Monday, 8 June 2020

FIRST FOODS FOR BABY


I cant believe it's been almost 10 years since I started feeding my first baby solid foods. There has been lots of changes in reccomendations, but also alot has remained the same. It's been really fun reading up about best baby food practices! And I love that my big kids are interested in helping out. At least a little. Haha.

I'm definitely no expert, but it's been so fun seeing Annie try some new foods and I'm really excited to share what has been working well for our family.




There seem to be 2 main camps of how to feed baby their first foods. Purees or Baby Led Weaning. We did purees with all our other kids first, and so it seems fitting we start with purees for Annie as well. This time around we will try a combination of purees and allow her to try her finger feeding herself as well. So many mams I've talked to shared how their babies loved baby led weaning.



BEST FIRST FOODS FOR BABY

While there are so many foods that would be benificial to babies, there are the ones I think are perfect first foods for babies. They are nutritious, healthy, full of flavor, and easy to steam or mash up for those little mouths. And they are easy to find in your grocery market.

Bananas
Apples
Broccolli
Sweet Potatoes/Yams
Avocado
Green Beans
Yogurt
Butternut Squash
Peas
Carrots
Eggs





WHEN IS BABY READY?

Most doctors recommend babies start eating around 6 months. But this is just a guideline. Some parents start a little earlier and some start a little later. (I always wait as long as I can becuase just milk is so much easier!) But I know it's a really fun new milestone and lots of parents can't wait to get started. A few things to think about it when you're deciding if your baby is ready to eat.

Is your baby able to sit up on their own?

Is your baby able to hold up their head well?

Is your baby able to grab and reach for items?

Don't get discouraged at first if your baby doesn't seem to be that interested or eating much. When we were only one month in, Annie was eating the tiniest amount per meal.  (It was about 2-3 teaspoons per meal.) But as she got used to eating, she started to get more excited about food and eating, which is a really good sign!





SUGGESTIONS TO GET STARTED

First Bites

Start out small and slow. Start by serving baby one or two items for a few days to get them used to it. I decied on two items for their first foods and gave it to Annie over a few days. You can start with only one if you like, but I started out making a combination of 2 items per meal. Some of my favorite first food combinations were banana/avocado, carrots/egg yolk, sweetpotato/egg yolks. Eggs and Avocados are so healthy and easy to mash up with other foods!

Be Patient

During those first few weeks your baby may only eat a tiny amount of food. They may enjoy playing with their spoon and food more than actually eating. That's ok! Just keep trying and offering healthy foods to your baby. They will eventually enjoy it and find their strides in eating.






Purees

Purees are a wonderful way to start babies on foods. All you need is a steamer and a blender/food processor. Start with steaming (you can even do a few different foods at once) and then blend them until they are smooth or chunky (as they get more used to eating). You can keep them in the fridge for a day or two, or freeze them in ice cube trays/small containers to use when you need them. We started all our kids on carrots/sweet potatoes.

Try a combination

I love mixing and matching different combinations of food for babies! It often adds different textures and flavor varieties when you mix them up. Egg yolks, Avocados and bananas are really easy foods you can mix into others. Egg yolks and Avocados are perfect thickeners too. I love adding egg yolks into all veggies, and bananas go perfect with a variety of fruits.




Finger Foods (Baby Led Weaning)

One your baby is able to grab at objects by themselves, you may want to try letting them grab at their food and see if they enjoy feeding themselves.

If you decide to try Baby Led Weaning make sure to steam their food until very soft and cut it into long strips like a matchstick. This allows your baby to grab it in their hands easily and will help avoid baby choking on little bits of food. Perfect foods for baby led weaning include brocolli, carrots and green beans! Feel free to steam a varietyof foods all at the same time - you don't need to cook them all seperately. And then offer them throughout the day.

A few ideas for BLW first foods

Brocolli
Cauliflower
Carrots
Green Beans

Eat together as a family

One of my favorite things about starting solids is that baby gets to start being with us during our meals! We eat all our meals as a family daily, and that's something that's really important to us. It builds healthy eating habits, and the time spent together over a meal socializing and talking are really good for our family dynamics.
At first your baby may mostly just play and chew on their spoons/bowls/plates, but once they can start eating more, it really feels like you're all together at the dinner table.




Don't forget, there's no right or wrong way to feed your baby! Try a variety of foods and methods to encourage your baby to eat.

Baby Led Weaning may be a great way to include your baby in what you're eating for dinner already.

Purees may work well for your family if you're on the go and need quick meals to offer your baby. It's really easy to do big batches of food and freeze them so they're ready at a moments notice.

And a combo may offer the flexibility of both!

Encouraging your baby to try new foods is the best thing you can offer your baby during these early months of feeding. Keep trying new foods and have fun doing it!

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