Hello everyone! So this month has been absolute craziness for me. I’ve been bombed with work, school volunteer stuff, parenting, surgery and of course Maverick started officially eating solids this month. Baby food and prep can seem like a daunting task at first, but it’s really fairly simple. I’ll save you the long intro and jump right into it.
Here are my 5 basic rules for baby food:
- No Honey until they are 1 year old. Click here to read why.
- Make sure it’s not a choking hazard and be with them when they’re eating
- Try to avoid major allergens until 8 months
- Slowly introduce new foods
- Be consistent and trust yourself
There’s a number of ways you can start your baby on solids
Buy Pre-made baby food from your grocery store: This is probably the easiest route but the most costly (especially if you’re looking for organic). Baby food manufacturers clearly label all products by stage. (Stage 1 = first foods 4-6 months, Stage 2 = 6-8 months and so on). Each container or pouch of food will likely cost $1.00-$4.00 and won’t last more than 1-3 feedings at most.
Make your own baby food purees at home: You’ll need to do a little more work (cooking and prep) and a little research but, first time foods are pretty easy (one ingredient) and you can make batches of food that will last weeks. Another upside is that you’ll know exactly what’s in your baby food. Initially you’ll be spending more if you don’t have the right equipment and containers for your baby food but in the long run it’s definitely more cost efficient than buying pre-made foods. Another thing a lot of people ask me is if I use all organic foods… Nope. I do what I can but I’m just too poor for all that Whole Foods Stuff all the time.
Baby-led weaning: This is when you skip spoon feeding your baby all together and let them jump right into feeding themselves (which will take a few tries at first) but it lets baby explore different textures and discover tastes with their own hands. You’ll still need to consider safety and do a little research before starting this but like anything else – trusting your motherly or fatherly instincts is key.
Whichever way you decide to feed your baby, it’s perfect!
If you’re a first time mom or dad you’re probably wondering which way is the best way to feed your little one. Truth is, there is no right or wrong answer! Whatever works for you, works for you. As long as your baby is happy, healthy and developing a like for new tastes, you’re on the right track.
So what did I decide to do?
I use a combination of all 3. Why? Well, because I just do whatever is the most convenient for me at the time. Too busy (or in my case too tired) to make food? Buy it. Wanna save money on a particular trip to the store? Use fruits and veggies to puree. Too busy to spoon feed? I give the baby something safe to handle in his high chair while I attend to my 2 older kids during meals.
Mavericks Everyday Feeding Schedule:
Although you’re introducing new foods, this doesn’t mean you stop breast or bottle feeding. Continue with your bottle or breast feeding schedule and don’t switch out for cow’s milk until 12 months or until your pediatrician recommends. Note: Having solid foods in baby’s belly will most likely have him or her drink less milk and that’s totally normal too.
Here’s an average feeding schedule for Maverick:
He is currently 19lbs and will be turning 6 months in exactly 7 days.
Every baby is different so don’t be shocked if your baby eats more or less.
5:30am: wakes up and drinks about 6oz formula and knocks out again
9am: breakfast, baby food (1 cube, I’ll explain this below)
11am: 6oz formula
2-3pm: all 3 of my kids have a snack- great opportunity to have baby self feed
4pm: 6oz formula
6-7pm: dinner, baby food 1-2 cubes and/or bits of stuff from our dinner table.
10pm: 6oz formula
11:30pm: if he’s fussy and hungry i’ll give him about 2 more oz of formula if he’s not knocked out for the night already
Maverick will sometimes drink 1 bottle more or less in a 24 hour period. When he’s super fussy I feed him a little more. Is this considered right? I don’t know, but it’s been working for me! Use common sense, if your baby is spitting up after every bottle or feed, definitely feed less.
What do you use when preparing your own baby food purees?
I’ve had a number of new moms ask me this question so I’ll post the answer here. I’m a very minimalist kind of mom and don’t want or need any of the fancy gear. Although I have tried a lot of the baby food makers and stuff I found it easier to clean a blender and pot than a product that does both at once. But that’s just me.
Here’s what I currently use
- Pot with lid
- Steamer that fits into my pot
- Silicone baby food containers
You most likely have the pot, steamer and blender at home already. The silicone containers that I have are from 6 years ago with my first child. They are from a brand called Goodies. I found them on Amazon awhile back but can’t find them anymore. Luckily since then, tons of new companies made very similar products. I’ll link everything in a bit.
Preparing foods is easy
- I start off with a little water in my pot and put the steamer in there.
- I chop up whatever I want to cook and throw it in.
- Close the lid and cook. Easy.
- You’ll know when everything is done cooking when you can poke through with a fork (in my case a chopstick) easily.
- Remove from heat, open the lid of the pot and wait for things to cool down a bit.
- Blend. Mix in a little water if your puree looks a little too thick. Too watery? Add some baby rice cereal.
- Pour your puree into your silicone container and throw into the freezer. Store up to 2-3 weeks.
- You can easily pop out 1 cube at a time. They say don’t microwave but I do for 20-30 seconds (because mom life).
- Usually my cubes are still half frozen so I mix everything until it’s all thawed.
- I take a spoon and do a little heat test by putting some food on the back of my hand. Too hot? I wait for it to cool. Too cold? I add a teeny bit of hot water to warm things up and do the test again.
- One cube for me is about 2oz. This info is provided by the manufacturer of the containers so read through the instructions.
- I like to make single ingredient purees because they are easy to make combos later on. Example: I made carrot puree today and a peas puree a week ago. Take 1 cube of each and thaw you’ll have a carrot and peas puree. This is super helpful for when you’re starting to add meats to your babys diet. (chicken and peas, turkey and carrots etc.) A few other of a favorite combos are blueberry/beets, butternut squash/apple/banana, and Parsnip/apple.
- You can add cinnamon! So when I only have carrot puree but want to mix things up for the baby I thaw out 1 cube of carrot puree, add some water and baby rice cereal and a teeny pinch of cinnamon. Totally changes the taste and baby loves it. Easy.
- If your baby gags or doesn’t seem to like a certain food, it’s ok and totally normal! I usually try feeding Maverick the same food for 2 days in a row. If he doesn’t seem to like it, I stop and try again in a few days.
Links to purchase:
*** If any of the above information was useful and you are interested in purchasing anything mentioned in this post please use my Amazon links provided below and throughout my writing! By doing this I am able to receive a small commission at absolutely no extra cost to you and I will be able to continue blogging and doing what I love to do! TIA
My Fav Pre-Made Baby Foods
Silicone Baby Food Trays Pretty Much Identical To Mine
(The clip on lid is SO essential. It’s such a small detail but it really helps lock everything in with no spills in your freezer!)
*So yeah, obviously I’m not a doctor or anything and the above information is mostly trial and error type things I’ve picked up with my own kids. Definitely, Do a little research and find what works best for you and your little one. If in doubt, ask your pediatrician. Please let me know of any new trick and tips in the comments below!