Welcome back! If you’d like to get caught up on the previous posts in this series, click here: Bon appétit, bébé! Today we’ll be discussing great starter foods for Baby. And next week? How to avoid picky-eating.
There are lots of yummy foods you could feed your baby, right? And, whether you choose to make babyfood or not, it just makes sense that we want to offer the most nutrient-dense foods possible. We don’t want to waste empty calories to fill a tummy that may not be hungry the next time the breast (or bottle) is offered. These empty calories are found in cereals and sometimes in fruits and vegetables.
The Alligator Pear
A great first food is avocado (nicknamed the alligator pear – fun, huh?). One avocado has almost 30 grams of deliciously good-for-you grams of fat and over 300 calories. Erase what you’ve been programmed to think about calories and fat – they are vital for your baby. And this makes avocado a wonderful first food! It’s also a great source of protein. Even better? You can often get great deals on these little yummy fruits!
I did freeze a bunch of avocados in the beginning of my babyfood days but I quickly learned that this was pointless. It is far easier to buy a range of ripe to unripe avocados and store the unripe ones in the refrigerator until a couple days before you need it – then stash in a drawer or a paper bag till ripe. Easy-peasy!
The Incredible, Edible Egg
I shared briefly my love of eggs in last week’s post in this series (). And it’s true. I think eggs are amazing. They are a great source of complete protein – vitally needed for Baby’s growth and development. Eggs, though small, are very filling! One egg yolk has about 50 calories, 5 grams of fat (remember, it’s good for baby to have good fats!) and 3 grams of protein.
I often hard-boiled a bunch of eggs and served up the yolks as needed (whites are typically a no-no before the first birthday – especially if there is a family history of egg allergies).
Nanas and Taters
And of course, bananas and sweet potatoes make great starter foods! Bananas are super yummy and, while there’s no great nutritional value (no fats, little protein), they’re fun for baby and have a decent caloric amount (around 100 calories). They are high in fiber, so take it slow with your little one.
Sweet potatoes, while also low in protein and containing no fats, are very high in vitamins and minerals. Your baby will receive plenty of vitamin A after a few bites! And like egg yolks, it’s also a great way to get iron!
Bananas are so super easy to prepare – just peel and mash or slice! Sweet potatoes are easy as well: bake ‘em up and slice open the skins to get to the yummy tater. I dare you to not snitch a bite. Double dog dare ya.
There are many more wonderful foods to introduce to baby soon after he begins! We also gave them carrots, peas, pumpkin, squash, green beans, eggplant, green peppers, summer squash, broccoli, prunes, peaches, mangos, apples, pears, cherries, watermelon, blueberries, cantaloupe, kiwi, apricot, kidney beans, black beans, quinoa, etc. Anything I could get my hands on, I was feeding them. Now, I chose to not give them dairy right away (more on this soon) and we waited a bit for meat because I wasn’t convinced their tummies could handle this. I erred on the side of caution. I’ve since come to the conclusion that I could have given them meat at that time and they would have been fine. However, being breastfed as often as they were, they still received the necessary nutrients from me. So I’m ok with my decision. And they eat plenty of meat these days. Pa-lenty.
Now, you may notice that in none of these “first foods” did I mention pureeing anything. That’s because I now believe the blender to be more work than necessary. It is just as easy to mash a sweet potato as it is to puree it. Or to mash steamed carrots. Or peas. Pretty much anything is easily mashable. And, call me lazy, but if it needs to be blender-ized I’d just as soon wait till they show more interest in finger foods than messing with all those ice-cube trays, Baby Bullets, and the like. If the thought of not blending freaks you out, hold on. I’ve got some recipes, tips and ideas I think you’ll feel comfortable with…more importantly, I think Baby will love them!