Thursday, May 7, 2015

Six First Foods for Baby (that aren't cereal)

That little chunk is six-months old this week. The time with baby number two is flying by in hyper speed. Breast feeding was way more successful for me with my second, but he seemed to be growing so fast that at his four month appointment I asked the doctor about starting real food. A lot has changed since we started our first on solids almost 3 years ago. The American Academy of Pediatrics is now recommending that parents wait until their babies are 6 months old before introducing food. They're also changing some recommendation of what baby's first foods should be. Rice or oat cereal was the norm just a few short years ago. 

As we work on changing our diet as a family - the idea of feeding Emmett super processed rice cereal became less and less appealing to me. We talked this out with our pediatrician and she supported us taking an alternate route. As with anything baby related - this is just what we decided would be best for our family and we sought the advice of professionals along the way. Emmett's first meal (at about 5 months, again with the support of our doctor) was a smashed avocado. Since then he has tried a variety of vegetable and fruit purees - and even homemade cereal:  

Avocado: Full of healthy fat, protein and fiber, Avocado is arguably one of the worlds most perfect foods. It doesn't even have to be cooked to give to baby. We smash our by hand with a little bit of water to thin it out enough for baby. 

Banana: Another easy to prepare first food, bananas are high in potassium and just sweet enough. Again you can smash a super ripe banana with a fork or puree it with a little water for baby. 

Sweet Potato: We love love love a sweet potato - they are high in beta carotene, fiber and a good source of carbohydrates. Its super easy to throw a couple sweet potatoes in the oven to roast on a Sunday and then puree the 'meat' of the potato after it has cooled. 

Apple: Steamed and pureed apples are a favorite in our house. Our three year old even loves to eat this apple sauce.  

Zucchini: Zucchini is such an awesome starter starch for little ones - the taste is slightly sweet, not too 'green'. I love to roast them before pureeing with a little bit of water. 

Oatmeal: Not all cereal is bad! Oats are actually a pretty awesome, but stay away from instant oats and try to buy gluten free oats if you can. Here's a simple oat cereal recipe perfect for baby: 

1/4 cup rolled oats
1 cup water

Pour the water into a small saucepan and bring to the boil over medium high heat. Grind your oats into a fine powder, a food processor or high powered blender will do the trick. Gradually whisk these into the boiling water, then lower the heat and simmer gently for 10 minutes, stirring frequently. 
Cool and serve.

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