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:
bananaavocadostrawberrykiwimangosteamed potato and sweet potatosteamed carrot and zucchinigrapefruit/orange/tangerine (mostly just sucking out the juice)broccolibread/toastpastaquinoawhite and brown riceTrader Joe's woven wheats (fake Triscuits) -- note that these have just 3 ingredients: wheat, oil, saltpretzalswhole wheat Melba toastground turkey in pasta saucehomemade beansyogurtsoft cheese
I 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?