First Baby Foods – less is more until 6 months

While the general recommendation is to start babies on solids at exactly 6 months, a lot of mothers (including myself – read here why I did it) introduce solids around 4-5 months.

The Basics

Don’t force it, make it fun and start with one meal a day, then, when baby is happy, curious and enjoys himself, add a second one.

Before 6 months, stick to simple fruit and vegetable purées.  It is recommended to wait at least one day (some advice states to wait 3 days) between introducing new foods in case baby is allergic.

As it is so easy and satisfying to make your own purées and you can bulk-freeze, there is absolutely no reason to feed your baby ready-made baby food.   (apart from when you are on holiday, out and about etc. and can’t make your own food, but even then there is the possibility of non-cook purées (see below)).  If you are uncertain if it’s worth the time, read this rather interesting article about ready-made baby food.  Yuck!

I always made more purée, probably enough for 4-6 portions, which I froze in a Oxo baby food freezer tray.  Before 6 months, expect your baby to eat from nothing to around 4 cubes (~ 80 ml) per meal.  The best way to defrost is overnight in the freezer.  If you are as disorganised as me, this is probably not going to happen.  I have been happily defrosting in the microwave and I don’t think anything speaks against doing this?

Many people start with baby rice as the first meals.  Baby rice is fine as it is totally neutral and mixed with breast milk or formula it tastes, well, of breast milk or formula.  It has however nil nutrients, so I wouldn’t feed it for very long.

Mix breast milk/formula also with your fruit and veg purées to make the new flavours and textures less of a shock to your little one.

(I wrote a more detailed post about what you need when you start solids)

Vegetable Purées

Carrot Purée (3-4 portions, can be frozen)

-       Peel and chop 3 medium sized carrot
-       Put in steamer and steam until tender (around 15 minutes)
-       Blend with hand blender (add breast milk/formula or water if too solid)

Parsnip Purée (3-4 portions, can be frozen)

-       Peel and chop 2 parsnips
-       Put in steamer and steam until tender (around 15 minutes)
-       Blend with hand blender (add breast milk/formula or water if too solid)

Sweet Potato Purée (3-4 portions, can be frozen)

-       Wash one large or 2 small sweet potatoes and prick with a fork
-       Place in roasting tin and roast on 180 degrees until tender (depending on size about    30 minutes)
-       Let cool until easy to handle and peel
-       Blend with hand blender (add breast milk/formula or water if too solid)

 Butternut Squash Purée (half, 3-4 portions, can be frozen)

-       Peel and cube one butternut squash
-       Either roast at 180 degrees (better to preserve nutrients) or simmer with little water until tender
-       Blend with hand blender (add breast milk/formula or water if too solid)

Potato Purée (3-4 portions, can be frozen)

-       Peel 3 medium sized potatoes and chop into chunks
-       Simmer covered in water until tender
-       Mash with a fork or potato masher (add breast milk/formula or water if too solid)

Fruit Purées

 Apple Purée (3-4 portions, can be frozen)

-       Peel and core 3 sweet apples, cut into chunks
-       Place in saucepan about half covered water and simmer until tender (about 7-10 minutes), stir occasionally
-       Blend with a hand blender

Pear Purée (3-4 portions, can be frozen)

-       Peel 3 pears and remove core
-       Place in saucepan with very little water (pears lose a lot of water) and simmer for a 2-4 minutes, pears lose so much water that you don’t have to add any
-        Blend with a hand blender

 

No-Cook Purées

No-cook purees are the perfect option when you don’t have time to cook or are out and about.  When I was on holiday I gave one ready made jar once a day (and my foodie heart was bleeding) and fresh fruit once.  Overly ripe fruit is easier to mash up.

Papaya (half, 1 portion)

-       Cut papaya, deseed and scoop out the flesh
-       Mash thoroughly with a fork

Papaya (half, 1 portion)

-       Use only a very ripe mango
-       Peel and remove pit
-       Mash thoroughly with a fork

Banana (half to one third, 1 portion)

-       use a ripe to over-ripe bananan
-       mash with fork

Avocado (half to one third, 1 portion)

-       peel and mash with fork
-       Avocado is very rich, so a good evening food for a very hungry baby.

Apricot (2, 1 portion)

-       Use only very ripe apricots
-       Peel and remove pit
-       Mash thoroughly with a fork

 

When you have stocked up your frozen baby food cubes, there is no limit to combining them.

Good Combinations are for example

Mashed banana with
–      Apple puree
–      Fresh apricot
–      Fresh Avocado
–      Pear puree

Carrot Puree with
-       Parsnip puree
-       Butternut squash puree
-       Sweet potato puree
-       Apple puree

After your baby has braved the first step of weaning, you are ready to move on to Stage 2 at 6 months of age, when you can introduce most ingredients and cook more complex dishes.

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3 Responses to First Baby Foods – less is more until 6 months

  1. Awesome recipe! I thought that my baby won’t eat it, but Marko does :)

  2. Pingback: Jamie's Favourite Vegetarian Dishes (6-9 Months) Part I | Look Mummy No Hands

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