Just when we finally got the whole milk feeding thing down, it was time to think about starting solids. The thought was pretty overwhelming. This post will focus on our experience with puréed foods. We had so many questions! How does he eat (I mean he doesn’t have teeth)? What can he eat? How much does he eat? What is this baby led weaning thing? The questions were seemingly endless and answers were few and far between.
At 4.5 months we started feeding Aiden puréed fruits and vegetables. We chose this time because he was able to sit on his own, and he showed A LOT of interest in our food. In hindsight, it may have been better to wait a little because we aren’t sure his digestive system was quite ready to handle solids (but more on that later).
Since we were starting early we decided to go with a hybrid approach of traditional purée feeding followed by baby led weaning. We decided to make our own purées. Although many people complain that it is time consuming and expensive, if you do it right it is actually the opposite! For about $3.00-$5.00 we can make 24 servings (about 3 tablespoons per serving). We would make a whole bunch on a Sunday afternoon and freeze them to serve throughout the week. The prep time is maybe 10 minutes (to chop/prepare fruits and vegetables) and if you have a one-step baby food maker you can steam and purée in one machine.
Aiden has loved eating since we started, and we haven’t really found anything he doesn’t like (although I’m sure that will change at some point)! His first purée was apple and cinnamon. We fed him only apples for a few days because we wanted to make sure he didn’t have any allergic reactions, but then he got constipated. It turns out apples are very constipating (so are bananas, rice cereal, iron fortified oatmeal and rice) so that was fun. Also, at 4.5 months Aiden could not do the recommended two full tablespoons (which we learned the hard way, when he threw up apples for an hour — yikes!) We stuck with 2 teaspoons for the first month, in the morning and at night (always after a milk feeding) and went by the mantra “food before one is just for fun”.
Purées have a bit of a bad reputation because they are usually bland mush that gets shoved in a baby’s mouth; however, we mixed a lot of different spices and flavors together and we let him guide us as far as the pace of feeding. We also let him play with the food. Even though it’s messy, it’s how babies learn.
As far as the recipes, we mostly stick with the website Baby FoodE (she also has a cookbook) and have had great success. We’ve never fed Aiden boring plain purées, in fact, I actually like to eat them myself with breakfast sometimes 🙂 We have had the best success using prunes or plums, pears and sweet potatoes. Those are the least constipating, and also mix well with a variety of spices. Even now, at almost 8 months, we still feed Aiden purées, either alone if we don’t have something prepared for him, with his baby led weaning solids or mixed in his oatmeal.
High Chair — We have the Fisher Price EZ Clean High Chair and I love how easy it is to clean. The tray is dishwasher safe and the chair cover is machine washable. The downside, I found out later, is that Consumer Reports changed the standards of safety for high chairs and recommends having the tray line up with baby’s chest, it is actually easier for a baby to eat if the tray is a bit lower. This makes sense when you think about how we eat, the table is not up by our chest. The Stokke Tripp Trapp High Chair comes very highly recommended and apparently is adjustable to the point that you could use it through adulthood.
Baby Brezza One Step Baby Food Maker — I love this little machine. You put in your chopped fruits/veggies and it steams and blends on its own in one bowl. It saves a ton of time.
Beaba Silicone Multi-Portion Container — This container is great for freezing the purées. Each section holds about 3 tablespoons. Once the purées are frozen, it’s easy to pop them out and we bag them and put them in the freezer to thaw and serve during the week.
Munchkin Bowls — I like these bowls because they fit a good amount of food and also have a cover, so we can put some fresh purée in the refrigerator for a couple of days, or defrost one overnight or pack one and send it with Aiden to daycare. They are also an Amazon add on item, so you get a pretty good deal.
Munchkin Spoons — Although the Munchkin bowls above come with two spoons, I ordered an extra set so we would have plenty around.
Num Num Gootensil — The Munchkin spoons are good for feeding baby, but not so good for baby to feed himself. The Num Num Gootensil is small enough for a baby to hold and it actually picks up purées to help with self feeding.
Pouches — The great thing about these purées is you can use them for a snack as baby gets older. With these reusable pouches or event the Kiindle bags I have mentioned in the past, baby can be like all the cool babies and have a pouch of homemade baby food! You could also freeze specific portion sizes in the pouches instead of using the multi-portion container.
Aiden Approved Recipes by Baby FoodE:
Sweet Potato, Coriander and Coconut Milk (or Mama’s milk)