Today we are linking up again with Lemon Lime Adventures Ultimate Guide to Baby’s First Year. The topic today is the Ultimate Guide to Feeding Baby (it’s packed with great baby food ideas and advice from many mommy bloggers about breast feeding, bottle feeding, starting solids, and more! So, make sure you stop by!)
One of the most popular posts on my blog is Quick & Healthy Toddler Meal and Snack Ideas which I wrote last year when Little J became a toddler, and I wanted to provide him with a variety of healthy and exciting foods to eat.
So, I want to bring to you a similar resource for babies. My boys are now 22 months and 8 months old, and I have done so much research into how and what to feed them. It is at times a little overwhelming. I’ll share what I have learned from feeding two babies, back-to-back.
The biggest things I believe in when it comes to feeding baby:
1. Let baby explore food at their own pace. If they’re not ready for texture or chunks, then stick to purees. If they show more interest in thicker foods, that’s great, too. Every baby develops at their own pace, and it’s different every with my own children. They do things on their own schedule.
2. Let baby try to self-feed. Yes, it’s messy, I know. BUT, it’s great for their confidence, coordination, and motor skills…and the benefits far outweigh the mess! Baby L gets really frustrated if I try to feed him, so I put a bib on him, and let him go to town on his food! Give the baby a spoon and try to not intervene. At the very least, it’ll make for some cute pictures…but more than likely it’ll mean that your child will be able to self-feed a lot earlier than you’d think 🙂
3. Mix it up, and try new foods. (Obviously, pay attention to food guidelines and recommendations for allergens, etc.) Just like you don’t want to eat the same thing every single day, neither does your baby! Try new foods to excite their developing taste buds!
|Baby L self-feeding yogurt|
Baby L’s orange high chair is our awesome space saving Joovy Nook – you can read my review here.
On to the food…
Some super easy and healthy go-to ideas for babies to eat that don’t require much preparation:
Ripe avocado – mash with a fork until it’s the consistency you would like, and feel free to add in water, breast milk, or formula to make it smoother.
Banana – do the same as the avocado, just mash with a fork. No heating or cooking required for either.
Baby cereal – again, this is something quick that you can just add water, breast milk, or formula to and it’s ready in less than a minute! I tend to use oatmeal cereal over rice cereal, but that’s a personal preference. Also, rice cereal does not need to be the first food that your baby tries. You can start with banana or avocado if you would like to. No rules on what must come first.
Yogurt – once your baby is older than 6 months, you can try yogurt with them. My kids absolutely LOVE yogurt, and want to eat it every day. No prep necessary, just serve. I like to buy an organic yogurt such as Stonyfield Organic YoBaby.
Steamed fresh veggies – this is pretty popular in our house! Simply steam cauliflower, for example, until super soft, and mash with a fork. I think cauliflower works great for this because it’s really easy to mash up. You can try a sweet potato, broccoli (not recommended under 6 months due to gas), or squash.
Once your baby is ready for more flavor combos and variety, you can easily make your own baby food at home. We have a Baby Brezza One Step Baby Food Maker which steams and chops food all in one container. You can do all of that yourself without the machine, but in an effort to save time and kitchen clean-up, it was totally worth it to me to buy it.
Once you steam and chop or puree the food, you can easily pour it into individual containers to either serve within the next 48 hours or freeze for future use. If you are going to use the food right away I like the Wean Green Glass Cubes to keep food fresh and stored safely.
If you are going to freeze your homemade baby food, you can use this very convenient silicone freezer tray. The food freezes in 1 ounce portions, and once it’s frozen you pop the cubes out of the tray and then transfer to a Ziploc bag or other freezer safe container for quick availability.
Some simple, fun, homemade baby food combinations:
Peaches and Pears – easy to chop and put into baby food maker for a quick combo that’s sure to please!
Chicken and apples with cinnamon – (cook the chicken prior to making the baby food) just put chopped up chicken and apples into baby food maker and sprinkle in some cinnamon…baby will love this one!
Sweet potatoes with apple
Zucchini with banana
Green beans with pear
Beef with carrots
Pasta with chicken
Don’t be afraid to experiment with different flavors and combinations to excite your baby and keep them interested in food.
One of the best resources that I have found on the online for feeding baby is Momtastic’s Wholesome BabyFood website. I referred back to it constantly when I was new to feeding Little J. So much information on there with many amazing charts, guidelines, and LOTS of recipes.
If making baby food isn’t for you, that’s ok, too! There are so many healthy and quick options available for purchase. We love pouches in this house, too! Try some Happy Baby Organic Baby Food in simple combos to start.
Don’t forget to enter the giveaway below to win one of the incredible baby prize packs from tons of awesome sponsors for this Ultimate Baby series!
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