We have been having a lot of fun experimenting with new foods with Baby Babe. I know it can be a little scary for parents to move beyond purees. One baby I used to watch when I worked as a nanny didn’t have teeth until really late, I think like 17 months or something! Poor guy, we thought he would have to stick to oatmeal and yogurt forever. Babies learn to mash with their gums pretty early on though and they don’t need molars to eat “real” food AKA “table food”. This is definitely one of those (of MANY) topics where you have to do what’s best for your family and your child. There are so many options to choose from, but I don’t think there’s any particular “right way”.
My favorite websites about starting solids that have been highly recommended by my mommy friends are Baby Food Doctor and Wholesome Baby Food. The cookbook I found really helpful is Baby Love: Healthy, Easy, Delicious Meals For Your Baby and Toddler by Norah O’Donnell.
When I started gearing Baby Babe towards table food she had been doing the 4 day waiting period for each new food we introduced. It got to the point where she had a long list of foods with no reactions and it just felt right to start sharing a family meal. That’s one thing I really try to stick to as a first time mom, going with what feels right. It’s hard to go back and forth and second guess my intuition but I’m getting better at doing what feels right! It is also my goal to make one meal for the whole family instead of kid meals in addition to our regular meal.
For first finger foods I found it best for Baby Babe to make sure the food could be mashed between my fingers, kind of like she would be mashing with her toothless gums. I also decided to dice the food into “puff sized bites”.
Here are some of the early solids and finger foods we offered: Thawed frozen peas, soft diced fruit, ground turkey, small pieces of shredded chicken, diced tofu dusted with graham cracker crumbs, beans, and tiny cheese cubes. I loved the tip from Wholesome Baby Food to dust slippery finger foods with baby cereal, graham cracker crumbs or ground up Cheerios! So helpful!!
(Black beans, shredded colby jack, and plain yogurt with a pinch of Mrs. Dash taco seasoning. The bell pepper strips were more for a fine motor activity of dipping into the taco dip, she didn’t bite off any chunks.)
When I could see that Josie was doing well with those simple finger foods I started sharing my meals with her. Yay! Less cooking and cleaning for Mommy! Some of the meals we have shared are: chicken dumpling casserole, baked potatoes, sandwiches, hummus and pita bread, quinoa dishes, omelets, toast with cream cheese, yogurt and fruit, pasta with meat sauce, pizza…. Last night for dinner I made cauliflower garlic rice, parmesan chicken and we had a side salad and Josie had some green peas. I just try to balance her meals the way I do my own: colorful, yummy and some kind of protein. The only things I’m avoiding for now are raw honey, and citrus and tomato because it could give her a belly ache due to the acids. It is also recommended to avoid sodium for babies, but we already follow a low sodium diet so that makes it easy for us!
(Veggie sandwich for a picnic: Hummus mashed with Avocado, diced red bell pepper and chopped spinach. I tore off little bites to share with her.)
I’m working on allowing her to feed herself because she really enjoys the independence and sensory play! More on this soon!Share it!