Baby Food 101: 6-12 Months

I promise that I’m going to stop making promises…

I mean, I can barely keep the simple ones. Things like, calling someone back, returning an email, or even promising my husband I’m going to shave my legs WAY more often than I do.

Unfortunately I made a promise that everyday last week would be Kids Week. Meaning…7 days…one week…

I guess it’s not surprising that last week I posted 2 times out of seven, and that Kids Week is turning into Kids two Weeks…

But seriously, if I come back next week and say, screw it, let’s do this all month…Please email me and tell me I’m cooky loco…

I PROMISE i’ll email you back!

Ok, let’s get back to business shall we!

I’ve been trying to decide the best way to split up these posts because there is SO much information! I could do a whole post on foods for 9-12 month olds and so on for each age….But we’ve got things to see and places to go…

And I made a promise that this wouldn’t take forever.

So today we are going to focus on the little tykes…And tomorrow (or the next day…don’t hate) we will get into toddler food. Sound good?! Ok!!

**Before I begin, please know this…I am not a doctor. The advice I give on the blog is given and learned from my own personal experiences and knowledge. ALWAYS consult a doctor first when it comes to the appropriate time, age, and what it is that your baby needs to eat.**

I remember when it came time to get Baby Boo ready for solid foods, I couldn’t help but feel nervous. I know, sounds crazy, but I was just so happy nursing her that I didn’t want to really add any thing else that might make things more difficult. It was a little after Baby Boo had turned 4 months that a lot of people told me I should start feeding her rice cereal. I was indifferent because my doctor, as well as many books I had read, had said to wait till 6 months.

But of coarse I gave into peer pressure and tried introducing rice cereal to her early on, and it was hell. Not only did I soon learn she wasn’t ready, but it stressed me out because I was constantly worried and trying to force her to eat. Every meal time was a struggle, and she would cry every time we would sit her in her high chair. Soon after, she stopped breastfeeding (also because people told me I should introduce a bottle) and she was refusing any type of solids.

Time after time I was listening to other people’s advice and comments, and not my own (and my doctor’s) instincts and recommendations…In the end, it didn’t work out the way I had hoped.

How has this had an impact on Baby Boo’s eating habits now?

Call me crazy, but I truly believe that I kind of messed things up in the beginning. If there has one thing I have learned about being Baby Boo’s mom, it’s that when she is ready to do something she will do it…And when she isn’t, she won’t. In my heart, I truly felt that it was too early to start feeding Baby Boo solids, and that she wasn’t ready. Sometimes I think if I would have waited a little longer and took a slower approach that it would have been easier, and not as stressful, for her to eat.

So, when is the best time to start?

Every child is different. Some children may do well trying solids earlier than other babies, but do what you feel is best. Listen to your doctors advice first and foremost. Next, listen to your motherly instinct. If you feel your baby isn’t ready, don’t force it. Take it slow and don’t stress it. Even if you only introduce foods every so often, eventually in time it will increase.

Typically though, most babies are introduced solids around 6 months.

Making homemade baby food can seem hard to do at first, but with the right tools and knowledge it’s really easy!

First off you need a good food processor. It doesn’t have to be expensive, because there are great cheap blenders out there. When Baby Boo was first born I used a Magic Bullet all the time. It was only $40, which is a great price!

For homemade cereals:

1. Whether it be brown rice, spelt, barley, etc., simply ground it into a flour using your blender.

2. Store in fridge in air tight container. When ready to use, bring a pot of water to a boil (roughly 1/4-1/2 c. cereal to 1 c. water) then add cereal and cook for 10 minutes until soft. Mix in formula, breast milk, etc..then serve when cooled.

For homemade veggie puree:

2. Steam veggies in a vegetable steamer. (Always steam veggies separately) Once veggie are soft, transfer to a blender or fod processor and puree until smooth. Once cooled serve to baby.

3. You can store extra puree’s in the fridge or freezer in an air tight container.

Store bought baby food:

I love making baby food, but you don’t always have time when your on the go and busy. That’s why it’s great to puree lots of food and store in the fridge or freezer for those busy days. When in doubt, don’t fret because you can use store bought food too.

1. Buy organic and nothing with additives.

2. Use whole grain organic cereals with simple ingredients.

Babies are brand new to food, and the last thing you want to do is start giving them preservatives and un-wholesome ingredients. So always try homemade baby food, but when needed buy natural and organic brands. (This includes formula!) ๐Ÿ™‚

The first time a baby taste solid foods, it’s definitely an experience. You have to remember that every food you put in front of them is something that have never taste, seen, or experienced. Take it slow with each new food, introducing each one at a time. Introducing foods slowly and one at a time also helps you learn if the baby is sensitive or allergic to certain types of food.

(6 Months)

Rice Cereals

Pureed Avocado

Pureed Apple

Pureed Pear

Pureed Banana

Pureed Sweet Potato

Pureed Butternut Squash

Pureed Zucchini

Pureed Green Peas

(ย 7-9 Months)

Your baby still won’t be eating a lot of solid foods, but these next months will be a time when you can introduce different flavors an food combinations. Always try the foods first on their own to make sure baby isn’t allergic, and then go ahead and combine them with other foods. ย During this stage some babies might be getting teeth as well, so some chunkier foods mixed with pureed foods is great to introduce during this stage. Here are a few examples:

-Make your own homemade veggie stock, which can be added to vegetables being pureed. Great way to add extra vitamins and minerals.

Sweet potato and banana

-Fruit puree combo such as peach and plum, or blueberries and prunes.

Pureed potatoes mixed with beets, zucchini, etc…

-Cereal with plum puree

Avocado with cucumber puree

Lentils and veggie broth (This would be along the lines of a chunky food.)

Pumpkin and rice

Potatoes, parsnips, rutabaga, and carrot puree mixed with a little veggie stock.

-Quinoa with veggie or fruit purees mixed in

-Rice pudding, made with a coconut milk

Meats pureed w/ veggies and broth

Egg yolks

Examples:

Pumpkin Carrot Quinoa

Ok, on to the next stage!

This is the stage where you don’t have to puree every single food item, and you can switch to more bite size and chunky foods. Instead of pureed bananas, give your child small cut up bananas.

At the beginning of each week I like to cut, wash, and cook a bunch of foods to have on hand through out the week. Having cooked beans in the fridge for easy snacking for your little ones, ย pre-cut fruits, and pre cut veggies that can be steamed and easily eaten makes your day so much easier. Having these items on hand can also make meal time easier for the adults. When you have cooked beans, rice, and fresh veggies etc. prepared in the fridge it’s easier to make a meal.

Here are some examples of easy finger foods and bites for this age:

chopped fruits such as bananas, raspberries, blueberries etc..

Cooked rice mixed with chopped avocado, steamed carrots

Tofu cut into small cubes served plain or tossed in ground flax seeds or wheat germ

Cubed soft cheeses or yogurt (plain, nondairy, sweetened with natural fruit)

Lean meats, organic, finely dicedย 

Soft crackers that are easily dissolved when sucked on. I like to make my own from THIS website.

Bite sized homemade muffins (with pureed veggies inside, no processed sugars or refined flours)

Cut up soft pancakes (can add lots of veggie purees to pancakes too!)

Green smoothies

Oatmeal

The important thing is not to stress when making meals for your baby, and more importantly don’t make separate meals. Take apart the main meal that the family is eating and feed it to your baby. So if your meal is a stir fry, set aside some rice/quinoa steamed veggies and a protein without all the sauces for your baby to have. Make it simple! ๐Ÿ™‚

There are so many food options when it comes to feeding the babies, and I could have writen a really super long post…But then it would take me longer than a few days to write. ๐Ÿ™‚ These tips are just the basics to get you thinking. Consult your doctor first before giving your baby any types of food, and do your research. I have read tons of baby food books which have truly helped me out early on, and have given me the ideas I have needed!

If you think I missed anything, or there is something you think should go on this list and that has helped you please leave a comment below and share! ๐Ÿ™‚

My next post will be toddler food!! I have tons of recipes for that, pictures of food ideas, and well…lot’s of messy face pictures! Thanks for your patience during these next few days!

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Comments

  1. tacha grenier says:

    How do I get Madelyn to eat anything she has become so picky drives me nuts at dinner time

  2. This is so informative! Sending the link to my friend we were talking about. Thanks!

    Also, I’m doing a giveaway today that I think you’d like… it’s for cookies made from veggies. ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Amber Fenn says:

    Thanks so much for the tips!

    I was just curious if you knew if there is anything wrong with pureeing raw veggies (instead of always steaming them first)? If you can get it to the right consistency does it matter? I just feel like the raw veggies have so many more live enzyme and nutrients than those exposed to heat. Any thoughts on this?? ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Great question! Raw veggies are definitely better, but it’s all about the soft consistency for new babies. Lots of veggies are too hard on their own and can be dangerous for babies to eat raw, so you have to steam the veggies for the first while. As kids get older, and you introduce more whole solids, then you won’t have to cook the veggies…but they will need teeth to chew them. Hope that helps.

  4. Is it bad that I think that quinoa looks delicious?!

  5. This is soo helpful and so informative! I love that you make a lot of your own foods. You can tell you care about what goes into your baby and making sure it’s whole food and perfect for the age. Plus, it looks pretty delicious no matter what the age! ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. One thing I’ve been planning on doing too that you mentioned is basically feeding them what you made for yourself, just separated, not combined. I think that’s not only good for baby, but soooo much easier on mom too.

  7. Haha, I love love love that pic of her with the straw. She is just such a cutie pie!

    Oh, and I could go for that pumpkin carrot quinoa myself!

  8. Where were you when my boys were babies?, lol!!! I am positive that baby food was no where in your thoughts at that point. You are such a fabulous mom ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. I learned the hard way. I steamed a bunch of carrots for my little guy when it came time to introduce him to carrots. Needless to say, it didn’t go well. His body wasn’t ready for carrots (i.e. nasty diaper rash!). So I started buying jarred organic baby food to see what his body could handle there after. It worked out, for us, in the long run. I ended up using most of the frozen pureed carrots in soups and stews. I’m thankful that he’s my fruit and veggie kid! <3

  10. You probably already know this trick, but I make large batches of single ingredient purees (carrots or peas, or butternut squash etc) and I freeze them in an ice-cube tray. When frozen I just pop them out and into a labeled zip lock. When it’s time for my little guy to eat I can just warm up a few cubes. I can easily mix and match as well! I also will puree spinach with water until it’s basically a juice and freeze that as well in an ice-cube tray. I add this to his meals as well! (I’ve even put spinach in his oatmeal) ๐Ÿ˜‰

    **I put in my blog address just so you know I’m not some random wierdo.

  11. Yey!!! Great post I will definitely be sharing this one! I am putting together something similar about how Ella’s been eating. I started making Quinoa cake thingys too! She JUST got her first 2 teeth last week so I am now tryig to work on her feeding herself more as opposed to the purees. It was hard but she got the hand of it (sort of) yesterday with her sweet potatoes!

  12. Great post! The one thing I won’t do this time around is start with rice cereal. I didn’t start solids with Meghan until she was 6 months, but her digestive system still wasn’t ready for grains. I’ll start with a mild fruit or veggie like avocado this time.

  13. Thanks for the great posts! One question: where you write “Always steam veggies separately,” do you mean not to steam multiple different kinds of veggies together at once? If so, can you explain why? We’ve been doing this often!

    • Great question! There are a couple reasons why I do that. The first one being that when you introduce foods to babies, you have to do each one separately to make sure that the baby isn’t allergic to that type of food. So you don’t want to mix purees/veggies together just in case the child has a food sensitivity to one of the food items. Another reason is because different vegetables have different cooking times, and if you are cooking certain vegetables together (one that doesn’t take as long, and one that does), one of those vegetables could become over cooked and loose a lot of it’s nutritional value…or one could be undercooked when might not puree as smoothly. Hope that helps! Once you know the baby isn’t allergic, you could definitely cook certain veggies together that have the same cooking time, and then puree them together!

  14. I am a new mom and am finding feeding my now 7 month old stressful. I just worry about how to do it, what to feed her, when to feed her, is it enough, etc. Anyway, I’ve been giving her purรฉed pears, sweet potatoes, and peas (she hates the peas though) once a day at dinner time. At what point did you start feeding your little one 2 then 3 times a day?
    Thanks!

    • Hi Katie!
      I know it’s stressful but the first thing I want you to do is understand that you are doing the best you can, and not to stress! ๐Ÿ™‚
      Definitely talk this over with your Dr., but 7 months is still SUPER early for all types of foods, and they are just testing things out. You usually start out slow, introducing more foods as you go along, and then it becomes a little more fun around 9 months when you start mixing and incorporating different purees. I think once a day is just perfect, and maybe more when she is around 9 months!
      I would get a baby cook book because they show you when to introduce what foods, and it can give you an idea of how much, when, and what!
      Hope that helps!! Congrats on your growing baby!! xo

  15. Do fruits have to be cooked before pureeing? I think I messed up bananas, they look really dark and gross..

Trackbacks

  1. […] The Diva Dishโ€™s Baby Food 101 […]

  2. […] Today I’m going to share with you how I’ve made it work for me and my family, and the important and helpful things along with making your own baby food! I wrote a few posts about homemade Baby Food when Boo was a baby (sad…she’s no longer one…), so if you want check it out you can HERE! […]

  3. […] Baby Food 101: 6-12 Months […]

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