Miss Margot loves to eat! And I love to make Margot's food. Clearly it's a great relationship. Since Chris and I love food it's no surprise that we were very excited to start feeding Margot solid foods.
While we started* with the obligatory organic whole grain baby rice cereal we quickly moved onto sweet potatoes, egg yolk, spring peas and other veggies. We have been making all of Margot's food from scratch using organic and local ingredients as much as we can. We try to buy her veggies at the farmers market this way we can make it a fun outing out of it. Because, you know, Margot is just so aware of the whole picking her veggies, bringing them home and cooking them...To date Margot has eaten (in this order): Rice cereal, sweet potatoes, peas, egg yolk, turnips, parsnips, carrots, banana, avocado, peaches, oatmeal, mangos, apple sauce, chicken (mixed with peas), and pot roast with onions. I thought I'd just share how we prepare veggies and fruits for Miss Margot.
As a general rule I steam or roast/bake her veggies and puree them with some cultured butter, breast milk and a small sprinkling of sea salt*. We give Margot each new food for 3 days, obsessively examine her for any signs of rashes and then proceede with our next new food. We introduced a variety of veggies first. Once we started adding fruits we still made sure to give her plain cereal and veggies consistently so she wasn't becoming too used to the sweeter tastes of fruits. Obviously we do not add any sweeteners to the fruit. Once she has had the veggie or fruit we sometimes add a spice and let her try that. So far she has had cinnamon, cumin, coriander, oregano and bay. This really depends on the flavors of what she's eating and if a spice would complement those flavors. We treat introducing a spice just like introducing a new food waiting for 3 days etc.
Sweet Potatoes: Bake whole at 350 for about one hour. Peel and mash well. And if you'd like add small pat of cultured butter and a sprinkle of sea salt (unless your butter is already salted). If needed add breast milk or formula to achieve correct consistency. Once sweet potatoes have already been introduced you may add a small pinch of cinnamon.
Peas: If using fresh, shell and steam peas. If using frozen thaw and then heat in small sauce pan with a dab of water. Once warm place in food processor. Again, you may add small amount of butter.
Carrots/Parsnips/turnips: Peel and cut into uniform pieces. Roast with a small amount of olive oil (just enough to keep them from sticking) at 400 for 30-40 minutes until tender. Place in food processor with pat of butter and/or 1 Tb breast milk or formula. Puree. Keep adding liquid until achieve correct consistency.
See her beautiful farmer's market parsnips and carrots:
Peaches/Mangos/apricots: Fresh, quarter and bake at 350 until tender (about 30-40 minutes). If frozen cook slowly in small pot with just enough water to keep from sticking until tender. Puree. We either give Margot fruit on its own or mix it into oatmeal or rice cereal.
Banana: Mash ripe banana with breast milk or formula. Serve alone or mixed into cereal.
Egg yolk: You want to soft boil the egg. We do this by placing in small pot of cold water. Bringing to a boil and boiling for 4-6 minutes. Run egg under cold water and peel. Place egg yolk alone, being careful to remove all egg white, into bowl. The egg yolk should be gooey but not runny. Add pinch of organic sea salt. Mash up and serve. We first did this at about 5.5 months and Margot did not like it. We did it again 1 week ago and she loved it.
Most of her foods freeze really well. These are mashed parsnips and carrots. Once I have a puree I freeze it in ice cube trays. I sterilize the trays first. Freeze the food in the trays for a few hours and then transfer into freezer bags.
Usually I keep one or two servings in the fridge for the next day or two. I am trying to use her frozen food within a month so I try not to make too much too fast. Obviously banana, avocado and egg yolk doesn't save.
Currently Margot eats three meals of solid food each day. She has breakfast at my Mom's around 8 or 9. This usually consists of cereal, cereal mixed with fruit or just fruit. She has lunch between 12-1 of a veggie. And dinner around 6 or 6:30 of a different veggie and meat or grain. She eats between 2-4 TB at each meal and she nurses/takes a bottle 5-6 times a day. So far she has liked almost everything we've given her the only two exceptions being the initial egg and avocado. I can tell a clear preference for the food fresh vs frozen. She eats the frozen but she eats with much more gusto when the food was just prepared. For this reason I try not to make things in too large of a quantity so she has fresh food more often.
Now that I have the go ahead to give her more foods I'm always thinking up new meals for her. Once I have a little more practice making her meat, grains, beans and so on I'll do another post on that.
*I was determined to wait until Margot was 6months old to give her solids because that's what my nursing book recommended. However, at 5 months Margot was becoming so frantic during our meals that it was clearly time to give her some solids. Given how quickly she took to eating I'm thinking for her that was the right time. From 5 months-6 months she had veggies, fruit, oatmeal, rice cereal and egg yolk. Our pediatrician gave us the go ahead at her 6 month appointment to go ahead and start introducing everything at this point except dairy, wheat, peanuts, honey, sugar and citrus. We will introduce yogurt at 9 months, general dairy at a year along. We will probably wait longer on wheat. Unlike my normal type a self I actually have done almost no reading on feeding Margot. I did read the section in nourishing traditions on feeding babies and read a few articles from the Weston Price foundation. Chris says this is because they told me what I wanted to hear so I stopped. Perhaps he's right. Per the advice of the Weston Price foundation I do put small amounts of cultured organic butter some of Margot's purees along with a small sprinkling of organic sea salt. I understand this is not the mainstream advice. This is however how we choose to prepare her food. Obviously you should do your own reading and talk to your own pediatrician about what to feed your kid. That is my disclaimer.