Getting the green light from your baby’s pediatrician to start incorporating solids into baby’s diet is exciting. There is a whole new world for baby to explore of different tastes and textures. But what are the best foods to start with? And is it better to make at home, or is the store bought stuff just as healthy?
Almost a month ago, I was given the green light by my daughter’s pediatrician to slowly introduce her to food at her 4 month checkup. While my baby is in no need for extra calories, she is able to sit up with little need for assistance and has shown an interest in “adult food”. Her pediatrician explained to me that I can wait until she is 6 months to introduce food or I can slowly introduce food now. I am at no place to say that ALL packaged and jarred baby foods are less healthy, but it gives me peace of mind knowing that my daughter’s food has no added chemicals or preservatives because I can make it fresh at home.
Many Americans start baby on rice cereal. Other countries like France prefer introducing babies to savory puréed vegetable right off the bat, as is explained in the book Bringing Up Bébé. Rice cereal is controversial in the green community because some studies have found high levels of arsenic in even organic rice cereal brands. As a parent, you can use your better judgement on what you feel is best for your baby.
I want to share some recipes that are surprisingly quick, inexpensive and super easy for the both the busy working or stay-at-home parent. In just 15-20 minutes or less, you can make several days’ worth of fresh, organic homemade baby food for the newbie. All you need is a high-speed blender (I use the magic bullet which works fine) or food processor and some ice cube trays or bpa-free containers you can use to store in the fridge or freezer. These are great refillable food pouches to make feeding on the go an easier feat.
* Make sure the purée is cool enough for baby’s sensitive palette by testing a dab on your wrist before serving.
Avocado is rich in good fats, excellent for baby’s brain health and development, and packed with 20 vitamins and minerals. Babies seem to love the creamy, buttery texture of ripe avocado. To help prevent browning, place avocado pit in the purée before refrigerating.
Rich in fiber and potassium, bananas are super easy to mash on the go and provide a great deal of energy without the need to cook.
* Word of caution: do not overdo it with this excellent first food choice, as eating too much banana can cause constipation. This can especially be the case with babies who are formula-fed.
When did you start feeding your babies solids, and what were your favorite foods to introduce to your baby? As a first-time mother, I would love to hear your input!