I've been blessed with a wonderful little eater. The Hobbit has always been an easy nurser. I've been exclusively breast feeding these past seven months, but now that he is growing so quickly and is able to maneuver his mouth better, I'm more than happy to begin supplementing him with some high quality first foods. Contrary to the mainstream, I never feed rice cereal as a first food. Grains are the hardest food for our adult bodies to digest and we have advanced guts with lots of bacteria! Babies take time to develop the flora in their gut and thus, first foods should be those that are very easily digested.
Egg yolk is a fantastic first food. Nourishing Traditions recommend that you begin supplementing your baby with an egg yolk per day as soon as they are able to eat. I tried a few months ago with Owen, but he wasn't quite ready. Now that he is, I've happily added this to the breakfast regime after his nursing. I lightly fry the egg in butter with a pinch of sea salt. The yolk is cooked until just soft. Sometimes, it's mixed with a teeny bit of grated liver. You can read more about that HERE. He also already loves avocado and banana (they're perfect first foods… they're already squishy!).
On top the egg yolks, liver, bananas, and avocado, I have begun to successfully mix up our own baby purees (instead of buying the store-bought variety) cause that's how I roll. Plus, the store bought baby food just grosses me out. I don't know why. It just does. Couple that with the giant recall they had on it last year, and you've got the perfect reason to roll up your sleeves and get started on making your own.
I spent a few minutes yesterday making homemade vegetables and fruit puree for the rascal. Want to see how?
Homemade Baby Vegetable Puree
You will need:
– 1 small, organic sweet potato, peeled and cubed
– 5 large, organic carrots, peeled and cubed
– 2 small or 1 large organic zucchini, cubed
– 3 cups organic kale
– Small handful of fresh herbs
– 2 tablespoons butter
– Sea salt, to taste
Step One: Wash and prepare all the produce.
Step Two: Combine all the produce in a large pan. Add in 3-5 tablespoons of filtered water. Cover with lid and turn up heat to medium. Allow the vegetables to gently steam for 10-15 minutes, or until fork tender.
Step Three: Remove the cooked vegetables and add to a food processor or (even better!) a high-powered blender. I don't have a high-powered blender. But I want one. Just for the record.
Step Four: Add in the butter and a small pinch of sea salt.
Step Five: Puree the vegetables until smooth, scraping down the sides with a spatula, if necessary.
Welp. That's all. I feel like I should say more, like it should be more complicated. But frankly, it's not! And don't worry about the exact measurement or variety of vegetables – simply use what you've got! If it's green beans, beets, and potatoes, go for it! Peas? Sure! The idea is simply to use the best, highest-quality produce you can get your hands on. This is for your little baby, after all.
And don't skip the butter. Again, use the best butter you can get your hands on! Butter helps our bodies to absorb the vitamins and minerals from the vegetables.
By the way, when I fed this to Owen for the first time, he was grabbing the spoon out of my hands and shoving it in his mouth. Within three minutes, his sister was also sitting in my lap asking for “More begtables! More begtables! More! More!” Seriously. I was laughing hysterically. Her and Owen ate over three bowls. Mind you, that's coming from a little girl that told me she wanted steamed cabbage for breakfast.
Homemade Baby Fruit Puree
You will need:
– 6 cups organic fruit, peeled, cored, pitted, and cubed
Step One: Wash and prepare all the fruit.
Step Two: Puree the fruit in a food processor or high-powered blender until smooth, scraping down the sides if necessary.
At this stage, the baby food can easily be frozen into cubes using something like this. This helps to divide the puree in small portions, which makes it easy to serve. I choose to make the puree in small batches, utilizing whatever is fresh at the time, so I just keep the puree in a Mason Jars in the fridge. That way, I can dish up a small amount at each feeding without having to worry about defrosting some frozen puree.
While it can save time and effort to mix the puree up in large batches, I find that in actuality, babies don't remain in the super-pureed-baby-food-stage for long. Soon, banana chunks, small bits of raw cheese, and scrambled eggs will be making an appearance. Point being: don't accidentally make up more than you'll use.
A few helpful tools for baby food making (totally not necessary, but very helpful!):
– Food processor
– High-powered blender
– Handheld fruit pureer (the least expensive pureeing option)
– Flexible ice cube trays
Once Owen grows out of the first-foods stage, as I did with Georgia, I'll simply puree our regular food that we eat everyday to give to him. For example, if we're eating meatloaf, potatoes, and kale for dinner, I'll puree a bit for him too. This helps him to develop a taste for ‘normal' food. We used this method with Georgia (no rice cereal, no pre-packaged baby food, and no special ‘kid' food) and she's a FANTASTIC eater. She'll eat anything from sauteed kale to curry to fish to raw tomatoes. She's all about everything and I love that!
Don't let the task of preparing food at home for your baby overwhelm you – it's no harder than mixing up a smoothie. And the benefits of seeing your baby grow healthy are so rewarding!
Did I mention it's very cost effective?
Okay, good. Just wanted to make sure I covered that base too.
Easy. Inexpensive. Nutrient-dense.
What more can a girl ask for?