I’m fairly certain that I’ve been researching solid foods and their timetable for introduction since Paige was still in utero! Those who know me will say this comes as no surprise because A) I’m obsessive with researching and B) I’m a total foodie. But there are a few other reasons more important reasons as to why we’ve chosen to DIY our baby food…
- Jim and I, we come from big stock. Because of this, we want Paige to have healthy eating habits and in our eyes, that starts at home where we can provide her with healthful, unprocessed foods.
- We want to control what our daughter eats for the time being. We’re well aware that when she’s older we’ll have less control on what she puts into her mouth but for the time being, let’s offer her a variety of flavors and expose her to quality foods.
- Because I’m making her food, she will never have to eat those putrid smelling baby food meats in a jar. I wouldn’t even feed that stuff to my dog. Now this doesn’t mean we won’t opt for a pre-made baby food from time to time (while traveling, for example), but we’ll stick with brands like Plum Organics or Ella’s Kitchen, which we trust to be certified organic and provide that wide variety of flavors.
- The cost of making your own food can truly be comparable to that of buying pre-made baby food.
- We would like to incorporate some of the Baby Lead Weaning techniques into Paige’s diet. We obviously are not doing straight BLW (which occurs closer to 6-8 months with only finger foods, no purees) but by giving Paige pureed sweet potatoes, we are hoping to be able to hand her over a roasted sweet potato chunk like we are having for dinner as she gets a little older and have her enjoy it. The bonus of this is that it will help her get the hang of feeding herself as well.
- And of course as I mentioned, I’m a total foodie. I love love love to cook and bake so this is really just an extension of it.
We had Paige’s 4 month appointment yesterday (15 lbs 2 oz, 25.5″ long thankyouverymuch :)) and towards the end, her pediatrician said to us “so do you want to start real food?”. I absolutely appreciated that he ASKED us if we wanted to rather than TELLING us “you should start food!”. Props to Dr. Scott!
I said yes and no and was quick to voice my concerns regarding the potential risk for allergies with starting early (technically 4 months) and as well with starting later (6 months+). Current research is mixed on this which is why the decision is such a toss up. Start early and mayyyybe there’s a risk… Start later and mayyyybe there’s a risk there too. Our pediatrician agreed with me, saying that there is conflicting research and that he personally started his daughter “early” as she showed signs of readiness and the desire for MORE than just milk (formula or breast). He continued on to say that the practice we go to is airing on the side of starting early and even starting the more “controversial” foods at 6-9 months as opposed to waiting a year (which I’m sure we’ll discuss at her 6 month appointment). I told him my plan to skip cereal and go straight to purees and he was hesitant at first but on board by the end of our conversation, saying that they recommend cereal of some form to start just so you aren’t wasting money on baby foods that are not getting eaten. No worries, I love avocados and will gladly finish what little miss does not
Jim and I left the appointment feeling good about starting solids in the next week or so. We chatted more last night about what we want to introduce and when and came up with this order based off recommendations from this amazing website – Wholesome Baby Food. The order of food is pretty arbitrary with the only intentional placement being pears before bananas because bananas can be binding and pears can have the opposite effect so if she gets all bound up from bananas, we can slip some pears in there to balance it out. A win win
The plan is to try all 8 of these foods before our 6 month appointment so that we can then jump into other foods at that time. This morning was “prep baby food” day in our kitchen and I made the first four foods on our list (avocados, pear, sweet potato and green bean). I’m going to dedicate an entirely separate post to the prep, cooking, and storage of solids and how we’re going about it but let me tell you, it was easy peasy, and everything tasted perfect – true flavors, no preservatives. Exactly what we wanted.
I’m clearly very excited to start this journey into food and hope that Paige has a love of different flavors and cuisines like Jim and I do. Be prepared for a picture explosion when we give her her first tastes of solids and all the funny faces and expressions we are sure will come with it!