August 11, 2017

How We Started Solids + Recipes!

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When it came time to think about starting solids, we discovered that this was a very opinionated topic. Some people will say you can't start solids until 6 months as they claim a baby's gut isn't ready for solids till then. However, our pediatrician told us we could start as soon as 4 months if we wanted.

Also, some people will say you should skip purees altogether and instead do baby led weaning, also known as BLW. In my opinion, this is just a strange fad as technically all babies will eventually eat on their own. I don't see how starting with a spoon will prevent this, but the choice is yours! There are some downsides to BLW, but a major one is getting baby introduced to peanut butter as it has to be in a watered down form or babies can choke on it as peanut butter is too thick on its own.

In the end how you feed your baby is your choice. I highly recommend reading Child of Mine by Ellyn Satter for tips on how to feed your baby.

Anyway, here is how we chose to introduce solids to our baby girl, and you can find my recipes at the bottom!

How We Introduced Our Baby To Solids

At Elsa's 4 month pediatric appointment, her pediatrician mentioned it was okay to start solids if we wanted or we could wait longer. Since she was already drooling and showed a great interest in us while we were eating, we chose to give it a go, but after a few days, it was obvious she was not as ready as we had thought and so we put solids on the back burner.

We attempted solids again once Elsa had turned 6 months and this time she was more willing. We started with baby oatmeal, greatly watered down with formula, and introduced it to her once a day. After a week or so, we used less formula and made thicker oatmeal so it would have a more similar texture to pureed baby food. We did that for another week and moved on to adding peanut butter.

Introducing Peanut Butter

The NIH recently updated their guidelines and now recommend introducing peanut butter as soon as possible (source). Our pediatrician gave us the okay to do peanut butter and strawberries but said to wait till baby is older to introduce eggs as it will be easier for her to chew a scrambled egg when she has teeth.

Since peanut butter has to be watered down, she recommended just mixing a tiny amount with the baby oatmeal, which is what we did after a few weeks of just doing plain oatmeal. When I say a tiny amount, I mean tiny! A little bit of peanut butter goes a long way! Elsa loved it right away. 

Do not start peanut butter or other allergy foods until you have gotten your pediatrician's approval!

Always monitor your child after introducing allergy foods to see if they develop any reactions. See a doctor right away if you notice any reactions, which could be as mild as rashes or as extreme as not breathing.

I highly recommend picking a day you know your urgent care is open when starting allergy foods, just incase your baby does have a bad reaction. 


Introducing Prunes

Once we got the peanut butter down after a week, it was time to try something else. We chose prunes because our pediatrician recommended it for constipation which can happen once baby starts solids. Elsa didn't have any problems, but we figured it would be a good idea to get her used to the taste in case she did! 

She would not have it. I tried everything from mixing it with her oatmeal to warming it. I even tried the "trick" method where I offered her the peanut butter flavored oatmeal, which she liked, and then offered her the prunes, but that did not work either. After a week of trying to get her to take the prunes, we decided to move onto something completely different, pureed pumpkin, which she loved!  

Introducing Strawberries

After a week of pumpkins, we decided it was time to try the other allergy food, strawberries. We started with an organic store bought fruit mix. The first couple of days, she did not like it. I tried warming it, and after that she loved it. We did that for a week before I finally got around to making my own pureed strawberry baby food!

She loved the pureed strawberries! I had also pureed bananas and we have just started alternating the banana and strawberry purees, both of which she loves! 

I know many will say you shouldn't start with fruit because it is sweet, but we wanted to get strawberries in as soon as possible in order to prevent future allergies. Bananas just happen to be really easy to puree and I really wanted to make my own baby food. You can find my recipes below!

Do not start strawberries or other allergy foods until you have gotten your pediatrician's approval!

Always monitor your child after introducing allergy foods to see if they develop any reactions. See a doctor right away if you notice any reactions, which could be as mild as rashes or as extreme as not breathing.

I highly recommend picking a day you know your urgent care is open when starting allergy foods, just in case your baby does have a bad reaction. 


My Recipes

For making my own food I did a lot of looking around on the internet for recipes and tips, to discover that there are many out there, some super simple, some more complicated, and you can easily tweak them to fit your needs! Here are my two easy recipes.

Pureed Strawberries

I had some extra strawberry puree, so I just
froze them in my Ball Mason jars!
Makes ~28 Cubes

You Will Need:
  • Blender or food processor
  • 2 lbs of ripe strawberries
  • 4 oz of formula, breast milk, or water (I used formula)
  • Icecube trays or jars
  • Freezer bags
  1. Wash the strawberries, cut out the core, and then throw them in the blender. (We have a Ninja blender and love it!) You can cut the strawberries in half to make them fit easier.

    There are mixed opinions on sites as to whether you should cut off the outer layer to remove the seeds. I chose to just leave it, less work for me, and my baby had no problem with the texture. Your baby's poop, however, will be very seedy!
  2. Pour in the formula, breast milk, or water and blend!
  3. Once the mixture is how you like it, pour into icecube trays and then freeze. Once frozen you can pop them out and put them in a plastic freezer bag. You can also pour them directly into jars and freeze them that way as well. My favorite is the Ball Mason 4oz Jars.
See more notes at bottom of post.

Pureed Bananas

Makes ~28 Cubes

You Will Need:
  • Blender or food processor
  • 6 ripe bananas
  • 8 oz of formula, breast milk, or water (I used formula)
  • Icecube trays or jars
  • Freezer bags
  1. Peel bananas and put in blender. You can cut them up to make them fit better or mash them down with a fork.
  2. Pour in the formula, breast milk, or water and blend!
  3. Once the mixture is how you like it, pour into icecube trays and then freeze. Once frozen you can pop them out and put them in a plastic freezer bag. You can also pour them directly into jars and freeze them that way as well.

    We have these icecube trays, and they work, but I would highly recommend getting some silicone ones to make it easier to pop out the frozen baby food! I just bought three of these Zoku trays from Target on clearance, so can't wait to try them out! The nice thing about them is they come with a plastic outer layer so you don't have to worry about silicone bending on you when putting the liquids in the freezer!
See notes below.

Notes: If following my recipes, the mixture will be more on the watery side, so if you want it thicker use less formula or try adding baby oatmeal. I just started with a more liquid version because our baby takes it better that way, but we will work our way up to a thicker mixture.

According to Huggies website, baby food can keep up to 6 weeks in the freezer, after that it should be thrown out (source). Wholesome Baby Food, however, says it can last up to 6 months in the freezer but recommends using it by 3 months (source). The important thing, I think, is just don't make too much at once and the faster you use it, the better.

You can either defrost it by putting it in the fridge, but do not leave it in the fridge for longer than 72 hours according to Wholesome Baby Food's website, or by microwaving it. Just make sure to stir it well afterward and test the temperature yourself before giving it to baby!

Do not refreeze! Do not put any leftover baby food back in the fridge, once the spoon touches baby's mouth and then back into the food, it is now a breeding ground for bacteria. If you don't believe your baby will eat it all, portion it out into another bowl first!

My freezer batch! Don't worry, I later put the banana cubes in a plastic bag as well!

16 comments:

  1. This is such an informative post. I love the system that you use.

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  2. This looks like a great way to introduce solids! All my kids started super early with full blown solids and never cared much for baby food. I'll have to try these with our little one when she transitions to solids!

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  3. Great methods!my kids started about 5 mos. So i totaly agree to each their own.

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  4. I remember those days of making baby food! My kids all started around 6 months and we waited on peanut butter because we have allergies in the family.

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  5. My 10 month old has a mild allergy to strawberries, he gets a slight rash on his cheeks, but he loves them so much! We just never give him a lot and always watch him closely.

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  6. What a little cutie! It looks like you did a great job introducing new foods & found a system that works great. Way to go Mama!

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  7. These are some fantastic recipes. We were also given the go ahead to introduce our little one to solids at 4 months of age. We spent far less time on pureed baby food than I thought we would. All he wanted to eat was what we were eating (so that meant a lot of mashed potatoes and such for a while!)

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  8. thank you for sharing these Good methods

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  9. Our pediatrician gave us the OK at 5.5 months. We did baby food for a little while, but moved on with BLW pretty soon. But our DR told us the peanut butter info was too new to consider valid in her opinion, we waited until 1 year old and hes never had an issue

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  10. I made my own puréed baby foods, too. But I honestly did not know there were so many different methods for introducing solids. I think we started with a bit of watery oatmeal also.

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    1. I think the watery oatmeal/cereal is often recommended as it's such a bland flavor, so it's more of getting the baby used to the thicker texture first so they can focus on flavor next!

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  11. I need to start freeze my baby's food it's such a lovely idea!

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  12. Thanks for sharing all these wonderful recipes. I much prefer to make my own baby food to buying and there are so many great options here.

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  13. I am in the same boat right now introducing solids to my 6 month old. All about the homemade baby food. Such great tips, thank you!

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    Replies
    1. You're welcome, hope they come in handy!

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  14. I'm so far removed from this stage of my life but your post brought me right back into it! Oh, the ice cube trays!!!

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