Oh, the joy of feeding your children real food instead of just milk and formula! It’s really not all it’s cracked up to be. Solids going in produce solids coming out. So, don’t say I didn’t warn you! But seriously, I was always super excited to get my kids started on solids. Needless to say, I read up on the advice on parenting.com, so I was prepared. It’s your chance to put them on the right track for their whole lives, and if you have older kids, it’s also a chance to get them involved in helping you cook. I’m big on organic foods, so when my oldest daughter was ready to start solid foods, I invested in a small blender and baby steamer. And then I went to town.
You can usually tell when your child is ready for something more than milk. It just doesn’t seem to satisfy them any longer. They cry more. They wake up more. Trust me, you can tell. It’s usually somewhere between four and six months, but that’s really only a guide. My daughter wanted more food just before four months. My son was almost six months. My baby, who is now six months old, has been on solids for about a month. So, it can vary a lot. Don’t worry so much about exactly when you should get them eating. They will tell you.
I love to cook, so I was happy about using my baby steamer to steam everything: apples, squash, peaches, zucchini, pears, beets, asparagus, anything really. You can even cheat a little and look at the flavor combinations of baby food at the store and make your own combos. The little steamer was great for individual portions. It steamed rather quickly and only added a few minutes to food prep. When the kids were first starting solids, I made sure to puree them pretty finely in the blender. When they got the hang of eating, I would only mush up the food with a fork. It’s a good way to slowly introduce them to more and more solid food.
I always felt good about what they were eating too. Baby food is ok, but I’m a big label reader and if I see a word I don’t recognize, back on the shelf it goes. It’s probably a preservative. But it’s great if you’re limited on time. It’s not like it’s bad for them. I just always thought fresh foods were better, that’s all. And my baby blender did come with storage cups with lids for saving or freezing. So, if you’re a mom on the go, by all means whip up a giant batch and freeze it! Throw them in your bag when you head out and they’ll be defrosted by the time you need to use them.
I did notice that by making my own baby food, the kids all transitioned to “real” food much quicker than some of my friends’ kids. Baby food has a taste. Don’t believe me? Taste it. It kind of all tastes the same. By giving them fresh fruits and vegetables, they were already used to the taste of real food, so they didn’t squawk when their portion sizes suddenly increased. In fact, they were quite happy to eat more since they were growing like weeds!