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What do you make for your baby?

l
Lotus7 Aug 20, 2009 07:29 PM

I'm curious to know what foodies make for their babies! I have a baby who just turned 8 months old, and would love to know what you feed your babies (and DO FEEL FREE to pass along easy recipes)! Looking forward to hearing from you!!!

  1. l
    Lynndsey Rigberg Aug 22, 2009 04:31 PM

    There are lots of great suggestions here! I have a 3 year old who has a very developed palate and will eat anything. I attribute that to giving him alot of diverse flavors as a baby. I would just encourage you to boil/steam/puree anything you and your family plan to eat as well - your baby will learn to love all the things you love if exposed to it. My only word of caution - be very careful with foods high in acids....tomato sauce being the main culprit....in moderation is totally OK, but too much can cause diaper rashes! Good luck and enjoy!

    1. j
      junipero Aug 22, 2009 01:25 PM

      I give my baby (13 months) almost anything that I make for myself. I may cook it a little longer to make it soft enough for that toothless mouth, or separate some out before I add something very spicy or salty, but he pretty much eats what I eat. I also only pureed his food for the first few weeks of "solid" food. By the time he was 7 months old he was eating things only mashed with a fork and whole foods, cooked well so they were soft. There is an interesting book called "Baby Led Weaning" which promotes the idea of foregoing purees for whole foods. It claims that purees originally were necessary because it was common to introduce "solid" food at 3 or 4 months. Now that most people wait until the baby is 6 months old, it is unnecessary. (Check out the book or website for more details) You can allow your baby to feed itself if you offer soft foods in manageable "french fry" shaped pieces. Or try offering a whole soft pear. It is so much fun to watch them dive into it!

      1 Reply
      1. re: junipero
        Scrapironchef Sep 11, 2009 10:13 PM

        I'd try the pear just for fun, but I'll keep a stun gun handy to deal with the sugar rush.

      2. e
        Emilyishere Aug 22, 2009 12:02 PM

        Fresh fruit and/or veggie puree. No canned baby food!

        1. Emme Aug 22, 2009 01:07 AM

          my best friend's baby is on a few kicks at the moment...

          she loves sweet potato baked mini-bites (diced cubes) -- sprinkled with a little cinnamon before baking

          she loves beans -- garbanzos, black, kidney -- loves that she can eat them with her fingers... she also likes a black bean salsa with really just beans, tomatoes, a little cilantro (go figure), a little soy sauce, and a little vinegar

          oatmeal bites -- they make oatmeal the night before, refrigerate and let set overnight, then in the morning, they make bite size balls, and saute briefly in a pan to firm up the edges

          eggplant cooked and mashed with chopped tomatoes

          polenta with parmesan cheese... boy this gets everywhere, but she loves feeding herself

          baked vanilla egg custard

          1. lynnlato Aug 21, 2009 06:04 PM

            With my first born, I can remember reading to feed them unadulterated foods. In other words, don't doctor up foods to satisfy your palate, but rather serve them mildly seasoned veggies, etc. so that they can appreciate the natural foods. That's what I did. And to some extent it has worked against me. My daughter, who loves all fruits and veggies, now prefers them "clean" or without sauces or other ingredients. My 2nd child, on the other hand, is a total glutton and will eat anything and everything that is sauced, buttered, etc. because we didn't go to such effort to serve him anything different from what we were having.

            My best advice would be to serve him/her whatever you are having (within reason). Of course a baby is different from a toddler so there are certain limitations you must adhere to, but don't go overboard with limitations. As they get older DO NOT fall into the bad habit of making separate meals for your child. JMHO. :)

            5 Replies
            1. re: lynnlato
              Green Omnivore Aug 21, 2009 10:10 PM

              The exact thing happened to me! My first born is very picky and eats only plain whole foods. My second will pretty much eat anything. The more flavour the better. We basically fed her the same thing we were eating (but mashed or pureed). I have already fallen into the bad habit of making separate meals for her. :-( Luckily her tastes are very simple so I don't have to put a huge effort into making something extra.

              1. re: Green Omnivore
                lynnlato Aug 22, 2009 07:33 AM

                Glad to know it wasn't just me. The good news is, I cured her of this now that she is 11 yrs old, but it required effort. :) I had a neighbor who cooked one meal for her family of 6 and basicly ran her home like a drill sergeant (Sicilian). I asked her how she got everyone to eat the same thing and she said, "they don't have a choice". Brilliant! I took out the element of choice, within reason, and now I cook one meal and we all sit down and eat. I had protests in the beginning, but now they rarely protest and they have expanded their tastes vastly.

                The only issues I have now are when school friends come over for dinner - ha! If they want to stay for dinner, they have to try whatever it is I'm serving. Those are the house rules!

                1. re: lynnlato
                  LulusMom Aug 22, 2009 08:00 AM

                  Some of the best advice my mother in law gave me when my daughter was born was: she won't starve herself ... don't make special meals for her, or you'll end up always having to do so. And that advice has worked like a charm.

                  1. re: lynnlato
                    Green Omnivore Aug 22, 2009 12:31 PM

                    I was brought up like that too. I ate what was in front of me. My choice was to eat it or not. Even when I decided to be a vegetarian in my teenage years, my mom didn't make anything special for my self-imposed dietary restrictions!
                    My girls are now 4 and 1 yo, I think I will try the same approach as you and LulusMom suggest. And in 7 years (I'm hoping for less), maybe she'll be more adventurous with her food!

                    1. re: Green Omnivore
                      lynnlato Aug 22, 2009 03:49 PM

                      Yep, it's totally old school parenting - gotta love it. My mom would've laughed me out of the kitchen if I asked for a separate meal.

                      I've always been impressed by kids who eat out-of-the-ordinary things like sushi or indian. My kids don't care for sushi, but they will try most anything without fear.

                      Good Luck! ;-)

              2. LulusMom Aug 21, 2009 04:51 PM

                Congratulations on moving on to this point. I hope the baby is happy and eating well.

                We fed Lulu (who is now 3) a lot of raita (my recipe is just yogurt with shredded cucumber, a bit of cumin, salt and cayenne), which she loved. We started then (and still feed her on an almost daily basis) bean salad: can of white beans, drained and washed, some lemon juice, salt, olive oil, choppped shallot. She adores this stuff. Some babysitters have reacted badly (not helpful) but Lulu just keeps eating it and loving it. Just keep trying stuff and opening up your child's taste buds to all sorts of things. It pays off big time. Good luck!

                1. pikawicca Aug 21, 2009 04:50 PM

                  My baby is now 24 years old, and has been eating regular solid foods for about 4 years. Seriously, he immediately barfed up every delicious meal I ever pureed for him when he was a tot, and scorned most of my lovingly-prepared (and restaurant meals) for many years. I gave up and stopped pushing it. I don't know why he's finally come around, but I'm relieved.

                  9 Replies
                  1. re: pikawicca
                    tcamp Aug 21, 2009 05:32 PM

                    LOL, too right. My babies are 11 and 7 and they pretty much reject everything I make. However, my stance on baby food remains to feed them exactly what you are eating. Mushed or chopped as tooth situation demands.

                    Expose them to as much variety as possible; never cater to "kiddie" food fashions; encourage them to try new things from the beginning; and puree only as absolutely necessary. And then fully expect them to reject all of the good stuff for several years.

                    Just last week my 7 year old did the following: (1) stated that he loved salmon; (2) stated that he loved pesto; and (3) suggested that, on a trip to Canada, that we go to an Indian restaurant that he had noticed on our way into a town. Hope springs eternal.

                    1. re: pikawicca
                      d
                      DishDelish Sep 11, 2009 04:38 PM

                      You have given me hope! I have made alot of progress with my 6 year old ... but she is no where near being the food lover I was at her age. She is convinced that she doesn't like anything with the minutest amount of spice in it. Even if it isn't spicy at all she will sometimes convinvce herself that it is even if I try to tell her otherwise. Recently my hubby bought some sun chips to throw in with her school lunches and her fav. is the cheese flavor (used to be the onion, but she keeps forgetting when she likes things with the onion word). Anyways, last week she asked me for a bag of these chips as a snack and I told her she needed to finish the bag of salsa flavored sun chips she already started at school but did not finish. She started crying (literally) that is was to spicy. I told her it literally had no spice in it but she would not agree. I just told her never mind, and got her a different snack. Anyways I decided to teach her a lesson and pretended to open up a bag of her favorite cheese flavor and pretend to eat it. I switched her open bag of salsa flavor into the bag and poored the cheese ones into a zip-lock bag. I then told her that I guessed she could finish my bag for me because I didn't feel like finishing. She scarfed down the whole thing without even flinching. I asked her if they tasted spicy to her and she then told me of course not! These are the cheese flavored ones, my favorite! I asked her if she was absolutely sure and she responded that she was. Then I told her what I did and ske was in shock. More recently, 2 nights ago she actually cried because she thought her bubblegum tooth paste was spicy. The sad thing is that my 2 year old loves spicy foods and occasionally my 6 year old convinces her to shun it so I hope my 2 year old doesn't end up like her sister. *sigh* Well, I can at least rejoice that she eats better than she used to.

                      1. re: DishDelish
                        pikawicca Sep 11, 2009 06:32 PM

                        I just got a text message from the picky boy describing the great vegetarian Asian lunch he had in Portland. Relax, let them exhibit their weird tastes, and have confidence that they will find their inner chef. In this case, it took a very long time, but it happened.

                        1. re: pikawicca
                          d
                          DishDelish Sep 11, 2009 11:45 PM

                          My sister works with a 40 something year old woman who's Mother let her exhibit her weird tastes and this woman still only likes mostly white foods (the scary thing is this woman is vegetarian and doesn't really do veggies) so I really hope my daughter is as lucky as your son is and discovers her inner chef.

                        2. re: DishDelish
                          Scrapironchef Sep 11, 2009 10:09 PM

                          My niece loved sushi from the time she could eat it until first grade when her new best friend went all "eww, icky raw fish", she never recovered. Really sad because she was absolutely fearless until then.

                          1. re: Scrapironchef
                            d
                            DishDelish Sep 11, 2009 11:40 PM

                            Ohhh that is sad. Maybe one day she'll make a friend who will influence her in a good way. I keep hoping this happens to my 6 year old.

                            1. re: Scrapironchef
                              LulusMom Sep 12, 2009 10:58 AM

                              My daughter just started preschool and this kind of story really scares me. She's fearless with food - she loves everything, the spicier and weirder the better. But I fear for the first time someone says "beans? ugh!" and she suddenly doesn't want to eat beans (or whatever) anymore. But I will stick with the "you get to eat what everyone else is having" rule at home for dinner, and I'm hoping not having much choice in the matter will help.

                              1. re: LulusMom
                                j
                                jsaimd Sep 12, 2009 04:00 PM

                                depends on the kid. My son, who was never challenged when he wore his pink rainboots to preschool because he was so happy and confident in them, was overheard sayign to a child scoffing over a catered meal "it's good, it's prosciutto and gruyere" My kids don't seem to have an issue with the fact they like weird food, but they also go to a school with a very international population so there are always a variety of food represented.

                                1. re: jsaimd
                                  d
                                  DishDelish Sep 18, 2009 04:01 PM

                                  That is how my sister and I were growing up. We even were proud of the fact that we ate almost anything, so I always assumed that my kids would all be the same way. I really think my 2 year old might end up more like me in the end though (hope, hope). She loves being in the kitchen with me already, but her older sister hates getting her hand dirty in the kitchen.

                        3. j
                          Jitterbug Aug 21, 2009 07:16 AM

                          Hi! My baby is now two, but I still remember a lot of what we fed him at that age. From 6 months to around 8 months we mostly did single item purees in the food processor - sweet potato, parsnip, green beans, etc, along with hand-mashed avocado, bananas, roasted pears. I used this web site quite a bit: http://www.wholesomebabyfood.com/

                          Probably about 8 months we started adding in finger food. Favorites baby food items were: edamame (out of the shell of course), hummus, yogurt, scrambled eggs, fish, and diced fruit like mango. (Note that some pediatricians still advise waiting a year on eggs and dairy - ours did not.

                          )

                          I also made couscous bean balls by cooking together couscous and mashed navy beans and adding cheese at the end and shaping it all into loose balls. Sometimes I'd add little bits of veggie in to the balls too. Otherwise, whatever we ate I would give him little bits of.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: Jitterbug
                            l
                            Lotus7 Aug 21, 2009 04:43 PM

                            Wow, this web site is such a great resource--thank you so much for sharing.

                          2. g
                            gordeaux Aug 21, 2009 06:19 AM

                            We have an 8 month old too!
                            Nothing REAL intersting yet:
                            ground turkey mixed with peas, zuchini, carrots and brown rice
                            avocado
                            mashed banana with oatmeal
                            butternut squash
                            golden beets, silken tofu and ground lamb are next. We are currently introducing herbs in everything too.

                            Suggestion:
                            Look up the "beaba" baby food maker. I thought it might be another useless expensive gadget marketed to ppl with too much $, but it really is handy, quick and easy. I doubt we'll ever buy baby food.

                            3 Replies
                            1. re: gordeaux
                              l
                              Lotus7 Aug 21, 2009 06:22 AM

                              Hi there--I'm giving a lot of similar food, except no meat yet. I too didn't want to invest in a gadget, especially because I considered it short-term. We have been traveling quite a bit which has, unfortunately, gotten us off track in the food department. I bought Sprout and Plum organic products and my baby loves them. I'd rather, however, make food for him!

                              1. re: Lotus7
                                g
                                gordeaux Aug 21, 2009 07:45 PM

                                I'll tell you what, after only a few months, the Beaba product has already paid for itself. We are also in a csa, so we get organic veggies every week, but even the things we purchase in a grocery store turn out to be a good amt cheaper than buying pre-made food. We'll steam / puree the veggies in the Beaba, and then fill up ice cube trays with the puree. Once the trays are frozen, we pop out the cubes and then put them into a gallon freezer bag for the big freezer in the basement. So now, in the basement, we have decent quantities of frozen carrots, peas, green beans, beets, brown rice, turkey, lamb, zuchini, squash, apples, pears, peaches, nectarines, plums, etc. SO, mealtime is a cube of zuchini mixed with a cube of turkey, desert is a cube of peaches mixed with some oatmeal. 30, 40 secs in the microwave, and we can mix up the combos pretty well. Cube of this with a cube of that - next day it's a cube of x with a cube of y - you get the drift.

                                1. re: Lotus7
                                  Scrapironchef Sep 11, 2009 10:04 PM

                                  I've got a 7 month old at home and I'm going through all the same foods. I don't think you need a special cooker to make the food for your baby, microwaving or steaming is easy and a blender or food processor makes quick work of pureeing them. Covered ice cube trays stack up nicely in the freezer. I've priced baby food, you can do a lot better for a lot less.

                                  Check out a book called "Super Baby Food" by Ruth Yaron, a lot of good ideas. My little guy loves brown rice/banana porridge and mashed avocados. We've started a pool on what his first word will be, my money is on "more".

                              2. l
                                Lenox637 Aug 21, 2009 03:43 AM

                                I got myself a hand crank food mill and just grind up some of whatever I am eating at the time (not meat). My kids always loved my pasta fagioli soup and similar items.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: Lenox637
                                  t
                                  tzurriz Aug 22, 2009 12:33 PM

                                  that's what we do too.

                                2. Green Omnivore Aug 20, 2009 08:29 PM

                                  I make a salmon-avocado mash for my 11 month old and she loves it. I think the first time I made it, I poached the salmon. Lately I've been grilling it and letting her feed herself flaked fish and avocado cubes.

                                  Another favorite is creamy pasta with ham and peas. I toss cooked pasta with parmesan cheese and cream with cubes of ham and green peas. Sometimes I omit the cream and cheese and add chicken stock for a lighter dish.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: Green Omnivore
                                    l
                                    Lotus7 Aug 20, 2009 08:47 PM

                                    Very healthy! I too am trying to incorporate as much fresh, and healthy ingredients into my baby's diet. He's just getting the hang of feeding himself a few items...

                                  2. p
                                    Philly Ray Aug 20, 2009 07:55 PM

                                    When my daughter was moving off of baby food, I would brown up ground beef or turkey and mix it with mashed potatoes (regular or sweet) or steamed squash. I made it in big batches and froze it in ice cube trays. It was so easy to pop out a few cubes and microwave them up.

                                    Also did that with tomato sauce (with and without ground beef in it). Just cook a tablespoon or two of tiny pasta and then pop out a cube or two of sauce.

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