Lazy and Cheap Ways to Be Green, Part 2 (Baby Eats Normal Food)

 Child #2 eating grapefruit, with a little help from Papa.


 ***Please note that I am not a doctor or nutritionist.***   

With my second child, I saved the planet and money by avoiding packaged foods!  I saved time by not making those fruit and veggie purees.  Keep reading to find out how.  If you'd like to read about my solid food failure before reading about my solid food success, read the previous post first.  For a very simple set of infant feeding ideas, read this post

For child #2, I have taken a simple approach to introducing solid foods.  In a nutshell, we let her eat regular food.  From 6 to 9 months, we gave her little pieces of baby-friendly foods or let her bite off (with her toothless gums) a piece of a baby-friendly food herself while we held it.  Now that she has mastered the pincer grasp, we let her eat most of the baby-friendly foods by herself (some of them we dice up for her first).

These baby-friendly foods (soft foods and foods that quickly dissolve in your mouth) include but are not limited to:
banana
avocado
strawberry
kiwi
mango
steamed potato and sweet potato
steamed carrot and zucchini
grapefruit/orange/tangerine (mostly just sucking out the juice)
broccoli
bread/toast
pasta
quinoa
white and brown rice
Trader Joe's woven wheats (fake Triscuits) -- note that these have just 3 ingredients: wheat, oil, salt
pretzals
whole wheat Melba toast
ground turkey in pasta sauce
homemade beans
yogurt 
soft cheese

    Super Baby FoodI have made the whole grain infant cereal mentioned in the previous post (made by grinding up whole grains and cooking them in water on the stove top as described in the book Super Baby Food) because the dried instant stuff is gross.  My baby is always hungry and this fills her up.  If you want to make homemade whole grain cereal for your baby, but do not have a grinder or blender for grinding up whole grains, you can just make the whole grain -- like brown rice -- according to package instructions and blend some in a blender with some liquid.  Or just make oatmeal, which is very baby-friendly and requires no pureeing.  The whole grain infant cereal was my one success from feeding baby #1.

    Another trick -- I make foods for your family that will work for the baby.  When I make my curry stir-fry, I just take out some steamed vegetables for the baby before adding the sauce and seasonings.  When I made sweet potato soup, I took out some of the simple puree (onions, sweet potato, chicken broth) before adding the chili powder and other seasonings.

    I was partly inspired by Baby Led Weaning , but couldn't do that whole-heartedly, because, shoot, I am a little neurotic still and the gagging kind of freaked me out.  Mostly, my infant feeding philosophy could be loosely termed Baby Eats Normal Food. For the first month, I did wait 2-3 days between foods (to watch for an allergic reaction).  But it's kind of a pain and really limits the number of foods you can introduce while your baby is willing and eager.  From 7 months on, I let her taste almost anything we eat, including the brothy part of a meat dish, meat, a few grains of rice, pizza, etc.

    Babies are probably hard-wired to want to eat what you are eating.  Capitalize on that.  If you want your baby to eat something (for example, whole grains), you should start eating it.  If you don't want your baby to eat something (for example, Oreos or soda), stop eating it or don't eat it in front of her.


    How did you introduce solid foods to your baby?

    3 comments:

    1. I did it really differently with the two boys.

      Ray wouldn't touch anything that wasn't completely lump-free until he was 15 months old. Yep, 15 months. He gagged and acted like I was trying to kill him. I did make the Super Baby Food infant cereal though (put back through the blender after cooking), and he loved it. Finally, one day I decided to tempt him with potato chips and Frosted Flakes and either the junk food or his own developmental timetable did the trick :)

      Now Sam you couldn't keep away from anything edible from the time he could roll, scoot, reach, or crawl for it, which was fine by me. Finally at his 12 month appointment I dropped the pretense that he didn't eat his brother's peanut butter sandwich leftovers every day.

      I did have them on a non-dairy/soy diet until they were 1 year old due to their father's being diabetic. (check out www.trigr.org; Ray was in that study).

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    2. So glad to know you are the Carrie from Spain. I wasn't sure before with the other comment about draping the laundry all over. Couldn't quite picture you doing that for some reason.

      You are absolutely right. Of course kids are different. But after all the specially made organic purees that Sergio rejected, I don't think I'll ever be making food just for baby again. If the imaginary child #3 doesn't like toast and kiwi, he/she will be stuck with yogurt, whole grain infant cereal, applesauce, mashed banana, mashed avocado, and veggie soup purees until toddler-hood.

      Maybe the eagerness for real food is a second child thing.

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    3. I was vigilant about food introduction with E, using regular baby food purees and a calendar and all that, but he just wants to eat and eat and eat all things and I have since slacked and adopted a similar approach to yours. I still try to give him single ingredient foods as much as possible, at least the first time, but he is forever grabbing food away from J and and eating it on the sly, so I am not really sure what he's eaten! And now he's so OVER baby food, I am forcing him to finish what we have left, because I don't want to waste it!

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