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Baby food ideas

I've been feeding my 8 month old twins home made babyfood since they were about 6 months old, and I want to start giving them foods with more flavors. So far, I've been sticking to really basic things like peas, carrots butternut squash or sweet potatos, cereals mixed with bananas or applesauce. We just started on whole milk yogurt this week...and even added some tahini and flax seed to soft tofu. (Really healthy....) All of this stuff is really bland, and I want to start giving them stronger flavors

What other kinds of foods can i give them? I'm not interested in starting them on meats yet... eventually we'll do that, but as a vegetarian, I'm not ready to start down that road just yet!

I also work full time, so it needs to be easy to find, easy to steam,or bake and mush up with a stick mixer! Fresh or frozen veggies or things easily found at a good grocery store....

I've found that making my own baby food is SO much cheaper than buying the stuff in the jars, and I can control what i feed them...as long as I have the food in my house!

Thanks

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  1. Would mashed black beans be okay? With a little garlic and cumin? Even Mommy could eat that -- in tacos with lettuce, cheese, and salsa.

    1. they are really old enough to start eating a bit of what you're eating as long as they've had the primary components already--at least give it a try-- you may be surprised at how easily they take to it. Just mush it up or get a mini food mill. Certainly by 10 months my kids were completely off "baby food"

      1. First off, let me say I am impressed you find time to care for twins, and make baby food, I am very impressed! You sound like a wonderful mother- how lucky your twins are! how about mashed cauliflower or broccoli? Dark greens, kale, collards, escarole, are great if they are sauteed then given a whirl in the FP and have lots of iron. A puree of fava beans, mint and lemon zest is yummy for them and great on a crostini with some shaved pecorino for you,

        2 Replies
        1. re: cassoulady

          They don't love brocolli, but im going to try it again... just bought a big bag of frozen broc@market! With the greens, I've heard there is an issue with nitrates in them... at least thats what a few books I've read say. (I'm not sure what to ignore, and what to pay attention to) I always have frozen spinach in the house!

          Hmmm.. siracha, I have big bottle of that in my fridge!

          1. re: cassoulady

            I just want to say that fava beans can be dangerous for children under 6, where I come from their not advised for babies at all as they could give them seizures. I've seen it happen to relatives.

            "Fava beans - Most other beans are fine for kids but there is a strong risk with Fava beans since some people deficient in a certain enzymes are unable to process fava-bean toxins, which begin destroying red blood cells. In babies, this can be fatal."

            http://www.greatdad.com/tertiary/371/...

            There is a lot more out there, I think it's called "favism" but this is just a warning.
            I'm middle eastern, turkish-kurdish and over there people are usually worried about their young kids eating it because they often need to be rushed to the hospitals, on the other hand my egyptian mother says that kids in egypt have been eating fava beans (as it's a staple) since they're born and nothing ever happens to them. Immunity perhaps? I don't know but I wouldn't want any harm to come to your twins.

            Good luck :)

          2. Along th lines of Channa, hummus? Or perhaps a soup you've made for yourselves buzzed up for them? I have a 17 mo. old and have also made all of his food-- it is fun and easy. You could also try introducing a bit of onion into whatever you make-- but go easy since it gave our boy a lot of gas! I have also done a good "smoothie" for our son with banana, whole oats (uncooked), whole yogurt, a bit of honey (optional, since your bebes are too young!), and a dash of cinnamon. I also read somewhere that in countries with spicier cuisine, moms introduce their kids to very spicy things by adding a tiny bit to their food-- like maybe a dot of siracha or something. I have never tried it, but it seemed interesting...

            1. Good for you for doing your own baby food!

              When my kids were small we fed them what we were having. At 8 months you probably are still introducing foods but do it based on what the family meal is. At a year my kids were eating ethnic foods with us. We had a little manual food mill that went to restaurants with us and they ate Indian, Thai, Mexican, what have you.

              Two of the three have adventurous palates and enjoy food.

              1. You can make them any kind of boiled and lightly seasoned lentils mixed with rice or alone. Any kind of greens is also good. Mix greens with lentils, too. Soft noodles are yummy. My 2 year old daughter loved to eat cheung fun at that age. You can also make a savoury semolina pudding. You just toast semolina in a little bit of butter and add in milk. You could add salt or something to sweeten it. It cooks right away once the milk boils. You can do a similar wholewheat flour pudding. Omelettes are fun. And then there is congee. My daughter ate babyfood fruit in jars, but all of her daily meals were homemade, loaded with lentils and veggies.

                1. I agree with the people who say to share what you're having. I think 8 months was about the age that my daughter started eating off our plates. It's also a good age to start with finger foods (they're so cute working on their pincer grasp chasing peas around the highchair tray). I (kind of) dumbed down our food for a little while, because my husband and I like spicy food and I didn't want to give her anything too spicy at first. I used to make the baby food myself too, but I really think she only ate it for 2 or 3 months tops before she started in with finger foods. This is where it gets fun!

                  Hummus and pita is good for little ones. Try putting some cinnamon on no-sugar added applesauce. Cottage cheese is good for some different texture (if not flavor). Scrambled eggs with cheese (just yolks if you're waiting on whites). Crumbled veggie burgers. Pancakes are always a hit. You'll be surprised what those kids can eat just with their gums! (my daughter didn't get her first tooth until 11 months!)

                  1. A good friend who had twin boys years back ...gave them pasta with whatever sauce was on the menu early on and they loved it! I still have those those gleeful tomato stained grins in my memory bank!

                    1. I have a 6-month-old whom I also cook for, and I've been adding spices to his food to make them more interesting: cinnamon or allspice in apple sauce, a tiny bit of cumin or nutmeg in squash, ginger in the pears, mint in the peas.

                      I've also mixed up some of the foods just for variety and he's really liked that. Some successful combos have been sweet potato / carrot, squash / apricot, blueberry / banana.

                      I tend to make a big batch of stuff on weekends and then freeze it in 1oz cubes like these:
                      http://www.mypreciouskid.com/baby-foo...
                      Then I grab a few cubes for each meal, place in a warm water bath, and serve. Very convenient.

                      I haven't tried this yet, since mine is too young, but I plan to introduce black beans, chickpeas, lentils and cannellini into his diet soon.

                      1. So can you give us a follow up of how the feedings have been going the last several months? My baby boy is going to be 6 months tomorrow and I want to start thinking about the foods I will be introducing to him. He already seems much more interested in food then my 2 daughters were.

                        1. mashed avocados.
                          cauliflour or brocolli with a cheese sauce or pasta with cheese.

                          I second hummus and pita

                          I had an electric hand held food whizzer and whizzed soups and stews and whatever we were eating by 8 months - minus the salt of course.

                          7 Replies
                          1. re: smartie

                            They are not supposed to eat dairy products until they are 1 year. And then it has to be whole fat dairy. Apparently it can cause food allergies in many kids, and their digestive systems can not digest the dairy properly. This does sound like good baby food though. I would maybe create a vegan sauce until they are 1yr. I need to get one of those mixers. My Mom keeps telling me she took her baby food grinder with her everywhere and always ordered us soups at restaurants.

                            1. re: DishDelish

                              Our pedi was fine with dairy way before one year (in fact, I haven't know any of my friend's kids to go without dairy that long either, unless they had a diagnosed dairy allergy). We started feeding cottage cheese, yogurt, and cheese nibs around 7 or 8 months. We were just supposed to wait on cow's milk as a beverage (vs formula) until one year for nutrition. Everyone should go by their own pediatrician's advice, of course.

                              1. re: MrsCheese

                                My eldest daughter has terrible allergies, and I used to have a milk allergy so i want to be extra careful. I also used to have a peanut allergy (in my teens) and my eldest daughter is allergic to all nuts so I will also wait until the 2-3 year recommendation for my 6 month old. Maybe more like 2 as my 2yr old daughter loves peanut butter ... but we have to be careful around my eldest. We buy my 6yr old her very own special jar of sunflower butter. She loves it.

                                1. re: DishDelish

                                  I used to eat sunflower butter all the time but could only find it in small jars. Do you know where to get it in larger jars? Have you considered NAET for the allergies? www.naet.com

                                  1. re: lgss

                                    Hey, I had never heard of it up until now. I did the search to find a local doctor though and there is only one about 6-8 hours away from where I live. My daughter did just start seeing a local allergist though so hopefully this helps her.
                                    We buy sunflower butter from a local natural food store, but I am pretty sure I have seen it at Fred Meyers as well in their natural food isles. It is the same size as a typical jar of peanut butter.

                                    1. re: lgss

                                      We found peanut butter-sized jars of sunflower butter at Trader Joe's.

                                2. re: DishDelish

                                  The AAP changed the recommendations on allergies very recently. Unless you have a family history you can start any food at 6 months. I did not wait on strawberries, peanuts, seafood etc. And actually, dairy was ok even before that for things like yogurt and cheeses without a lot of lactose.
                                  http://foodallergies.about.com/od/adu...

                              2. Don't feel you need to introduce meat. My sister's 3 kids ages 2-9 are healthy life-long vegans.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: lgss

                                  I am a carnivore so I plan on introducing meat at 1 year ... that said I also appreciate many yummy vegan meals as my hubby and I occasionally will go vegan for a few weeks at a time and I am the proud owner of many great vegan cookbooks, so I hope my children will appreciate food this way as well. I consider myself to be pretty good at creating vegan substitutes as well. For instance, my hubby loves creamy dressings so my food processor has really come in handy when it comes to creating tofu ranch and tofu sour cream etc..
                                  Whenever we go back to eating meat and seafood it always tastes better than ever. One time after a 3 week span of all vegan foods, we did crab and it was a flavor I would rather not live without forever.

                                2. I used the website http://www.wholesomebabyfood.com/ when I made babyfood. Some favorites were parsnips, peas, beans, sweet potatoes pureed in a food processor. I would sometimes stir in small amounts of seasonings like cinnamon, cumin, cardamom etc. but often left it plain. I would also mash avocados and bananas and mix with breastmilk. And I would put regular oatmeal through a food processor to make it finer and then cook it.
                                  I started my son on purees at 6 months and by 8 months was already starting to add regular food and finger food into his diet.. like little bits of what we were eating. Have fun with it!

                                  3 Replies
                                  1. re: Jitterbug

                                    Thank you for the link. We did butternut squash yesterday. He really liked it. The avocadoes we did with my 2 year old. She loves avocados now. Avocado and banana? I never thought of that. =) Has anyone on here ever heard of Poi? Most babies love it. It is a common Hawaiian food that is made from the taro plant. I don't particularly like it since I didn't grow up eating it, unless I doctor it up, but Hawaiians love it with just water, extra water for babies. At luaus in Hawaii they usually add sugar for the tourists, but plain (the local way) makes a great baby food.

                                    1. re: Jitterbug

                                      I'm making babyfood too. Some of my daughter's favorites are (in addition to the single ingredient purees you mention): 1) mixed berries with banana (blueberry, blackberry raspberry and sometimes cherries too); 2) butternnut squash with pear and sometimes apple too. i love to roast the cubed ingredients until slightly carmelized and then puree; the flavor is terrific!; 3) cooked apples with five spice powder; 4) mixed vegetable + chicken soup, pureed. I used the standard frozen mix of peas, carrots, corn and green beans, plus I added potatoes and onions, seasoned with a bit of garlic, thyme and pepper; 5) I've also tried some of our leftover meat items from dinner pureed with sweet potato, baked potato or squash -- those have only been moderately successful.

                                      1. re: MAH

                                        Mmm, that is some yummy sounding baby food. I will have to try some of these. ;)