Good for baby blended foods - 6-12 months
So the first thing I was worried about as a crazy mom when I started introducing purees was will my baby get the proper nutrition. Well, the answer is yes. You aren't replacing food first and foremost you are simply adding to expand their palette. When I first started with purees I was really expirementing with a lot of foods, some savory, some sweet, some combination. My goal was to give her as many nutrients and GREENS as I could in a sitting. I started my own blends like kale, apple and banana. Then started doing some oats like whole grain oats with 1 banana as a sweetener and a dash of cinnamon. I would also use my breast milk to thin it out as when you blend the oats they tend to get really thick! When I was in a pinch I would use the cold pressed purees like the kale and apple, or broccoli apple and then started adding in the pouches - which lets be honest are LIFESAVERS! Not only do they save time, but they are convenient and don't create a mess - as I still serve it to her because even at 9 months she would have it everywhere!
What are good options of store bought foods?
Well I was very leary as I'm sure most moms are of sugar. I always made sure it was organic and really like the Earth's Best (and love that they have combos without fruit!), and Plum Organics (she loves the pear, spinach & pea flavor). I would also do the oat combos in a pinch for both. I tried to only buy veggie AND fruit combos. Anytime I would give her too much fruit only combos, guess what? She only wanted fruit! So I had to start over and strip all fruits and keep ONLY veggies. I really had to train her palette. Otherwise, I would stick to my own combination. I've tried some she loved and some she hated but the point was to get her to try new things!
Some of the concoctions I've made:
- Sweet potato + Beet + Chickpeas
- Sweet Potato + Spinach + Kale + Lentils
- Kale + Apple
- Banana + Spinach
- Carrot + Spinach + Beet
- Carrot + Beet + Chickpeas
- Roasted Broccoli + Carrots + Onions + Spinach
- Roasted broccoli + carrots + onions + spinach + lentils + mushrooms (didn't like this)
- Basil + spinach + broccoli + sweet potato + carrots (loved this)
And I just keep trying new things! You can roast the veggies, put them in raw, steamed however you want. Try new things and use herbs & seasoning! The more expanded palette the better as far as I'm concerned! A rule of thumb I always try to incorporate is to always add at least 1 veggie.
A great way to do that is to split a smoothie with the babes or I would always give her some of what I was eating. If she couldn't eat it I would just blend it up in the blender just as I was eating it, not alterations. I think a lot of times with babies we bring our own food biases into the equation and if we just remove ourselves and try to incorporate as many healthy foods as possible, the better! Think of the colors of the rainbow and adding in colors into every meal to fill the plate!
The other thing I started blending was oats. I actually really came to love oats in this way as well because we tried so many varieties and it was so creamy!
I tried so many combos at this point and it really has been fun to try new things and see how she reacts! She really has a very expanded palette and LOVES oats for breakfast. They are filling and its a great way for her to get in a nutritious breakfast. Here are some combos I've tried so far.
First, I boil about 2 cups of water with a pinch of sea salt. Then I add a cup to a cup 1/2 of oats or steel cut oats. I boil until the mixture is thick and water is fully absorbed.
I set aside and let it cool and add to the blender with 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1 chopped apple (with peel on) 1/2 cup flax or almond milk and blend away. ------------------>
Let cool and there you go! Delicious and simple oats for 2-3 days!
I've also tried the following combos/variations:
- 1/2 cup Dark Cherries
- 2 Dates & Vanilla Extract
- 1/2 cup Blueberries
- 1/2 banana & vanilla extract
- 1 whole Peach
- 1/2 cup strawberries
All are a great way to keep the oat mixture changing and their taste buds well-rounded! She's loved every variation so far! The dark cherry version and the banana versions are her favorite! What variations have you tried? Have any favorites you want to share?