Spring has sprung.
Crocuses are in bloom…
Pedicures are in bloom…
Solid Food Apprentices are always in bloom…
If you have a baby who is approaching 6 months old and you have been longing…or wondering…what types of solid foods you should start with, this will be a good guide for you.
If baby isn’t quite a spring chicken anymore and has advanced to 8 months plus, this will still be helpful if you haven’t tried making his or her food at home as yet but would like to.
In a nut shell, or egg shell, whichever is smaller, this will take you through the painless basics of preparing baby’s first solid foods at home and the discovery of just how easy it can be.
Good news Solid Food Apprentice parents…this stage is the easiest as far as food prep goes.
Good thing because with a 6 month old baby at home I recall trying to battle through the day on very little or sporadic bursts of sleep.
Isn’t it funny how nature seems to provide a tolerable balance between ease and strife for the people?
Once baby is a pro with iron fortified rice cereal, which they can start to have at around 5 months, you can introduce others including oat and wheat as long as baby is over 6 months and you wait 3 days or so in between the new introduction to keep an eye out for any allergic reactions.
This way you can narrow down the culprit to the food that was most recently introduced.
Chances of your baby having food related allergies are higher if there is a history of it in the family.
If not, then it’s more likely that baby will not, but it’s always best to be watchful and proactive.
O.K. all you exhausted yet enthusiastic parents!
Here is a crash course in the top 5 fruit and veggie foods to introduce first to awaken their little taste buds at 6 months of age.
Age – 6 months +
New Beginnings Fruit
– Pick it up, peel it, mash it, serve it.
I think that just saved you 53 minutes by taking away your search for car keys, bundling of baby, drive to the store, polite battle through aisles to get to the jarred baby food, line up behind a clerk calling for a price check, drive home and coffee drive through stop for caffeine injection to get you through the rest of your day.
– Peel, core and slice.
Add to sauce pan over medium heat, cover and cook stirring occasionally for 15 minutes or until apples are juicy and tender.
Remove from heat and let cool for a few minutes then puree to thin consistency.
– Same prep as apples above.
– Peel and slice peach removing pit.
If the peaches are really ripe you don’t even have to cook them.
If they aren’t super ripe you can always put them in a saucepan and cook over medium heat for 10 minutes or so just like you would for apples and pears so they become tender and juicy and then puree.
– Add fresh or frozen blueberries to a saucepan and cook over medium heat for approx. 5 minutes.
Let cool for a few minutes then puree.
You can use a food mill to puree if you don’t want to have any of the skin in the puree making it that much smoother for a young baby to handle, or put the regular puree through a strainer and discard the skins.
All of the above fruit purees are great on their own or mixed with baby cereal.
All except for banana are suitable for freezing so you can make a big batch and freeze in portion sized freezing trays to use within 3 months.
New Beginnings Veggies
All of these veggies have the same prep method…steaming.
Steaming rather than boiling veggies helps them to better retain their nutrients.
So for each, place the chopped and peeled vegetables in a steamer set over boiling water and steam for time indicated.
Remove from heat and let cool for a few minutes then puree with some of the cooking water so that a thin, easy for baby to handle, puree is achieved.
– Peel and chop and steam for approx. 20 minutes then puree with some of the cooking water to a smooth consistency.
2. Sweet Potato
– Peel and chop and steam for approx. 15 minutes then just to make things complicated (easy), do the same as you did above for carrots.
3. Butternut Squash
– Peel, seed and chop and then just when you thought things were getting tricky they are the polar opposite…you just prep squash the same way as you would a sweet potato.
- Place frozen peas into a steamer over boiling water, cover and steam for approx. 5 minutes.
Remove from heat and puree with some of the cooking water to a smooth consistency.
Just like the blueberries, you can use a food mill to puree peas so you don’t have the skins in the puree, or put the regular puree through a strainer and discard the skins.
– Clean and chop broccoli into small pieces removing the thick stems and add to steamer placed over boiling water.
Cover and steam for approx. 10 mins.
Remove from heat and let cool for a few minutes then puree with some of the cooking water to a smooth consistency.
All of the above veggie purees are suitable for freezing so just like for the fruit, make large batches and then put into portion sized freezing trays to use within 3 months.
There you have it.
This sounds easy because it is easy…not because I’m trying to make you think it’s easy. I'm not that clever or calculating.