(SKIP TO PART TWO OF FEEDING YOUR BABY REAL FOOD HERE!)
If you asked my now three-year-old-twins what puffs were, they would not have a clue what you were talking about. They never ate puffs. Gerber didn’t step foot into our home and neither did any other type of pre-packaged food (organic or not!). My kids ate real food from the beginning. How?
It Starts With a Commitment
It isn’t after you have your baby that you need to decide how you are going to feed your baby, it really starts during pregnancy! I KNEW I was going to breast feed. I was going to do EVERYTHING in my power to give my kids the best start. Breast milk is 100% perfect food, filtered, whole and naturally made for your pure and perfect little one. Not only that, the bonding is something incredible, indescribable, and utterly beautiful, a gift that only God could have given a mother. It is unforgettable and something I will hold dear to my heart.
Breast milk gives babies a taste for real food. What you eat changes the taste of the milk so their palate begins to expand in infancy. The more fruit and vegetables the mother eats, makes for an easier transition to baby food and beyond.
Now, I did not have an easy start at breast-feeding. I gave birth to my twins at 35 weeks and 1 day. They were premies. Rocco was 5 lbs 7 oz at birth and Maximus was 3 lbs 12 oz. You can imagine how tiny they were! Thankfully, Rocco did not need any NICU time and was with me the entire time in the hospital. I began nursing him immediately. However, because he was a premie, he needed to be “topped off” with formula until my milk came in because his blood sugar kept dropping. Maximus was in the NICU for eight [LONG] days. So, from the very beginning, after nursing Rocco, I would pump to give what ever I could to his brother, he was too weak to suck and was fed by a feeding tube. I pumped colostrum, or “liquid gold,” the first four days and my nurses would RUN it right over to the NICU, even if it was only a drop! After I was sent home, I continued to pump and bring milk to the hospital. Maximus did amazing and I brought him home at 4 lbs 7 oz. Still a little peanut, but a thriving peanut!
I loathed that pump, but I was committed.
Nursing twins was not easy. I did not get out of the house much. I needed My Brest Friend Twins Nursing Pillow where ever we went. Parks, malls, and other public places were pretty much out of the question for nursing time, which meant I had a little window of time to get out, to be back home or to the car for feeding time. Again, it was a commitment… a commitment I will never ever regret and one I am ever so thankful I made!
What is the best first food for baby?
I know how exhausting it is to have a new-born (or two). I kept hearing story after story of our friends kids sleeping through the night after 2 weeks, 2 months, 4 months, once they started cereal, once they added formula, etc. I know when you are in the early weeks, it feels like it is going to take forever to get through the no sleeping stage. It’s tempting to just give them formula or start with cereal, but it won’t work. Ultimately, a baby will not sleep through the night, until he/she is ready. Feeding solids or cereal before six months can cause digestion problems and allergies.
So, what is the best first food for baby? Avocado. Say what!? No it is not, the highly processed stuff your pediatrician recommends. Avocado is natures perfect food. It is rich, creamy, nutrient dense, full of heart healthy fats, and one of the LEAST foods contaminated with pesticides.
The older the baby gets, the less pureed it needs to be and eventually avocado makes the perfect finger food!
Baby’s First Avocado Recipes
Baby’s Mashed Avocado for First Food ~6 months +
Peel and de-pit a ripe avocado
Cut “meat” out and mash with a fork (add a little breast milk to thin it and make an easy transition to solids)
I love avocados since there is no need to cook or use a machine to blend. Avocado’s are rich and creamy, naturally.
I waited a couple of months before I started giving my son’s fruit (yes avocado is technically fruit). I really wanted them to get used to eating vegetables. I would buy Organic vegetables steam and puree with a little of the cooking water to add vitamins back in. The tools you need to get started with making baby food is a Steaming basket (you don’t want the vegetables sitting in water or vitamins leach out) a food processor, and freezing trays. I had four of the Baeba trays below so I could make large quantities of food to freeze (but I was feeding twins!). For one baby I would recommend two trays.
Make Your Own Baby Food
Sundays, I would cook up a storm! I really didn’t take that long. My husband would be home so I could run to the store, or we could go together. Just like with meal planning, I found it easier to do on Sundays so I would be prepared for the week. Carrots, Avocado, Butternut squash, green beans, yams, kale and zucchini, were some of the first foods my babies ate, along with banana, apples, pears, and berries.
Stage One ORGANIC Foods (six to eight Months)
It is NOT necessary to start with grains, nor do I think all that great for babies early digestion. But, I thought I would add these recipes in here, so incase you still want use cereal, you CAN make your own.
Make your own Rice Cereal
1/4 c. rice powder (brown rice ground in blender or food processor)
1 cup water
1. Bring liquid to boil in saucepan. Add the rice powder while stirring constantly.
2. Simmer for 10 minutes, whisking constantly, remove from heat and add breast milk if desired
3. Serve warm.
Make your own Oatmeal Cereal
1/4 c. of ground whole rolled oats (do NOT use instant or Quick Cook), ground in blender or food processor
3/4 c. water
1. Bring liquid to boil in saucepan. Add the oat powder while stirring constantly.
2. Simmer for 10 minutes, whisking constantly, breast milk
3. Serve warm.
Make your own Barley Cereal
1/4 c. ground barley (barley ground in blender or food processor)
1 cup water
1. Bring liquid to a boil. Add the barley and simmer for 10 minutes, whisking constantly
2. Mix in formula or breast milk or juice and add fruits if desired
3. Serve warm
Organic Green Beans Puree –
1 pound of fresh green beans
1. Clean & snap green beans (Skip if using frozen.)
2. Use filtered water and steam until tender.
3. Place into your choice of appliance for pureeing and begin pureeing.
4. Add cooking water as necessary to achieve a smooth, thin consistency
5. Cook frozen green beans (no salt) according to package directions
6. Follow Steps 3 and 4
Organic Yams Puree
1. Wash and poke holes in sweet potato with fork then wrap sweet potatoes in tin foil – do not peel for baking.
2. Place in a 400 degree oven and bake for 30-60 minutes or until soft.
3. Remove skins by slitting the sweet potato lengthwise when cooled then scoop out the “meat”. Use a little filtered water to puree or thin the sweet potatoes.
1. Peel sweet potatoes and cut into small chunks
2. Place chunks into a pan with just enough water to slightly cover potato
3. “Steam” boil until tender, be sure to check on the water level.
4. Reserve any left over water to use for thinning out the sweet potatoes if desired.
Organic Apples Puree (applesauce) Or pears
Any amount of apples you desire – I recommend using 5-10 large apples (try Macintosh, Fuji, Gala or Braeburn.)
1. Peel, core and cut apple into slices/chunks
2. Place slices or chunks into a pan with just enough water to slightly cover apples
3. Boil/steam until tender; be sure to check on the water level and stir.
4. Puree in food processor.
Organic Peeled Carrots (do not use baby carrots)
*I normally do not peel my carrots for minerals, but for babies, it is important since carrots can contain a high level of nitrates.
1 lb of fresh organic carrots
1. Peel carrots and cut into small chunks
2. Place chunks into a steamer pan with just enough water visible through the steamer basket
3. Steam until tender
4. Do not reserve any left over water to use for thinning out the carrots if baby is under 8 months old as Nitrates may seep into the cooking water
5. Place into your choice of appliance for pureeing and begin pureeing.
6. Add water as necessary to achieve a smooth, thin consistency.
Continue using the same technique in pureeing a variety of vegetables. Make sure your baby eats the rainbow, change-up the vegetables, let your baby try new vegetables, even if YOU don’t like them, he or she might surprise you!
Freezing Baby Food
After cooking and pureeing, I would always reserve a little for the following day in some Tupperware. Let the food cool a bit and pour into the freezing trays. Make sure to leave a little room onto for the food to expand. I love the Baeba freezing trays because they easily portion out food, pop out individually because they are silicon, and are BPA Free and non-toxic.
Pop out and let defrost in the refrigerator overnight for the following day. Use a toaster oven to heat up the baby food until just warm, since we do not want to destroy those valuable nutrients.
Small mason jars, LIKE THESE would also be great to have on hand for taking baby food to go and we used THESE SPOONS, which my boys loved to chew on when they were teething. They are perfect for sensitive gums.
Just when I really got comfortable nursing twins, when I really felt like I had it down, it was just about time to add food! It was overwhelming for me at times! I get it! But, the more you make your own baby food, I promise, it will get easier. Your baby(ies) will be okay! Feeding them REAL FOOD, starting with breast milk, will make you so proud, and you will be giving your child the best start in life.
Please feel free to email me with questions or comment below! I love to help 🙂
READ PART TWO HERE… STAGE TWO BABY FOOD!
Keep it clean, keep it natural! From my natural health blog to you!