Starting baby's solids, I found, was the hardest stage to navigate. When do you start? What is the routine? When does it take over milk feeds? It's a mind field of information to wade through, but after a healthy push from our paediatrician at our babes six month checkup, we dove straight in.
We waited until six months mainly because I wasn't ready, and with instructions from our paediatrician it was time to start as at this point babies start running out of their iron stores so best time to start if haven't already. Who was I kidding, he was definitely ready and showing the signs:
- Could sit up on his own in a high chair
- Interested in food and watching us eating - grabbing for everything.
So it began.
I wanted to share with you some great puree recipes I have found to make that search a little easier for you, I still don't have all my answers yet, but at least the preparation has been relatively easy. I find when I am preparing dinner for the family, I put some vegetables aside and steam at the same time, then they are ready to go and blitz at dinner time for baby.
Rice cereal was the first start, however not all babies like it. It is a good transition as it's similar taste and mixed with their regular milk, just a change in texture and also high in iron which is a plus. You can also add it to any puree for that added iron.
Steaming is ideal as it keeps more nutrients than boiling. We didn't invest in any fancy baby food makers, have just used a steamer, then blended with either our nutribullet for a quick make, or food processor for larger quantities. Ensure you have utensils and cookware washed, clean and ready to go before making as this is so important for making baby food.
There are a lot of different recipes but I wanted to create more depth once we knew there weren't any vegetable allergies, so started playing around with spice and herbs to give more depth to the food.
Once made, you can place into ice cube tray to freeze, then pop out and place into freezer bags with dates as they can last three months frozen, easy to defrost the night before to sit in the fridge, or microwave that night in a glass container.
Here are some recipe ideas we have tried so far which you can find on babyfoode.com, all steamed and blended adding pinch of spice or herb.
Sweet potato curry baby puree
This was a hit, giving the flavour a bit more depth and introducing some spices. These are completely freezer-friendly and I even enjoyed it having a taste myself.
Carrots and nutmeg baby puree
Nutritious steamed carrots and pinch of nutmeg, to delight your little ones taste buds!
Broccoli and olive oil baby puree
This is a great way to introduce healthy green vegetables, full of essential vitamins and health fats.
Roasted pumpkin and thyme
This homemade rousted pumpkin or butternut squash is not only full of calcium, folate, vitamin A and finer but so smooth and great introduction to pumpkin.
Basic chicken baby puree
Homemade basic chicken puree is good start to introducing meats into the diet, it's always harder to puree meats, and this will add extra protein and flavour.
The key is to not overcook the chicken. Gently simmer some chicken breasts in chicken stock or both, with a little parsley until chicken is just cooked through (good to have a meat thermometer to make sure). It needs to be tender and juicy to puree well. Once blended, it almost tastes like blended chicken noodle soup.
You can also add chicken to other purees, such as:
Apple + butternut squash + carrot + curry paste puree
Mango + apple puree
Carrots + nutmeg puree
Fennel + peach + pea puree
Broccoli + olive oil puree
Avocado for baby
Avocados are a superfood and great first foods for babies over four months. Serve mashed, pureed or as finger food for baby-led weaning.
Basically, try and have fun and don't stress too much, enjoy watching your babies face as they enjoy, dislike, play and touch food, it's a huge milestone.
Expect it to get messy.