Monday, September 26, 2011

Let's Do Lunch

Eliana's half birthday is fast approaching. In a couple of weeks she will be 6 months old and it will be time for my Snow Pea to begin actually eating peas! That's right it's almost solid food time! I had debated when to start solid foods for a while and after consulting my pediatrician and a few wise mommies, I chose to continue exclusive breastfeeding as long as I could. I have really just gotten the hang of the routine we're in now, so it made sense to keep it going as long as possible before adding a new element. But now that routine is about to change and really I know she's ready. She has been sitting in her high chair with us during dinner and everyday she sits up a bit better and gets a little more interested in watching us eat. Her eyes get so big as she stares at the forks and spoons in our hands and I just know she is going to love experiencing the new tastes and feelings of her first foods.

So with this big event coming up so quickly I have more decisions to make. What should her first food be? The conventional choice seems to be rice cereal, especially for babies that begin foods at 4 months since it is easy on little tummies and virtually no one is allergic to it, but since we are starting a little later we do have the option to start with almost any stage one food.
If you have little eaters in your house, what food did you start with? I have some brown rice cereal ready to go and am leaning toward staying with the status quo and starting there, but I am so excited to see how she reacts to carrots and bananas and I get tempted to skip straight ahead to a fruit or veggie.

What food to give her is not the only decision I have been mulling over lately. I have also been contemplating it's preparation, specifically whether to buy or make my own baby food. Having worked with other people's children as a nanny for many years while I was in college, I have plenty of experience with those little jars of strained beans and pureed peaches and I have always just kind of assumed they would line my pantry when it came time for me to feed a child of my own. But now that she is here the idea of smashing her food myself has become really appealing to me. Not only will I know exactly what she is eating and that it is free from any crazy additives, the more I learn about it the more making baby food myself seems easy and fun!

Since I am not really much of a chef and I don't already own one, I ran out and bought a small, cheap food processor so that I'm ready to cream and puree. I don't know how good of a job my clearance appliance will do, but I figure it will give me taste of what it's like and I can always buy a better one later. Even better than buying one though would be winning one! And even better than winning a food processor would be winning an entire baby food system complete with food storage. Lee Ann at "The Life Of Rylie and Bryce Too!" is giving away a Baby Bullet system. I have watched the infomercial a few dozen times as well as some real life youtube demonstrations, and I gotta say, it is a really cool system not to adorable with that baby friendly smiley face on everything. I know I don't need to have an appliance with "baby" in the name, but I would still love to have this one! If you want to learn more about it and the giveaway you can find Lee Ann's post here. Does anyone out there have any experience with the Baby Bullet? What do you think?

So now the countdown is on. I have spoons, bowls & bibs ready to go, baby food recipe websites bookmarked and am on the hunt for freezer trays to store my creations. If you have any advice or words of wisdom for me before we get started, please feel free to share! Any recommendations on processors or storage systems are also very appreciated. And if you know anything about those hand held netting feeders please share that as well. When is a good time to introduce those and what is a good food to use with them? I have always assumed bananas were the best start with those but again, any advice is welcome! I am a little sad that my tiny little baby has grown up so much and will be eating real food soon, it is a big milestone and a big reminder that she won't be a baby forever. But I am also very excited to witness and take part in this exciting new stage. I can't wait to see her face covered in smiles and applesauce.


Jennie said...

Branwen's been eating solids for about 2 weeks now, and I chose to start her on baby rice mixed up with breast milk. We then quite quickly went on to pureed fruit and veg that I made myself. I found bananas clogged her up and potatoes were too slippery for her to eat. Then I found this website: and I'm pretty much following that now. They've got some nice little month by month charts you can print and gives you tips on how to prepare each food for baby. Sorted. Good luck with the feeding!


Ally said...

Yes, you can definitely skip the oatmeal/rice and head straight to first foods!

As far as which ones to try first, well really you can take your pick, because it totally depends on what your baby likes! Most people say their babies only like fruit and not veggies, so they start with veggies. Well we did the opposite and our baby LOVES veggies and is only so-so about fruit.

Also - start slow. Just do it once a day for a week until you can tell she is into it. What I found worked the best is to feed her while I was eating too. Then she was much more interested.

At 7.5 months we now feed her solids 2-3 times a day, with dinner being the biggest meal.

Also - since I am a working mom I just can't find the time to make my own food - though I would LOVE TO! Don't feel bad if you end up going with jarred foods - we buy Earth's Best organic jarred foods and love them!

crazytwinmomma said...

Since you are BFing exclusively you can definitely skip the cereal. I only used it because I worked and my DS was not too keen on the bottle, so he got BM mixed with cereal. Any simple food is fine to start, but I stayed away from the really sweet ones (fruits and sweet potatoes) until mine were accepting of the less yummy green veggies. An easy food to use that needs no cooking or food processor is avocado. Many use that in lieu of cereal.

The (Type A) Nightmare said...

Hi stranger! I've been so busy with my little EK (who is now 8 1/2 mos old) that I've forgotten my computer friends... and real life friends too for that matter. I am completely enamored by her and do little else. BUT we did the same. EK actually didn't start real food until 6 1/2 mos. I attempted earlier, but she wasn't loving it. In fact, she never liked cereal... until now (with me mixing it with other foods), and I think I attempted bananas first, because I thought it'd be the best too. Some people say veggie's first, but she wasn't interested. Finally... PEARS was our answer. She ate exclusively pears for a week or two until I could convince her little mouth to try other things. Now she's a little variety eater and really starting to want "grown up" food, which I'm having a very difficult time with.

Good luck, Mom! Just pay attention to her... she'll let you know how this is going to work. Haha.

Christa said...

As you know we made our kiddos baby food. All you need is a blender/food processor and ice cube trays. Well also utensils and a couple plastic bowls to heat stuff up in. Once the puree is frozen you can pop them out of the ice cube trays, and store them in freezer bags, then pull out however many you need. I found the specialty food storage devices to be a bit of a hassle, but that was me. We started with brown rice cereal, but then quickly moved on to bananas and avocado. We did work our way through grains too. Oatmeal, millet, barley etc.