had introduced baby food a few times before this moment, but realized then I could give my baby a healthy option if I prepared the food myself. After that I stopped buying baby food and started making homemade baby food.
Why making baby food is best…
1- Taste better: Have you ever tasted baby food? The bananas do not taste like a banana. If the only ingredient is banana, why doesn’t it taste like a banana? Because there is other stuff added, it’s not as fresh. Save yourself the dollar that it cost to buy one jar of bananas and buy a real one for 40 cents and make three jars of bananas that will actually taste like a banana.
2- Cost efficient: If you are already preparing meals for your family why buy separate food for you baby? The homemade, nutritious goodness that you made is better than anything in a jar. If you are preparing something spicy or something that has seafood then yes, you will have to prepare something separate for baby but buying a few pieces of fruit or vegetables will yield way more food than buying a jar of baby food.
3- Introducing a variety of foods- When introducing baby foods there are only a few options. If you make your own food then your can introduce baby to a variety of foods, which means that they will probably not be a picky eater. The wider the variety of foods they try when they are younger the more likely they will want to try and eat a variety of foods when they are older, and that is AWESOME!!!
4- I know what my child is eating- When I make his food I know exactly what is going into his body PERIOD.
5- If all else fails give them finger foods- Giving your child age appropriate finger foods will help them with their hand eye coordination and their ability to feed themselves. It gives you an opportunity to try to eat, or drink a sip of water. There are child acceptable finger foods that you can introduce that need little to no prep before giving to you child.
At the end of the day giving your child homemade baby food ensure that you are giving them healthy foods. It is cost efficient and you know exactly what your child is getting in every bite. Check out my Pinterest board with more recipe ideas
What are your go to baby recipes? Please leave your comments below!