Tuesday, July 02, 2013

Oh Baby: What's for Dinner?

Agatha turned 6 months this weekend which means it's time to introduce solid foods. Despite some protest, I've wanted give the Baby Led Weaning  (which is essentially giving baby real, unmushed food right from the start) approach a try. So yesterday, Miss A got her first meal of oven baked chicken and roasted broccoli.  She seemed to enjoy playing with the spears for a while before giving each piece a nice gumming.  So I think we are off to a good start but I'm sure she will get some traditional baby food as well. Everything in moderation, right?
Anyone else do Baby Led Weaning?  Any good recipes to share?  Avoiding all salt is going to be a bit difficult so I'd love to hear some recipe recommendations.

And speaking of baby topics, I will eventually get around to my favorite newborn products to compliment my least favorite post. Obviously she is no longer using her newborn stuff so I can feel confident about what we did use well.  Of course now that I have the 0-6 month stage figured out, A is on to a whole new set of doodads.  :)

I'm trying to keep a good balance by not overloading the blog with baby posts but I'm not quite sure what would be boring vs. interesting to you.  Any other topics you would like me to address before she is in college?

45 comments:

  1. We're doing BLW with our son and the first recipe he really loved was roasted carrots. I cut carrots into 3 inch sticks, tossed in olive oil and paprika and roasted at 425 for 20 minutes or until soft. You can do sweet potato wedges this way too.
    Good luck with the BLW!

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    1. Thanks! Carrots are definitely on the menu :)

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  2. We are planning to do BLW also, but Agatha is a few weeks older than my daughter, so we haven't started yet. Good luck!!!

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  3. We did BLW and I think it's the #1 parenting decision we've made. We started with roasted sweet potato sticks (think steak fries) but the first thing he actually ate was 1/2 of an avocado with the peel still on so he could hold it.

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    1. Oops. 1/4 of an avocado. Although he can shove 1/2 in now, 1/4 was a better size when he was 6 months old.

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  4. We did BLW and I am a huge fan!! Luca's first food was banana and then sweet potato fries (oven roasted, of course). Staying away from the salt is pretty easy if you are making your own food (no prepared foods/sauces etc).

    Not only was it good for Luca (he has no texture aversions unlike his mom, he started eating at his own pace, hand eye coordination etc), it is also so much easier for me! Sure, at the start I made special food for him (like the roasted veggies etc) but eventually he started eating whatever we were eating. No special meals.

    The only thing we did that was non-BLW was that I spoon feed yogurt. The mess was just TOO MUCH for me when I let him DIY it. haha.

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    1. Yep, I think Im going to be with you on the spoon feeding of yogurt and other yogurt like substances. I don't mind a little mess but I dont think I could handle the carnage :)

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  5. PS I know I'm also a new-ish mom but I think the mix you are doing is great :-)

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  6. Boo refused to eat from a spoon for a good long time, so we did a version of BLW. We didn't make a lot of special baby food - he just got table food (with some salt, but we don't eat a lot of processed foods, so reasonable amounts). I made a lot of casseroles and stews and just threw stuff into the mini food processor to chop it more finely. He also ate (eats) a lot of macaroni and cheese - the frozen one from Trader Joe's is terrific. And tofu. Mashed potatoes are also a big hit - invest in a lot of bibs. Eventually we figured out that he would feed himself from pouches, so we bought some of those. He also likes pizza crusts a lot. Now, at 13 months, we just feed him whatever - if we are eating when he's still awake, whatever we're eating - or I'll make some mac and cheese or heat up a sausage for him. At his daycare, he gets lunch now that he's in the young toddler room, and he gets butter chicken, and fish, and quesadillas, and curries ... loves them all.

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    1. Thanks! How did you cook without salt? It didn't really occur to me until yesterday but the food is all a bit bland without it. I know I can use other seasoning and I don't think I use a LOT of salt but without a little, the food tasted pretty flat.

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  7. We did BLW with our now 18-month old and it was the BEST.THING.EVER.

    I agree with roasted veggies: carrots, sweet potatoes, and beets all work well. Slices of organic fruit were also hits... I introduced plums, nectarines and peaches right around 6 months. Pita wedges with hummus was another favorite to gum, as was quesadillas (I'd be sure to read labels carefully and pick the lowest sodium options for those items).

    One easy dish that worked for all of us to eat together was pasta primavera: saute up a bunch of fresh summer veggies (i.e. green beans, squash, tomatoes, garlic, etc.), add pasta and olive oil and a smidge of parmesan (the adults can add more to their individual dishes) and dinner is served!

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    1. Thanks Bethany. Did you cook the fruit first? There seems to be different schools of thought on it. Pasta Primavera is a great idea. Thanks.

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    2. Nope... we just sliced it up into wedges and left the skin on and Keira would just gnaw on it and suck the fleshy bits of fruit off the skin. By the time she was 8 months old she'd demolish half a nectarine on her own. Oh, and how could I have totally forgotten? Watermelon and cantaloupe and honeydew were all a HUGE hit. We'd just give her chunks or a small wedge with the seeds picked out and Keira would go to town.

      We let her use a spoon herself pretty early on which does indeed result in a large mess, but it wasn't as terrible as I thought it would be... we spread out old square table cloths under the high chair which could then just be tossed in the wash. But the grandmas would always spoon feed Keira whenever they came to visit.

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    3. Oh, the best way the spoon feeding started off was we'd dip a spoon in applesauce or yogurt just so there was a little on it and then hand it to Keira and she'd put it in her mouth. She didn't dip a spoon in stuff herself until she was about a year old, and THAT was messy for a little bit.

      We used the Dex Baby Dura Bibs, which snap into a pocket and contain a lot of mess and dropped food, but then unfold for easy wiping and clean up and can also be tossed in the washer.

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  8. We did it! There's a few Facebook groups for it, which I found really helpful when I had questions.

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    1. Thanks. Ill have to do a search.

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  9. We love hearing about baby Agatha! I don't think you overload the blog about her too much at all. the one topic I would love to hear about is what it has been like raising a baby in NYC/Brooklyn. I live in a fairly suburban area and I am fascinated to hear how people raise children in big cities. We are bringing our 4 year old for his first trip to NYC this fall and I am already stressed about car seats and strollers in the city. How do you do cabs? I would love to hear all about life in the city with a baby!

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    1. Hmmm...its hard to really compare as this is all Ive known so nothing feels odd to me. We don't need to use the car that often so its pretty easy to avoid using cabs - public transportation is just much easier. If I did have to use a taxi, I would bring her car seat and strap her in. Some car services do have car seats for you to use but Im sure they are dirty. Strolling around the city is pretty easy - NYC has loads of families so there is a lot of things to do with a baby here. If you have any questions about your trip, don't hesitate to email me offline.

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  10. We introduced solids at 4 months and found this website to be very helpful and full of ideas: http://wholesomebabyfood.momtastic.com/babyfingerfood.htm#.UdMGoMu9KSM

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  11. My 5 kids range from 18-9yrs and even though I've long passed up the baby stage, I love hearing about your experience and keeping up with what's on trend. I don't think you've even gotten close to the "too much" line. And like Julia, I'd like to hear about the city experience.

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  12. I did BLW with my daughter who is turning 1 tomorrow. I can not say enough good things about BLW. My daughter is an excellent eater and people can not believe the variety and types of food she eats, all with NO teeth. On her first day of daycare @ 9 months, when I picked her up, the teacher told me "she had never seen a baby eat like that." Not that you need to be sold on BLW, but I'm just providing encouragement and reinforcement in your decision. I received a lot of flack for my decision as well. It turns out the people who thought I was crazy to give my 6 month old baby "real food" are actually the biggest proponents now, as they see that it works. For starter foods, I would suggest any vegetable or fruit cut into strips (about the size of a large french fry) and steamed or cooked with a little olive oil. My daughters favorites were: sweet potatoes, broccoli, cauliflower, roasted apples, and carrots (steam them extra long to be extra soft). My daughter also enjoyed cucumbers cut into sticks with the skin still on them, makes it easier for them to pick up. Pita bread with hummus. Avocado strips with the skin still attached (again, helps baby's hands to have something to grip). I would also pick up mini muffin tins and make different types of muffins. I'll do a mixture of organic ground turkey, chopped carrots, red peppers and cheese, and pack them into mini muffin tins and bake. They are great to freeze, and pop out one or two a week for a quick lunch or dinner. I've also made a more traditional muffin of whole wheat flour/chopped prunes/shredded zuchinni. Probably within the next two months she will have the pincer grip, and you'll have SO MANY more options for food ideas and she can really just eat what you're eating, diced smaller (and of course if it's not too hard). As another reader mentioned, the FB groups helped for ideas, as well as the blog (onefitmom). Follow your intuition when it comes to feeding your baby...it will never lead you astray. I have found BLW to be so very intuitive and easy to follow.

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  13. I also did BLW with my now-20-month-old son (and I'll be doing it again with my 2-month-old daughter). My son is the best eater - we are told this all.the.time. by his teachers, our family, and our friends with kids the same age. When we first started, I steamed all kinds of veggies and fruit - broccoli, squash, zucchini, carrots, apples, pears - but he preferred roasted veggies once we started that. BLW has a cookbook that I used the first few months to get low-salt ideas and honestly, it's better than the book, much more practical food suggestions. Good luck - I love reading the baby updates!

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  14. She is such a cutie!

    Just throwing in my 2 cents about doing a hybrid approach - we started out doing standard purees (mostly homemade) mashed foods and some finger foods and then transitioned to all finger foods around 8-9 months or so (mainly because it's easier than spoon feeding!) and haven't had any issues. Avery pretty much eats anything and everything we give her (and she only has two teeth!). Also, those pouches of veggies/fruit (organic, no added ingredients) are a LIFESAVER when you're out and about. She can down one in a minute or two and there's little to no mess.

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  15. My baby is just 3 months, so it's great to read these comments and figure out what we'll do! I noticed a few people mentioning the pouches - we actually bought a thing that lets you fill your own pouches. It's called Fresh Squeezed by Infantino. I haven't tried it yet, but I'm excited to!

    I love reading your baby posts - you have great ideas!

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  16. We did BLW and LOVED it!! My son is now 16 months old and he is seriously the best eater ever, (we're talking eating bowls full of curry, sushi, spicy Mexican food, any veggie), and we give a lot of the credit to BLW! When we started out we pretty much stuck to just fruits and veggies cut into sticks. If they were firm veggies I would steam or roast them a little first. We also did the banana "ice cream cone" style, I think it's in the blw book if you have it, and Henry loved that! Mini muffins were always a hit. H has always loved roasted veggies and sauteed squash and zucchini. We used lots of herbs and seasoning and just salted our portions at the table so he didn't get all the salt.

    Good luck with everything! I think BLW made our lives so much easier when we were traveling/going out to eat. We never had to worry about having jars/pouches of food, he just ate what we were having. It always seemed so much less stressful than our friends who were freaking out if their baby didn't finish their full jar of food or didn't want to be spoon fed at a meal.

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  17. Obviously I'm just one reader, but I personally very much enjoy your baby posts and I don't even have kids of my own. Although in fairness, I'll have been married a year in September and we do plan to start a family so maybe I enjoy the posts more than the average childless reader since I'm kind of thinking ahead?

    In any case, I say keep them up and more than anything, write about what interests you. I imagine that's still design, crafts, and travel but it now happens to also include an adorable 6 month old. :)

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  18. She is so cute. Bring on the baby stuff. I have an 11 year old, so I am not in the market to buy... but I love reading and looking at anything pretty :)

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  19. F & S, the bloggers behind http://www.ourlittlebeehive.com/ used BLW with their son, and she's blogged about it. You might want to check out what she's talked about.

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  20. Spinach and more spinach! I had 3 v large babies. I did breatfeeding only until 6 months ( in the UK it is verycommon to introduce rice based food at 3 months "to fill them up/ help them sleep better"! ) Im no earth mother but I do grow my own veg and spinach was a favorite . Funnily enough it has to be heavily disguised for my now 17,15, & 13 yr olds today it. I found that as they became toddlers they would eat anything that they d help to pick.

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  21. This is a old Mom speaking here, I did Baby led Weaning (did not call it that back in the day) a long time ago, well not that long ago at least according to me, my youngest is now 28. I did it because it was just so much easier and cheaper and I knew what my kids were eating. Doesn't mean they will grow up and like vegetables, one of my sons now in his 30's still has an aversion to things green, but at least you know you are doing your best when feeding your kids!

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  22. My daughter is 18 mth old & we did BLW. I don't really cook with salt but took a v relaxed view to food regardless. She eats exactly what we eat. No special foods cooked. Sometimes that means salt, sometimes not. It works for us. I have never made her a meal especially yet... She likes to be spoon fed when she is tired but mostly does her own thing. It didn't happen overnight. She was 9 or 10 mths before I thought she was really eating but it wasn't a big deal as I was (am still) BF.

    Good luck !

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  23. I'm a mother to be...can't comment on BLW, but love the baby-related posts!

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  24. I highly recommend Tyler Florence's cookbook Start Fresh. Yummy for you too!

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  25. you should check out onehungrymama.com, it has been a great resource for my now 2 year old and our family

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  26. I did a hybrid - BLW and some purees too (my baby boy really liked both and variety is the spice of life!)

    I used my slow cooker / crockpot a lot. That way meat like beef and chicken were really nice and tender for him.

    An easy favourite was diced beef or chicken, diced veggies, some red lentils or brown rice, a tin of crushed tomatoes, some water and some herbs (oregano, basil) - put it all in the slow cooker for the day, freeze in lots of small portions.

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  27. My daughter is almost 3 now.. and we did BLW... we were totally sold after just one week!!! We are now expecting baby 2 and we will go this route again!

    Like others have mentionned, we started with roasted sweet potatoe and carrot stiks! We quickly moved on to other vegetables cut big enough for her to grab on: brocoli (steamed), cucumbers, tomatoes and red peppers (raw)... she loved everything! We had her eat bananas pretty quickly too and she would chew on melon, apples and pineapple cut in sticks too.. Strawberries was a favorite too! By 10 months or so corn on the cob was another big hit!

    Another favorite were egg yolks... I would boil the eggs and just give her the yolk and keep the whites for myself! She would play a little with the "ball" and then stuff her face with it!! We introduced the egg whites after she turned 1.

    For meat, we introduced chicken breast in strips.. again just so it was easier for her to grab! As for red meat, I would make mini meat balls out of beef, veal, porc, even turkey.. I had home made recipes with tomato sauce and she loved it! At 7 months she was eating spaghetti with home made meat/veggie sauce using either her hands or a fork..

    From the start we gave her a spoon and a fork (we loved the BOON MODWARE http://www.booninc.com/products/ModWare/B10130 they were easy for her to grab on!) to play with and experiment! We never really spoon fed her.. but we were ok with the mess that came with letter her experiment!

    She loved yogourt and quickly got to eating it herself with a spoon!

    Really, we gave her anything that could be cut in a stick or ball that she could grab on easily!

    At 10 months she ate her first BBQ ribs... bone in and all! And loved it!

    Another trick.. we always made sure that whatever we put in her plate, we had in our plates too! There was only one meal time in our house!

    I never ever regretted going the BLW way! My kid at 3 eats anything.. including fish and vegetables!! Gotta say, some days she will refuse to eat something (like mushrooms let say) and 2 days later it will be her favorite food! So we let her choose.. I remember reading that kids will go for "what their body needs".. some days its more meat, some days its more vegetables, or carbs..

    I'm just really happy we went this way when I see other kids around us being super fussy about food... And it made it so much easier for us to travel and visit people, we didn't have to carry special baby food!

    Our daughter is always curious to try on new foods... she's had Indian, Thai, Sushi, all kinds of foods!!


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    1. Thanks so much for the info! Hoping we have the same great results you had.

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  28. We did BLW with Chloe and would do it again in a heartbeat. There's a BLW cookbook (Chloe's photo is actually on the inside cover :) ) with lots of great recipes. As with previous commenters, she started out with roasted veggies and fruits. Banana was her favourite... cut off a two inch piece, then cut the skin off the top 1" and leave the remaining so she has something to hold on to.

    I was most nervous about her choking on foods but she quickly showed us she was adept at pushing things out of her mouth that she didn't want to eat! They eat what they want at their own pace and it balances well with breastfeeding if you're still doing that too.

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    1. Chloe is in the cookbook? No way! Do you know the author?

      I bought the book but haven't gotten around to the cookbook yet. (She is just only gumming the food now so no point making anything special just yet)

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    2. The author found me through my blog! Not many were posting about BLW way back then so she made it in. Plus, she was a cute baby but I might be biased, ha!

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  29. We did BLW too and it's one of our best parenting decisions ever! I see that some people recommend the BLW cookbook, I would say that it helped a lot with good ideas! And I personally think a little table salt in your food as you cook it is FINE, it's nothing like the sodium overload you get in prepackaged foods. Our girl is healthy and strong and we definitely didn't stop seasoning our food :) She's 20 months and I love watching her eat, especially with nontraditional foods such as sushi and curry dishes :)

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    1. Not that we are anywhere close now but curious at what age you introduced sushi. It's one of my favorite meals so it would be great if she could have it too.

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  30. I'm a late 20-something who doesn't plan to have kids so in total honesty it's been a bit hard for me to go through what I'm calling the Baby Blog Transition phase. Many of my favorite bloggers are having babies (you obviously included!) and while I'm so happy for your budding families it's hard for me to relate to baby posts and I tend to skip over them. Which is not to say I think anyone should post less about their children and family life - they should post as much as they want, it's their blog! - but those tend to be posts where I don't click through. I think of it like I found blogs because I associated a certain 'identity' or angle to them (crafting, interior design, fashion, etc.) and when they're going through an identity shift I go through an adjustment too and it all comes out balanced in the end. So, this is all to tell you that I still love your blog, but I'm one of those readers who will continue to focus on the non-baby, and mix of the two is just fine with me!

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    1. Thanks for the feedback. I totally get what you mean - it wasn't that long ago I wasn't in babyland, and I would mostly skip over the baby posts of my favorite bloggers. I appreciate it doesn't appeal to everyone. I promise I won't be turning into a baby only blog :)

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  31. I am in the same new mom & home blogger phase. I'd love to see a post about how to photograph a baby. You pictures are always stunning! Agatha is just gorgeous. Max may need a prom date someday ;)

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