Since my kitchen is still a disaster area, I thought it might be fun to share a peek at what our little guy is eating this week, rather than looking at our random take-out meals and smoothies.
Some parents are anxious to start feeding their little ones solid food, but I am not one of them. Nursing is so convenient that I haven’t been looking forward to preparing extra meals or cleaning extra dishes! (Not to mention the extra cleaning of floors, tables, hands, etc…)
Of course, exclusively nursing hasn’t been “easy” for me by any means, either. In fact, I’ve had a pretty rough go of it. Breastfeeding hurt me for FIVE solid months. Ouch! This is not the norm for most people– it’s only common for breastfeeding to hurt for the first few days– but despite my numerous visits with lactation consultants (who all assured me that my son’s latch was “perfect,” and that he didn’t have tongue or lip tie), and even watching some detailed YouTube videos, we just couldn’t get a consistent pain-free latch down for those first five months. Luckily, this didn’t impact my milk supply at all, since we continued to nurse on demand, and our baby has grown into a healthy little chunk! Don’t ask me what has changed, but for some reason my son’s latch magically resolved itself at the five-month-mark, and I’m beyond grateful that we can both enjoy a comfortable nursing relationship now.
And that’s still what our baby is mostly eating– breast milk! Most pediatricians and health organizations agree that babies should receive the majority of their calories from breast milk (or formula) for the first 12 months, and that “food before one is just for fun.”
Can’t you tell?
Of course, if someone fed me plain avocado, I’d probably have the same reaction– it’s not my favorite flavor on its own. (In guacamole or pudding, however, it’s another story!) After delaying solids until well after the 6-month-mark, which helped keep our baby’s immunity high while we traveled last month, we have opted to skip any sort of baby cereals, and are jumping right into fruits and veggies. His first food was a ripe avocado, mashed with a little bit of breast milk that I hand-expressed directly into the bowl.
Needless to say, he wasn’t a fan. (We also tried the baby led weaning route, but once he knew what avocado smelled like, he wouldn’t bring it anywhere near his mouth!)
I continued to offer avocado for four days straight, to rule out any food allergies, before moving onto the next food– which was sweet potato! Since sweet potato tastes sweeter, and therefore more similar to breast milk, I was hoping we’d have better luck this time around. I had a pouch of organic sweet potato baby food to try (the ingredients are just organic sweet potatoes and water), but after tasting it myself, I wasn’t a fan. So, I whipped up my own version by simply blending together a small amount of steamed and peeled sweet potatoes with filtered water.
To make our homemade baby food, I’ve been using this new blender that I just love. Instead of using a plastic blender container, it blends directly into GLASS mason jars! That means there’s no extra container to clean up, and you can serve and store the blended food directly from the glass jar you used for blending. This blender works with practically any regular-mouth glass jars, so the size options are endless, too. I’ve been using these 4 oz. glass mason jars for making baby food, but larger glass jars fit on this blender, as well, which are perfect for making individual smoothies and sauces. (Disclosure: Tribest sent me this complimentary blender to try out, and I happily accepted because I love the idea of using glass instead of plastic! I think this idea is brilliant.)
As you can see, homemade baby food looks more appealing than the packaged stuff, too.
I personally thought the sweet potato mixture tasted delicious, and certainly better than plain avocado, but our little guy just isn’t a fan of any food yet. His grimaces are priceless!
This was our second attempt at baby led weaning, which basically means we let him feed himself rather than relying on purees. This puts the baby in control of what goes into his or her mouth… which in our case, means nothing goes into his mouth. But, he does like mushing the food between his hands!
We plan on introducing more whole foods over the next several months, but I have a feeling I won’t have any fun baby food recipes to share for quite some time. For now, we’re just keeping it simple!
For more baby food resources, I’ve found the following links to be helpful in deciding how to feed our baby. (Like most things health-related, they can be a bit contradictory of each other, so I just use the bits and pieces that resonate with our family.)
Reader Feedback: I’d love to hear about your experience with introducing solids! What was your baby’s favorite first food?