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Thursday, August 1, 2013

Munchkin Meals: Baby Led Solids, Homemade Baby Food & Healthy Eats for Baby

I haven't really written on the blog about Caroline's eating. On her monthly updates I've listed some of her favorites, but that's been about it. Ironically Caroline's eating is a big part of our day (especially if you consider all the time I spend cleaning up after her meals- ha!). 

Caroline was very interested in our food around 4 months. I wanted to wait longer though before introducing solids. But with her interest in our food increasing I introduced a few basic purees at around 5 1/2 months. And she absolutely hated them. I was shocked! Every time we ate she was grabbing for our food, but the first several times I offered her a spoon of baby food she gagged and made faces like it tasted horrible. Where was the disconnect? What was I missing? So I took a step back and came up with a new plan because I wanted her to love eating a variety of healthy foods. (and this was after more than a dozen attempts with introducing baby food purees).

1) Homemade baby food. The store bought stuff just isn't that tasty- I've tried it. It's great in a pinch. But except for the jarred peas and jarred sweet potatoes Caroline just wasn't interested. But making my own baby food was surprisingly easy. I just cooked the veggies (or used pre-cooked frozen veggies) and popped them in the food processor. Froze the puree in an ice cube tray and viola! I also did a lot of avocado puree because it was so easy- just scoop out the avocado, press blend, and you're ready to go!

2) Baby led weaning/baby led solids. True baby led solids includes no purees.  We did a combination of baby led solids and purees. I'd say about 70% baby led solids and 30% purees at first. Then she really started to prefer the purees for a few weeks so we went with mostly those. Then at about 7 months we introduced more finger foods and less purees and now at 8 months the only spoon feeding we do is yogurt (because even though baby led weaning suggest pre-loading the spoon with yogurt and handing it to the baby I've learned that just doesn't work for us yet...the yogurt does everywhere but the mouth).

3) Watch YouTube videos of babies eating. It sounds crazy but I kid you not...after I sat Caroline in front of the computer on my lap and we watched a few videos of babies eating she did so much better from there on out. I told another friend about it and she tried it with her daughter and it worked well for them too. She wasn't into copying me eating when I demonstrated but copying other babies? Oh yes. Isn't she a little young for peer pressure?

And it's been a sort of happily ever after tale since. She really enjoys eating, is willing to try new things, and is an all around healthy little eater. Here are what some of our Munchkin Meals are looking like these days:

Breakfast: 1/2 piece of Ezekiel Cinnamon Raisin Bread toasted. Small bowl Stoneyfield Whole Milk Yogurt with applesauce mixed in to sweeten it a bit. Stealing bites of Daddy's morning banana. 

Lunch: Black beans, 1/4 Horizon Colby cheese stick, big handful of Happy Baby Super Greens Puffs, Watermelon

Dinner: Sweet potato, whole wheat bread pieces dipped in roasted red pepper hummus, popsicle made of frozen berries and whole milk yogurt, 1/4 Horizon Mozzarella cheese stick.

Whenever we can we also give her some of what we're eating if it's easy enough for her to handle with her little fingers and just two front teeth.  

And she also has 4 bottles a day. 

Linking up with one of my absolute favorite bloggers, Brittany @ A Healthy Slice of Life for her Munchkin Meals series. Check her blog out for more healthy Munchkin Meals inspiration! 


Unknown said...

Love this post! I love reading things like this so I can know what to be prepared for. Sounds like things are going great for y'all!

gschroer said...

She is so precious and a good little eater! My son wasn't really too big on the pureed foods either so we did more finger foods and chunks. I also pureed a lot of veggies and fruits to put into other foods like veggie nuggets, smoothies, etc.

Aileen said...

Sounds like she has a great diet! I'll have to remember baby led eating for future reference.

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