Martin is 6 months old, and we’ve been doing baby food for a little over a month now.
We decided to wait to feed him solids somewhere between 5 and 6 months for a couple of reasons. With E, I fed him right at 4 months, December 23. It was his Christmas present. But with Martin, we wanted to put it off a little longer. One of the reasons is because once you start solids, there is no returning. So selfishly, we decided to wait out of convenience sake for our dinner/night-time schedule.
We also waited because our doctor said it wasn’t necessary, plus baby food doesn’t give nearly as many calories as nursing does, so it’s not as if it would change his nursing schedule or necessarily make him sleep better, though many people swear otherwise.
With those thoughts in mind, we decided to wait a little longer. But once we started on solids, he loved it! The boy likes food. I’m not sure he has slept better, but he is enjoying getting to try new foods.
After reading Bringing Up Bebe, I decided we would start Martin on veggies instead of rice cereal. We integrated baby oatmeal and a little bit of rice cereal a few weeks into the process, but we began with some easy veggies. Here is where I switched it up a little.
A lot of people feed their babies “bland” baby foods without spices or anything. They bake a sweet potato, add water, breast-milk, or formula to the potato and blend it up. However, I found in several places, including Baby Center, suggestions that spices and sweeteners (we probably won’t use these) are ok for babies. In fact, using spices may help your baby enjoy different foods when they are older and prevent the “kid-friendly” diet of plain pasta, peanut butter & jelly, and Goldfish galore.
What I found so interesting and convincing about this argument is that babies around the world don’t eat bland food and survive just fine. Also, breast-fed babies already get hints and tastes of spices because their milk is based on the meals the mother eats. If I eat at an Indian restaurant, then Martin will be enjoying an Indian midnight snack. Therefore, giving him bland baby food is actually taking away spices that he has already experienced. It also makes feeding Martin easier when he starts to get teeth. I can just take what we’re eating (with spices on it) and grind it up to the appropriate size for his little mouth and teeth (he has 1 and it working on another!).
So, how did I integrate spices into my baby food? I cooked his veggies with ours. I sauteed squash in a little olive oil, added salt and pepper, and a little garlic. Then I did add a bit of water and blended it up. I’m using the Magic Bullet for making baby food because we already have it and because it makes a nice portion for the freezer containers we have.
With sweet potatoes, I added a little cinnamon, but no sugar. I also added some breast-milk to make it more like mashed sweet potatoes, but baby style. For asparagus, I added salt and pepper and cooked with garlic and onion. Ethan and I tried the asparagus before I froze it. We both thought it tasted pretty normal.
Until this past weekend, Martin had only eaten vegetables and a little cereal. He ate avocado a few times, a fruit, but didn’t love it probably because I didn’t puree it and just smushed it up. But, in honor of Ethan’s birthday, and us eating sugar for the first time in almost 9 weeks, I made Martin some applesauce. It was the easiest thing I’ve done yet.
Baby Food Applesauce
I took 3 Granny Smith Apples, peeled and diced, and cooked them in a small sauce pan with 1/2 cup water. Once I brought the water to a boil, I covered the pan, turned the heat down to low, and cooked for 15 minutes. I let the applesauce cool and used an immersion blender to puree the apples. You can add more water if the applesauce is too thick for your baby. For half of the apple sauce, I stored it plain. I added 1 tsp. cinnamon to the other half. This recipe would be really easy to double or triple. I just had a few apples on hand, so I only made this much. Makes about 1 1/2 cups, depending on the size of the apples.
Applesauce Ideas – It’s hard sometimes to come up with good food mixtures. I tend to just give Martin one food at a time, so I brainstormed some good blends. Here are a few ideas for mixing applesauce with other foods.
Serve applesauce with:
- smushed bananas
- smushed blueberries
- sweet potatoes
- sweet potatoes and plain whole milk yogurt
- plain whole milk yogurt (with cinnamon for sure)
- butternut or acorn squash
- pumpkin (cinnamon, nutmeg, or pumpkin pie spice) – you could also add yogurt here, too
- pork or chicken