This post if for all you guys that are getting ready to start you LO's on SOLID FOODS! Man, I'm SO sad vaca is over, but I'm SO excited to be home! Even though we have been eating solids, we haven't been able to fully enjoy it (i.e. naked and in high chairs with the RIGHT foods!; not that we ate the wrong ones, I just didn't have time to do my research b4 we left!) Questions that are common when starting solids: Do I puree and freeze? Do make fresh every few days? Do I buy "baby food"? When do I start rice cereal? Does my baby need water? WHAT THE HECK DO I FEED MY KID? lol.... Tonight (as I power pump for 2 hours), I have answers to all those questions and SO MUCH MORE! (recipes, what foods to give at what ages, nutrition info, etc.) All this parenting stuff is already super hard! Who has time to sit down and figure all this stuff out? (let alone really wants to waste the time doing all the digging to find the info!) You see, this is what I do... I research and form opinions and report them (ya, I know I know.... I'm a nerd!!!!) Before I get knee deep into this.... let me just say that this book has been my one stop shopping savior for info about weaning! It is called "Super Baby Food," by Ruth Yaron. (THIS is the newest edition)....; I have the 2nd edition (1996) and just used it at a guideline for my decisions in solid food feedings And to think I found it at a thrift store for like a quarter (no joke!) Again, I know I'm a HUGE nerd (and this just simply goes to prove it lol), but best. quarter. EVER. spent! ok, here goes.....
Foods that I will be giving the girls for the first month: (BLW food every AM and 5L and 5D; "OTHER" FOOD (spoon feedings foods) every AM/ 1 or 2L/ 3-4D ... this is not set in stone, but rather a rough outline; taking into consideration things like, days dad works from home, weekends, nights when we don't get a "family dinner" due to life happening... As they get older, it will become more and more easier to get dinner out of the way before their bedtime because they will be able to eat more and more foods; 9 months is where my hopes get high.)
- BLW FOOD: AVOCADO/ CELERY / MANGO / PEAR/ SWEET POTATO "FRIES"/BANANAS
- "OTHER" FOOD: "PORRIDGE"/ GUACAMOLE / RUSS (MANGO)/ PUREES
General info about each choice; please refer to future posts for more info on prepping/ cooking/ and storing each
AVOCADO is THE BEST food out there for anyone, ESPECIALLY my new little eaters! It has the highest portion of "good" fats and UNSATURATED FATTY ACID. These nutrients are PERFECT for brain development!!! I plan to give these in "sticks" and also as "guacamole" (aka smushed up avocados lol).
The above is obviously the best food choices for a six month old just beginning on food. (It was the first solids they ate as well. And the most frequently eaten on vacation). I am also going to give them SWEET POTATOES, but I want to make sure that they only get eaten a 2-3 times a week so the girls don't turn orange from the BETA CAROTENE lol. It is also a good source of MAGNESIUM and POTASSIUM. I plan to buy 2 or 3 every few weeks (they can be stored frozen for up to 10-12 months!), and cook and THEN freeze them (of course saving a few to serve "fresh" for the week). I will be cutting them into fries before cooking, laying them flat to dry in ziplock freezer bag (so they don't freeze all stuck together), and eventually transferring all fries to one storage bag (and they don't have to all lay flat to freeze without sticking to each other.
CELERY is ok to give, as long as you pull the strings out. This is one where they said to wait til were 7 mo, and the girls are only a few weeks away from it soooooo.... (plus with the wait for every 5 days rule...we wait 3.... it will probably be close to 7 mo when we get to it anyways lol. Celery is supposed to be really good for teething, and oh how the ladies could really use that! It also has a lot of VITAMIN A! I am going to steam it a few times when first giving it to them, and then just leave it as is after. Just want their little tummies to now have to work overtime and a half at first!
MANGO is daddy's favorite fruit so this will make him a happy camper! I am not to sure about BLW this one (since ripe mangoes can be REALLY juicy, but will give it a shot at least once (we'll never know until we try right? *cringes* lol). My mom makes a DELIC "cold soup" (RUSS) with mango so I will be making and freezing this for the girls so they can eat it as a "meal" once or twice a week. Again, because it is an orange food, it is rich in BC so I want to make sure they only eat it once or twice a week and not to give it close to the times that I give the sweet potato. Don't want little oompa loompa babies! lol. Mango is also good because it is has VITAMINS A (orange color is what indicates the BC), C, and D. They are also ANTIVIRAL (deactivates viruses! ummm WOW!) Yes, we will def be eating these soon!
PEAR is another good one for the girls. I am trying to make sure I limit the amount of "natural sugar" because in the end sugar is still sugar. One thing I like to try to keep as a rule of thumb is to eat fruits early on in the morning. Nothing wrong with having them throughout the day, but I like to get mine out of the way as far from bedtime as I can. Fruits naturally have a higher water concentration, and I like to get all of it out of me so I don' t have to wake up in the MOTN (Lord knows I did enough of that when I was pregnant for about 6 of those 8 months lol) Pears are high in IRON, FIBER, and Vitamins A,B,C! Sounds like a keeper to me! I will always think of my dad when I eat pears. He LOVES them! Luckily so does this dad too!
I am going to throw in CARROTS into the mix once we hit 7 mo, but I needed them to cook soo.... we'll see how it falls into the every 3 day chart. I will put it back there with the celery. (I only want to give for BLW food for dinner one night; I will make sure that me and hubby enjoy these as well for our own dinners! Among the many other yummies that we will be eating! Like I said, we all gotta learn to love it!) Carrots are great for obvious reasons, but did you know they also help lower cholesterol when eaten raw (10 months). Juice has the most BC concentrate, 2nd most is found in grated raw carrots, and then of course cooked carrots. (Apparently there was a rumor of Vitamin A toxicity in the past... just go ahead and remember to selectively NOT hear people offer unsolicited advice on that matter ;) )
Last but not least, let's not forget BANANAS!!!!! The girls will be getting these on the reg! It's easy for BLW bc the mess is "minimal" (if there is such a thing). Bananas are high in POTASSIUM and FIBER! (I would like the girls to get a regular dose of FIBER daily to help their little tummies keep things chugging along well with all the changes it will be coming across). I am going to be adding some mashed banana to their breakfast porridge (havent decided if I will do this daily or not yet... just going to kind of wing it bc I don't want to OVER DO the banana. Pears are also fiber filled so I want to make sure I balance everything out once they have pears added to their menu.... MOST IMPORTANT is to make sure I follow the girls lead! While I have this nice pretty outline of the days meals, I have, oh let's say about 25% confidence we will follow it as I plan lol. But at least I have some education and plans in my back pocket! When it comes to kids I don't think there is such a thing as too prepared.
Other foods that are ok for starting off with (most of which I will introduce gradually bc most of them are high in beta carotene (if the food is orange, its prob got BC in it...) nectarines/peaches (the only diff btwn the two is the fuzziness of peaches which have the best nutrient content if baked), papaya, butternut squash (any "winter" squashes"), and pumpkin (a side note about BETA CAROTENE; BC is a FORM OF VITAMIN A, so just because something contains VIT A, it doesn't mean it automatically has BC in it! VITAMIN A vegetables are something you want to make sure your baby gets daily!)
SIDE NOTES: Babies should still be consuming about 32 oz of milk a day (breast or formula) and about 4 oz of water a day. (I plan to give the girls a little water after each time they eat so they can re-hydrate and also "wash down" their food. One thing that I am REALLY glad I did from the beginning (which I would love to admit I did on purpose, but it just happened to work out this way!) is splitting their feedings. Thanks to them already being used to a bottle when they wake AND before they go back to sleep, squeezing a snack in btwn will be the easiest part of it all! (It is suggested to introduce and offer solids between feedings so that baby is not too hungry or too full so baby does not get frustrated with their food and can maximize on enjoying their food and the experience)
TOFU can also be introduced at 7 mo, in addition to EGG YOLK. We are going back to a strictly vegetarian diet once all the meat that we currently have in the house is gone. (I am willing to consider a meal here and there for the hubby, but that is TBD. I am making this decision for religious reasons and want to raise the girls the same way I was raised so that they can fully embrace that side of their heritage and culture.) GREAT thing the egg can come in soon! Want them to be getting lots of protein (and I am going to show all of you how it can be done in the absence of meat!) At 9 mo they will be able to begin their legumes (lentils, beans, etc.) which will also provide them with their protein. Last note: these recipes and foods that I post up here will be lasting me up until the age of 3 (and then some), so I plan to get to know them (and like them personally) really well and ASAP! WE have decided that we will ALL eat the same thing at meal times. One thing about me and food, I REFUSE to be a short order cook, what is made is what will be eaten! (and what will be eaten better be yummy if I have to eat it too! IJS, I'm not picky, I just know what I like!)
Ok.... so now that we have the info about each of the foods handy, its time to get to the nitty gritty and start talking kitchen time! (prepping, cooking, storing, etc) I 'm telling you again to just go ahead and invest the few extra $$ that you will save in grocery costs with all the tips and info they offer in this "Super Baby Food," book I have. I will put some info up here, but what I put up here is a mere fraction of the info they offer. I eventually will be making a LOT of things at home like household cleaners, laundry detergent, condiments and other foods...... all in due time... Me and my husband have been discussing growing some of our own produce as well.... We have both been excited about that idea for a while. It's a chore, but its fresh food that we would def use and even better SO much $ saved over time! So, if and when that starts to happen, you know I will be including info on that too! ;) (We have already started working on some avocado seeds!)
Thanks for tuning in! Be sure to follow the blog for updates on our happenings and other fun stuff! Here's to a new chapter in ALL of our lives!
Here is a snap of my grocery list if you can follow lol. The column on the right is of the produce that we needed from the market. The left side of the list is what I needed from the store. I still did my usually routine of looking though the sale paper (Publix) and made a list of what I needed that was on sale and what I had a coupon for. I spent $60 and saved $15! (Not my best work, but these fish cuts are what is killing me! I prefer to freeze fresh vs buy frozen; I do buy frozen shrimp though: devained, peeled, and tail off). I plan to not need too much next week for groceries. Just the fresh stuff like onions and tomatoes, etc.