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Posts Tagged ‘first foods for baby’

As I have said previously, Mr. T and I have always fed our daughter “adult food.”  No, not the “special” brownie kind, don’t call CPS on me.  Just not what comes to mind when you think “baby food.”  Sure, I have bought a few jars here and there, cause let’s face it, they are convenient.  For the most part, though, I have simply pureed whatever we cooked for us.

When she was around six months old, we decided to introduce real food to her previously breast milk only diet and toyed over what to feed her first.  Conventional wisdom and pediatricians all say to start with rice cereal.  I’m not a doctor or an expert by any means, but I do have taste buds.  As does my daughter.  And that crap tastes like wallpaper paste.  So, I was not too keen on ruining my daughter’s first food experience by giving her something I wouldn’t touch with a ten foot pole (or 20 ft, for that matter…it’s the definition of bland).  So we went against all the books and decided to give her something tasty.

We did, however, stick to something basic for her first foray into food and went with homemade applesauce.  It was fairly easy to make, and depending on how many apples you buy it makes a ton.  I bought organic apples (be on the lookout for an upcoming post, The Dirty Dozen), peeled and cored them, and then roughly chopped them into ½ inch cubes.  I put the pieces into a glass microwave safe dish with a teeny amount of water in the bottom and cooked them until soft.  Then I broke out the handy dandy immersion blender and pureed till the cubes were smooth.  I knew she wouldn’t eat much at a time, so I spread the puree into ice cube trays, and after the cubes were frozen, popped them out and put them into a freezer safe gallon bag.  I know, it sounds like a lot of work, but it really isn’t.  Granted, I never had time to watch American Idol or The Bachelor…but you make time for the things that are important to you, right?

The process is the same for other fruits and veggies, as well as meats.  A great resource that I used all the time was www.wholesomebabyfood.com.  However, here are some of my tips/tricks:

Vegetables – fresh/frozen green beans sometimes don’t puree very smooth and some babies have issues with the texture.  I always had success with sweet potatoes, carrots, zucchini, peas, eggplant, and hard gourds (like butternut and acorn squash).  I often steamed them over the stovetop rather than in the microwave, too.  Always add a little water or broth when pureeing, and add more as needed.

Fruits – blueberries, apples, peaches and pears were her favorites.  She also loved bananas, but there is no need to cook/puree them as they easily mash with a fork.  You can use water or juice to get the right consistency.  If it is too runny when you thaw the cubes, break out the wall paper paste to thicken (baby cereal, not actual wall paper paste…)

Meats – She loved chicken the best but I would generally puree a small amount each night rather than pre puree and freeze.  Meat has a tendency to separate and get mealy when you try to heat it back up.  The trick to getting it smooth is using way more liquid (I used chicken broth) then you think you need.  

Combos – With lots of small individually frozen cubes, it’s easy to make a combo meal for your tot.  Some of her favorites were: apples/chicken, peas/carrots, peach/banana, pear/apple, apple/blueberry, apple/sweet potato or carrot, pork/peach, apple/blackberry, green bean/chicken.

Seasonings – This is the best part: adding flavor to your baby’s food.  Her favorites were: sweet curry powder to the carrot/pea combo and green beans, cinnamon and cloves to her sweet potatoes, carrots or apples, garlic/paprika with the pork/peach, ground almonds with green bean/chicken (be careful of nut allergies).

Just get creative with your combos and remember that a little seasoning goes a long way.  And please taste it before giving it to your kid.  If you think it’s good, chances are they will too.  It works both ways, too.  If you taste it and your gag reflex kicks in, try the dog.  If Fido turns his nose up, well, that’s where having a few jars of baby food on hand comes in handy.

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