Check out my first post on Baby Led Weaning for resources. I took these pics back in JANUARY for this post…just now getting around to it….
I posted about this on Facebook and had OVER 50 COMMENTS between my personal and this blog’s Facebook Page
MINI RANT ON BABY FOOD IN AMERICA
I have a LOT to say about how we feed ourselves and our children in this country….and it’s a hot button issue that has me nervous to speak about in public. I think we all know that we lack proper nutrition knowledge as a country…and that’s not our fault, it’s politics. [Of course, I believe we should educate ourselves…but I understand that the proper information is REALLY hard to find with SO much misinformation out there due to a billion dollar a year weight loss industry.]
But, I am afraid we don’t want to hear that we are feeding our kids crap!!! Why?! Tradition. I challenge you to question WHY you are feeding your baby or kid what you are. Think about it. Why? How is ____ helping him/her to grow? How is ___ developing their taste for good foods? Some of the “convenience” foods may not hurt them, but are there more nutritious foods? REAL FOODS are always the goal for us…though we don’t meet that goal, every day. We don’t even eat well most days, it feels like. I’m human. But WE TRY!
As adults we have excuses and reasons why we eat crap…..stress, emotions, cravings and tastes, lack of time or access, etc. As babies…no excuses exist! [ok, except mom being tired…which is valid!] I have my own excuses and reasons why I eat crap….I’m not perfect and don’t eat a perfect diet…far from it! Promise! But, our babies only know what we feed them! WE can affect their health, taste buds and future love of food. It’s in our hands! It’s a very important responsibility…one I do not take lightly at all. To me, in my very busy day, my FITbaby’s food is non-negotiable. There is no room for error. No running out of healthy food. No skipping healthy meals and giving her restaurant food [mostly b/c sodium is hard to process for infants under 12 mo old.] [UPDATE: With Baby #2 I’m slightly more relaxed. I haven’t budged on what I feed her, I just tend to have fewer options available!]
So, my rant for today is over! Ask me more and I will tell you more. For now, here are a few foods that FITbaby loves. I have a basket steamer. It can take a while, but it’s worth it. I just pick a time I’ll be home and around the kitchen for an hour and I fill up the steamer and let it go! I set a timer so I don’t forget it. I poke it with a fork to check to see if it’s done enough. I put it on her tray in the fridge and it’s ready for the next few days of meals. I serve her food cold because  it’s easy  i don’t love the microwave  it’s fast  it’s easy.
THIS IS SO EASY
Baby Led Weaning is basically homemade baby food purees without the pureeing, the freezing, the storing, the warming, etc. You just… Steam it. Eat it. Refrigerate it. Eat it.
BABY FOOD TRAY
I have a “baby food” tray that I keep in the fridge and bring out at mealtimes. It always has a sampling of the different food groups as listed below….
THERE IS ALWAYS…
- Always a meat [usually chicken, turkey or beef]
- BLW says to give meat on the bone but this scared me so we did ground meat early on. When she was too little [before pincher grip] we offered to put it in her mouth. If she didn’t want it, she let us know. If she did, she opened wide. [UPDATE: Baby #1 would open wide if she wanted it. Baby #2 would grab my hand and put it in her mouth.]
- and often egg yolk [no egg white til 12 mo, I think, due to allergy]
- [I make meat and veggies in a pan on the stove and add garlic and onion or other spices but no salt]
- Always a meat [usually chicken, turkey or beef]
- Green Vegetables
- Almost always broccoli, her favorite.
- Often peas, avocado [raw], asparagus, green beans, sugar snap peas, green, red & orange bell peppers, etc.
- [all steamed except avocado]
- [UPDATE: Asparagus is stringy so they gag on it and it’s hard to chew and swallow so I’m bad about leaving that out b/c I don’t want to deal with it.]
- Orange Vegetables
- Carrots or Sweet potatoes are almost always on her tray
- [all steamed]
- Fruits come out after she’s had her fill of her meats and vegetables.
- She loves apples [steamed] and watermelon [raw] the best. Kiwi. Grapes [pealed and cut into a MILLION tall slices to avoid choking]. Banana. Mango. Pears. Peaches.
- Starchy Carbs & Dairy [Not yet.]
- We will start these around 1-2 years I believe. I still have more research to do on starchy carbs and milk for around 12 mo-2 year. The research I have done says that babies cannot properly digest starch until around 2 years old yet Baby Center tells us to base our babies diets around starchy carbs like baby cereal…what??!!! Smoke is coming out my ears. And, the research I’ve done so far says that cow’s milk is not for human consumption…yet I love it. 🙁 Decisions, decisions. [UPDATE: I believe we started Baby #1 on starches into her first year & when my breastmilk ran out 🙁 we gave her goat’s milk into her 2nd year.]
ABOUT OUR MEALS.
- She eats 3 times a day. I don’t worry too much about whether it’s before or after nursings, etc. It falls where it falls. These days as we are cutting out some nursings during the day [she’s 10 months old now], I try to feed her lunch and dinner when I can give her a sippie with milk between nursings.
- I give her a sampling of each item that I have steamed and ready for her. Once she runs out of an item on her tray I give her more. So, I just monitor that she hasn’t run out of any food. Some days she eats TONS of carrots, others it’s peas and others it’s chicken & broccoli. I let her decide what she wants/needs that meal.
- She eats her food cold if it’s been pre-made. It makes life easier when we go out and about. More on that later.
OUT AND ABOUT FOR THE AFTERNOON.
- 1-2 small tupperware/glass/travel containers with her lunch, sippie cup with pumped milk and a cooler pack. Done.
- One container usually has her meat & veggies. Another with her fruits. So easy.
- I have a water sippie cup in the car or on her stroller now too.
- I take disposable placemats though they aren’t necessary. She can eat right out of the container [I hold it to minimize mess but then i have to hold it.].
SNACKS & IN-BETWEEN MEALS.
- For now, we don’t eat in between meals. LOVE LOVE LOVE the book Bringing Up Bebe [the French don’t agree with snacking.] I’m curious where we’ll “land” on this subject in a few years. Definitely “food” for thought!
- WE LOVE FROZEN VEGGIES FOR TEETHING!!! Frozen asparagus (not while walking or crawling), broccoli, and french style green beans are favorites, for example. Whole refrigerated carrots & celery are great to chew on also.
**AS WITH ALL FOOD, DO NOT LEAVE KIDS UNATTENDED WHILE EATING. WATCH & LISTEN CLOSELY!**
I also have to say….I have a 10 month old and that’s as far as my experience goes! I have no idea how to feed a 2 year old. Once I get there, I’ll let you know! Snack ideas? I have no idea! Trail mix? Carrot sticks? Cucumbers & Natural Nut Butter?
I challenge you to question why you are feeding our kids particular foods every day.
Is it providing true nutrition? Or is it filling up their stomachs with a empty calories and taking place of good, nutritious foods? [This works for us too.]
Please tell me if you have any specific questions about baby food.
Did I miss any foods here? I’m sure I did! Share some ideas!!