Thanks to Plum Organics for sponsoring my post about tips for baby feeding magic. What if you let baby choose what’s for dinner? Check out their cute “Quest for Yum!” video and see what happens!
I will never forget the day that we gave Darah solids for the first time. It was New Year’s Eve, and we had just come back from a big trip out to California. She was days away from turning 5 months old, and her doctor believed that she might be ready to be introduced to solid food. I waited about 2 weeks after he made his suggestion, and I also determined that I was going to make the majority of her food. So that her first exposure to food would be very smooth (and I mean that literally), I opted to use rice flakes instead of homemade food, which was a bit thicker.
Her first dining experience was pretty funny. She liked the food ok, but was mostly very intrigued by the spoon and by having a different texture. She only ate a few bites, and then she was all done with that for the day. That brings me to my first tip when introducing solids to your baby: Quantity is not important at first. It’s all about exposure. If your baby eats just a bite or two and then wants her milk for the rest of her meal, go with that. If he falls madly in love with the food you have presented and wants more than you prepared, go with that!
My second tip for baby feeding magic is to get yourself some equipment that makes the process of making food easier. Is it absolutely necessary to have a baby food maker? Of course not. People have made baby food for eons without them. But they sure are nice and can help you feel a lot of peace of mind about the way you are preparing the food. Our baby food maker would allow you to steam the fruits and veggies (yes, even fruit needs to be cooked at first) and then, in the same container, puree them. It was awesome, and cleanup was a breeze. We also had ice cube trays that came with a lid for baby food making, and those were indispensable. It helped us easily make appropriate serving sizes for Darah. When it was time for her to eat, feeding her was almost as simple as opening a jar. Instead, I opened the freezer and picked out a balanced “meal” and then popped them in the microwave.
My third tip is to seek out resources for advice and inspiration. We had a book that was all about making baby food. While I found the author to be a little bit crazy in her zeal for homemade baby food, her advice about when different foods can be introduced and her instructions on how to make your own grains were referred to countless times (it’s actually still sitting out on my kitchen counter because we will sometimes make some whole grains to add to Darah’s yogurt!). This resource gave me the confidence I needed to know when to introduce certain foods. I also poked around online to get some recipe ideas, as your will find that eventually your baby grows tired of meals with just one taste. They start to crave more complex tastes, and its quite easy to put together something they will find enjoyable. I think one of the best tips I ever got online was to combine squash, which Darah didn’t especially like at the time, with pears. Once I did that, she gobbled it down every time I fed it to her!
My final tip is to give yourself permission to go with convenience from time to time. There were times when I really wanted to introduce a particular fruit or vegetable to Darah, but it wasn’t in season, so I couldn’t easily make it myself. I turned to what was shelf-stable during those times, and never had a problem with Darah turning her nose up at anything (well, except avocados, but those were homemade!). We also just went with stuff in jars and pouches any time we were traveling. It is possible to travel with your own baby food, but we just cut ourselves some slack in that department. Also, since we saved SO MUCH MONEY (oh yes, you will save LOTS), when I needed to turned to prepared food, I could go for the organic options, which felt great.
Check out one of the companies that we regularly turned to for help when using homemade wasn’t ideal. Plum Organics has a super cute video about babies choosing “yum!” at feeding time and always getting it right by going with Plum Organics. Darah always loved their food, and I would definitely recommend it to others.
So what about you? Do you have any tips for baby feeding magic? Best recipes? Advice for success?