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.