As the new year approaches and I make "healthy" goals for myself, I always feel that it's important to make goals for the family. The dietitian in me always wants to cook more, use healthier, non-GMO ingredients, invest in savvier cookware items, and share all my knowledge and experience with everyone.
As of right now, I now will be kicking off 2015 by transitioning my son to solid foods. He'll be 5 months in January and he has doubled his birth weight, developed stronger head and neck muscles, and is showing signs of interest in food.
Like many mothers, I swear by the book Super Baby Food. It's like the bible for developing a food plan for your baby once they've shown signs of readiness. According to Ruth Yaron, the suggested list of prepared foods for beginners includes avocado, banana, cooked sweet potatoes, and yogurt.
As I embark on the journey of feeding my son "real" food, I wanted to do some research on the best approaches. I may counsel a variety of people from all backgrounds, but delving into the "kiddie" world left me more intimidated than I anticipated. Luckily, I was able to reach out to my dietitian mom friends to get their advice on how to take the leap forward to my healthy New Year's goal:
Brooke Alpert, MS RD: Brooke has authored two books including Healthy Eating for Pregnancy and is also a mother of two. She suggests to wait until your baby shows signs of being interested in food before you begin solids. "Look for eyes following your fork, grabbing or just looking curious," she states. After making investments on baby food makers for her first baby, she decided to use a hand held blender for her second child. She also loves using frozen organic fruits and veggies for healthy baby food options. "It is an inexpensive way to buy organic plus it's a way to get produce that is not currently in season into your baby's diet too!"
Vanessa Rissetto, MS RD: Vanessa is a mom of two. With a Haitian background, her mom provides delicious, adult-like pureed recipes to her little ones. Vanessa's advice is to focus on giving your child what you eat. "They eat what you eat and they don't need anything special," she says. She makes food and stores them in OXO's BPA-free blocks, which are super easy to thaw upon use.
Samantha Lynch, MS RD: Samantha is a mom of two young girls. She suggests giving your baby a tiny taste of something pureed, like sweet potatoes. If you notice the baby seems interested, you can continue to feed it to your baby, ensuring that the food is thinned out to the consistency of breast milk or formula. She says, "Instead of investing in a fancy baby food makers, I use a steam basket and a Cuisinart food processor or my Vitamix." Her storage system is the Sage spoonfuls glass containers which allows her to store individual portions in the freezer.
Katie Andrews, MS RD: Katie participated in baby-led weaning, which is essentially no purees, no ice cube trays, no food processor, no potato masher, and no baby rice. It means giving your little one the foods in the texture you eat. When the focus is on purees -- which it is here -- she says, "It's easier to cook in bulk and use an immersion blender." Her storage system for freezing is the Beaba multi-portions container.
I feel as though each stage with your little one should be enjoyable and stress-free. This is all a learning process. Hope this advice helps you as it helped me.