Hannah's added quite a few foods to her diet recently. So far she has had sweet potatoes, brown rice, pear, barley, peas, and is working on bananas now. I try to cycle through the major food groups: veggie, grain, fruit, veggie, grain, fruit, etc. We give her each new food for at least 4 days in a row before introducing another new food so that we can monitor for potential food allergies. I'm still making her food, but am taking the easy road and making it in bulk each week and freezing it rather than making it fresh every day. I cook whatever food I'm introducing (bake, steam, boil), puree it in the blender (sometimes with a little water or breastmilk if I need to thin it out), and then fill an ice cube tray with the pureed food. Once frozen, I transfer the cubes to a marked freezer bag, and then every morning I remove the cubes I want to give her for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and put them in separate bowls with lids to start thawing before I need them. (I need to start doing this the night before but I never remember...I should probably go do it now...). Today I had an itch to spend some time in the kitchen and get her food stockpiled so we went to Whole Foods and bought organic pears, apples, green beans, blueberries, and quinoa. Butttttt...I only have two ice cube trays. So much for stocking up. I chose apples and green beans.
I've been doing some research on what foods are appropriate at this age and also the best way to prepare them and found a great homemade baby food website this morning. When I made her pears a couple weeks ago, I peeled them and put them in a steamer basket for 3 minutes before pureeing them. This seemed like common sense, but I always feel more comfortable doing something after I've read from someone else that it's okay to do. (You never know when common sense is gonna fail you.) The above website provided me with that assurance and also said that in addition to steaming, I can boil and bake, so I opted to bake the apples today. We cored 3 Fuji apples, wrapped them in foil, and stuck them in the oven at 375 degrees for 45 minutes before pureeing them. I think Fuji may not have been my best bet for pureed apples. I mean, they're good (one of my favs to munch raw) and I'm pretty sure Hannah will like it, but I think some other apple would have been better....Whatever apple my mom used to make the apple sauce I love so much--that's the apple I should have picked.
The other thing that this site is helpful for is telling me the recommended ages for introducing various foods. I know that babies are not supposed to have peanut butter and honey for a looooong time, and I know meat is much farther down the line, and citrus foods like strawberries and oranges too, but I like to look into others before I go giving them to her. For instance, I really wanted to get her on superfood spinach, but according to this website, it's best to wait till they're about 10 months before introducing that. Something about the human body having trouble absorbing all the good stuff in it...Something else I was reading said that spinach, carrots, and beets should never be homemade because of the nitrate levels and that I should buy those, but luckily this website dispelled that. On the down side, this site doesn't say anything about quinoa which is the next grain I'd like to feed her....I'll have to do some more research on that.
Here's a video from the day we introduced her to peas (about a week ago). (Just boiled frozen, organic peas in water and then pureed.) She seems to like them.
All gone!! Her prize for being a member of the clean plate club: she gets to lick the bowl clean.