At our 4 month ped appointment, we were given the go ahead to start solids. We held off until about 5 months, partly because of the whole adjusted age thing, partly because I didn't know quite how to go about it, and partly because I was not looking forward to the baby poo that would result. We started with the basics, mixing in some oatmeal or rice with breastmilk while they learned how to eat from a spoon. We eventually started adding peas, sweet potato, applesauce, that kind of thing. We bought standard jars of baby food, looking for the best prices we could find. My primary concern at this stage was ensuring that the food was pureed to the proper texture and didn't really trust myself to do that on my own.
At our 6 month ped appointment, we were told we could get more adventurous, increase feedings to 2-3 times per day, introduce meats and such. So that's what we did. We tried the pureed meats, still keeping with the single ingredient foods, and they did not like that one bit. Who can blame them? Those things smell like cat food and have an icky texture.
We've purchased a Magic Bullet and are starting to make our own purees. Those jars of baby food are flippin expensive! I do recommend the bullet, it's so much easier than a standard blender. And being much smaller, we're more apt to actually use it. We're doing pretty good at pureeing our own fruits and vegetables, but we haven't quite figured out meats yet. We'll likely start trying that later this week.
So far, broccoli is the biggest home made hit. Cauliflower was also well received. The last time we roasted a chicken, K took the carcass and made a good chicken stock so we've got ice cubes of stock in our freezer. In order to slowly introduce meaty flavors, I've been melting those cubes and using them as the liquid when I puree vegetables. When I made up the cauliflower, I took one of the baby food packages of a turkey vegetable blend and mixed that with some of the cauliflower. Kind of a cheap way to extend the purchased puree. When I make baby food, I fill up one or two leftover baby food jars and then freeze the rest in ice cube trays. Once frozen, I transfer the cubes to a plastic bag, label it with what the cubes are and the date they were made.
Ok, actually feeding the girls. They start their day with just breastmilk, 6oz each. After their naps (still at 3 a day), they have a bottle and then solid foods. The bottles for the rest of the day are 3.5oz. Any more than that and they leave it to rot in the bottle, and I'm doing my best to get as much milk into them as I can. Sometimes they get an extra 2oz bottle at bedtime if bedtime rolls around more than an hour since they've last eaten.
My food choices for them are the same as they would be for me. The morning is oatmeal with a fruit of some sort. Fresh bananas grind up really well in the manual food mashers we have. I use a jars worth of fruit and mix it with 2-3 oz of oatmeal. We've purchased applesauce in bulk. The girls just eat from a communal bowl and share a spoon. Yeah, not exactly the most sanitary, but whatever. I just alternate who gets bites until either the food is gone, or they start giving me dentist face and refuse to eat any more. Usually they start slowing down and getting distracted when we're down to the last couple of bites.
Then I get more savory as the day goes on. It's generally a sweet type of vegetable in the afternoon like peas, corn, carrots, or sweet potato. If I'm using a jarred food, I'll extend it with some rice so I'm only using one jar between the two girls. I really prefer not to have them go halfway through a jar because then I have to decide if I'm going to stick the rest back in the fridge after it's been contaminated by the spoon, or throw it out. Usually I decide to stick it in the freezer to give those little bacterias the least amount of time to grow while still saving the food for the next day.
|She wears her broccoli well|
So that's how we're doing it. I'm open to other ideas on how to introduce them to new foods on a budget.