Thursday, December 18, 2008

beyond baby food

Both my girls were never great baby food (you know the puree stuff/Gerber/whatever you use at your house). Now yes Emma is MUCH better about taking food from a spoon then Grace ever was, but she still prefers things she can feed herself. I've had several close friends asking me what I'm feeding Emma, how much, when, etc. So I decided I need to do a little post for all my buds with little ones that are ready or will soon be ready for table foods.

I should add that this is only things I've learned from my own experience of feeding my two daughters and I realize that each child is VERY different, including my own two kiddos.

First off, Emma has really just gotten good at foods beyond baby food. I would say really in between 8-9 months was when she learned to pick up food with her pointer and thumb, mash the food in her mouth and actually eat enough to fill her belly. From 6-8 months we offered her items like puffs or mashed items like peas or carrots and it was just practice. She got the bulk of her food from nursing and baby food. And even now she is still nursing 3 times a day and eating 3 table food meals a day. Yes some days it feels like I feed her all day, but it works us.

Okay so I could on on forever, but I thought I would give a list of great first foods... beyond baby food.

(A lot of these items I got from an article I read in Parents Magazine back when Grace was starting table foods.)

1. veggies! - carrots, peas, greens beans, asparagus tips, broccoli florets, cooked zucchini or squash

2. sliced fruit - strawberries, grated apple, banana, raspberries, blueberries, oranges (use the canned kind if you don't have fresh!)

3. pasta - I think rotini (the swirly noodle) is easiest to pick up

4. corn (off the cob of course)

5. avocado (a favorite at our house!)
6. cheese - you can do shredded cheese or even cut up a cheese stick into small bites

7. waffles or pancakes

8. tomatoes - small slices, for young toddlers I would pull off the peal if its tough

9. meat - deli meat, small bites of chicken or turkey (rotisserie chickens are great for cutting up)

10. beans - this is an easy one in our house... any type... black, pinto, ranch style, baked beans... perfect size and easy for them to mash in their mouth.

My best advice to make things easy is to look at what you are having for lunch/dinner and see how you can make it good for you baby. For example, tonight we are having Southwest Chicken (a yummy crock pot meal). It has black beans, corn and chicken in it. All things Emma would love and easy to pick up. I will probably add a fruit to her meal or maybe some shredded cheese. Remember though that their little bellies are so tiny and really they get full on a small amount. So just look for the "all done" cues!

I also found these great little veggie cups at Walmart when Grace was little and they are perfect for when you are on the go or when you are having things that aren't things you would want to feed your little one like Chili.

I think that's all I have. Good luck feeding your little one. Remember that playing with and throwing food is all apart of the fun. They are going to make a mess, so roll up their sleeves/strip them down if they are extra messy and just plan to bath them or keep a tub of baby wipes in your kitchen. OH and I should add that a lot of parents I know are super nervous about the whole choking thing. I would totally recommend a CPR/first aid class to any expectant or new parent.


hyperactive lu said...

Well done. Did you say avocados? Gray LOVED those and it was a perfect finger food. They are very nutrious too. Great list. I have seen those packages of veggies at Wally World. So affordable. :)

Amanda said...

Thanks for adding this are such a big help to us new mommas! :) I tried the deli meat and Ella loved it and we are trying waffles for breakfast tomorrow.