Hi. My name is Deb and most of the time, you can find me over here, prattling on about simple, uncompromised home cooking: comfort foods, stepped up a bit, un-boring salads, towering birthday cakes and seriously, will you look at these thick, chewy granola bars? That too. I can’t wait until my little guy gets into all of the stuff over there. The “little guy” is Jacob, by the way, and he really (I mean, really) likes carrots.
I’ve gotten a lot of requests for baby food recipes and the truth is that as excited as I am to share with you what we’re placing in our family’s tiniest mouf (and admittedly, push myself to be more creative in this area) two things have caused me to pause before beginning:
Really? Baby food recipes? Now, I don’t mean to be all simple-minded about things, but as far as I’ve always understood, making baby food is as simple as “cook, then purée”. And I imagined a site full of recipes that said “combine, cook, then purée” and did not understand why on earth anyone would want to read it.
But I’ve come to realize that once you get past introducing the initial apples and yams, there’s a lot of fun to be had. Would baby like a smashed-up, pared-down version of an avocado salad? How about a sweet potato curry? Maybe some vanilla bean roasted pears or cauliflower with caramelized onions? Oh, we must! We must find out!
See? Now this is getting fun.
“You’re doing it wrong!” Sad but true, sharing bits of parenting on the Internet doesn’t always bring out the most supportive community responses. “But my doctor said that if you introduce fruit before vegetables, baby will get a sweet tooth and become obese!” “This book says that if you feed your child eggs before they’re one year old, they will never get into Harvard!” and the all-encompassing, “I can’t believe you would feed your baby that! We wouldn’t feed it to our dog!”
People, I’ve heard it all and so I can nip any of this in the bud before we begin: It’s okay. You’re okay. I am not here to tell you how to feed your kid, nor do I have any desire to impart judgment. All I will be sharing here is how we started our little guy on the path that we hope will lead to him enjoying the variety of foods that we do. Also? I think you’re doing a great job.
That said, I’m a realist and fully understand that it will not matter how many hours we spend cooking down seasonal, organic, local Greenmarket produce and how delighted our little snowflakes are to slurp it up, they will eventually come into contact with a Chicken McNugget and they will find it to be delicious. And we will be doing no less of a good job because of it.
Shall we continue?
We are following a food introduction plan roughly outlined by Jacob’s pediatrician. Why his plan? Because he’s been doing what he does for a long time and we think he’s pretty smart.
- It begins with cereal, first rice (which we quickly ditched out of fears of “binding” the baby up and that’s all we’ll be discussing about that), then oat (we’re using an oat/spelt/barley blend).
- From there, we move onto “p” fruits — apples, pears, peaches, plums and apricots. Then “orange” vegetables — carrots, yams and squash, followed by green vegetables and from there, we go wild. Or, gently in the direction of new ingredients, one at a time, never introducing more than one new one every three days to make sure that any ill-effects can be isolated.
- One of the things we like the most about the doctor’s plan is the way it eases the baby into eating the way most of us grown-ups do: Cereal and fruit in the morning becomes “breakfast”, yogurt and fruit or vegetables in the middle of the day becomes “lunch” and vegetables and a protein later in the day become “dinner”. Fancy that!
Once you’re ready to get started, here’s a quick little site tour. Over here, I’ve listed the tools I’m using, which I hope to keep updated. Over here, you can see all of the recipes I’ve compiled, thus far.