My daughter is 14 1/2 months old and has nearly all of her teeth in. For the past month or so, I’ve been giving her more of a variety of textured foods. It’s scary, at first, giving your baby hard and solid foods. You (the parent) and your kid have been used to all things soft. The thought of choking and terrifying stories I’ve heard keep me from jumping into the next phase of solids. Since Mia is close to having a full set of teeth, it helps ease my mind, knowing she has the ability to chew and break down the solids I’ve been giving her. I just have to give her the practice.
She loves fruit and vegetables (thankfully). Because fruit is mostly soft, I’ve been giving Mia a bowl of diced fruit each morning with breakfast, and whatever she doesn’t eat gets served again to her at lunch and then the last bits at dinner. Bananas are her favorite, followed by blueberries, apples, strawberries, peaches and apricots.
Now because vegetables are mostly hard and crunchy, I’m not ready to feed them raw and solid to Mia just yet (and I don’t think she’s ready either). However, to make sure she gets a good variety of veggies, I’ve started making her own veggie mix purees. This is something any parent can do and it’s so much more cost effective. You get so much more bang for you buck when you make it yourself. It’s as easy as boiling everything in a pot of water, followed by dumping it in a blender or food processor (with a bit of canola or olive oil) and you’re done.
This veggie mix I made contains 2 medium carrots, 1/2 zucchini (from our garden), about 5 cauliflower florets, a handful of fresh green beans, 1/2 can of corn and maybe 1/2 Tbsp. olive oil. I tried it and it’s delicious. Don’t let the color fool you. This is how much it made…
I’m freezing half of it for later use. If you’re thinking you don’t have time in your day to make your own baby food, I assure you this didn’t take long. While Mia drank from her bottle in her high chair, I prepped the veggies and put them in the boiling water. I sat with Mia while they boiled and encouraged her to eat her food and not play with it. I gave her the bowl of fruit to munch on while I drained the veggies and put them in the blender, few at a time. She was totally intrigued by what I was doing and sat in her chair and watched the whole time. I emptied out the contents of the blender into a few Tupperware containers, popped them in the freezer and then cleaned Mia up and put her down for a nap. This took me as long to make as one of her feedings. It’s all about multitasking, parents! (Btw, my next veggie mix won’t include cauliflower. I love it but the flavor overpowers everything else and it has small, stringy fibers that make it weirder to swallow).
Let’s talk a little about organic foods. Until I had my daughter, I never shopped organically. My husband is completely into it and a big believer of the health benefits of organic. After reading a little about it, I still don’t know EXACTLY what’s going into our mouths unless we grow it ourselves (which Daddy Dom does a lot of) but I’d like to play it safer with my daughter and buy organic food, at least for her. Yes, this can be expensive if you’re on a tight budget, so here’s a list I found from BabyCenter of which fruits/veggies are most commonly found with bad stuff on them and nasty pesticides so you can at least buy those from the organic section.
They also had this advice to give on the matter…
Children are especially vulnerable to toxic exposures, so Healthy Child recommends taking a better-safe-than-sorry approach and reducing exposures however you can. Combined exposures, for instance, present special risks to children. For example, 1-year-olds eat three times as many fresh peaches (which have higher pesticide residues) per pound of body weight as do adults, and more than four times as many apples and pears (also high in residues). Pregnant women should take care, too, as many pesticides pass through the placenta to the fetus.
Wash and peel. With nonorganic produce, peel fruit that you would normally just rinse, such as apples and pears. However, some pesticides, like dieldrin, aldicarb, and DDT, are systemic, which means they pervade the flesh of the vegetable or fruit.
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