Apr 3, 2011

Baby's First Foods: What She Is (& Isn't) Eating

My in-laws were in town this weekend (to help us move) and they took us out to dinner.  Because I'm a self-proclaimed food-Nazi, not only do I make my own baby food, I take it with me wherever we go.

My father-in-law took the picture below.  I admit, it looks really funny - the bowl is as big as her head!
"What's in that bowl?" the server asked.

A sweet combination of mashed bananas, sweet potatoes and whole fat plain yogurt.  Baby is almost 11 months and those three things have been the main stay of her solid-food eating life.  When my son was her age, he ate a wide variety of foods (because I had more time in my day, I guess!) 

She didn't finish the bowl at the restaurant but polished it off at lunch the next day.

Several mothers, who are trying to live on a real food diet, have asked, "What is your baby eating?"

Out of convenience, her diet is that as stated above: bananas, sweet potatoes, and yogurt.  About once a week I mash a pastured egg yolk in the mix.  If I have chicken broth on hand it will go in the bowl for trace minerals.  Her very first food was coconut cream, from a can of coconut milk.  When she was about 10 months old, I gave her soaked oatmeal.

But seriously, the girl eats three things: bananas, sweet potatoes and yogurt.

What about variety?
Because we are nursing, the vast majority of her nutrients come from the Creator's perfect blend - on tap and always the perfect temperature.  Additionally, my husband said this week, after changing a diaper, "I have scientific evidence that she did not digest those beans from dinner last night."

I've not done the internet research to see how well a baby digests table food, but I can say from experience that not much is digested.

Because bananas and sweet potatoes are sweet, aren't you afraid of her developing a sweet tooth?
Maybe, but not really.  She will eat plain yogurt right off the spoon.  

The height of our food battle (with my 6.5 year old son) came when he was 2 and 3 years old.  And we still battle - but he's getting better.  Today he said, "I'm going to try this to see if I like it yet."  He still didn't like what ever he was trying but I was glad that he was trying.

What she's not eating:
The Baby Marketers will lead mothers to believe that their products are best for baby's first foods, but I disagree.  They are looking to line their pockets - not nourish children. On my food journey, I am trying to steer clear of anything in a package.  Especially for Baby I am trying to give her only real foods.

I've said before that I try to adhere to the 80/20 rule, where 80% of the time I do what I can and realizing I can't the other 20%.  The list below is what I don't want going into her body.

- Cheerios or other puffed cereals.  They are bad. Bad. BAD
- orange fish crackers (or any other crackers)
- empty calories from fruit juice
- boxed rice cereal
- jarred baby food (mostly because I can make it for a fraction of the cost.)

Now, if I could only control what other people give my baby.  (Child care situations are the worst!)

Other recommended reading:
The Right Way to Feed Babies (Healthy Home Economist)

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  1. I will add that my wife and I fed a lot of foods to our kid when she was young (18 mos now) and starting "real" food.

    We would commonly cook a butternut squash in the oven and then puree the good part. Put it into ice cube trays and put the food cubes in a freezer bag when frozen.

    We could then eat off the frozen cubes for a while. We also fed bananas, sweet potatos and pretty much anything we thought of.

    She has never had canned baby food. She eats a wide variety of food now (her latest favorite is asparagus).

  2. I'm discouraged to read about the problems with cheerios and crackers, not because I want to buy them and use them in our regular diet but because I was hoping they were okay enough to fit into that 20% of the time.

    What do you recommend in terms of packaged snacks? I wouldn't buy them except that I'm trying to substitute something for times when people are shoving capri sun and peanut butter crackers, etc in my daughter's face at tball, church, etc. My daughter's 6 so she's not going to turn it down just because she knows it's not healthy. I've convinced her to eat what I buy instead but now I'm not sure what to get. I have substituted capri sun and kool-aid with 100% juice but I'm hoping to get something more exciting than popcorn and brookies for these times since those are part of our normal diet.

  3. I thought babies first food was supposed to be a warm, fairly runny egg yolk (no white until age 1 or so) and pureed meats? That's how I raised my three kids (who are now middle aged) and they did fine. I breastfed until they got teeth and could bite, and then they drank raw goat milk which I supplemented with a liquid B complex vitamin or grated liver in their other foods. To this day they love organ meats and eggs. They also were treated to yogurt (small amounts several times daily) sometimes plain and sometimes with mashed fruit, but we stayed away from bananas and sweet potatoes. Any kid will eat sweet foods. It's the eggs, meats and vegetables they need to develop a taste for FIRST, then fruits and other sweet foods. Personally, I think you're doing it backwards, but making homemade food is still a big step in the right direction - after 30+ years of society doing it wrong and feeding jarred baby foods. Ewww. Those are gross. Good to see young people giving nutrition a shot, at least.



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