Monday, May 14, 2012

Easy Table Foods to Start With

Multigrain Cheerios – I think this is an easy stand by in any house hold.

Toast, Margarine, and Jam – Make it just like you like it.  Remove the crusts.  Then pull bits from it that are the size of your thumbnail at first.  Later as your baby gets better at eating, pull larger bits.  Even later, make Toast Fingers.

Ripe Pear – And when I say ripe, it’s ripe enough to shave pieces off with a spoon.  Rather than cutting up slices or cubes, just eat the skin off and use the spoon to make thumbnail sized shavings to offer.  Later, include the skin.  And then when your baby is really good at controlling their portions, offer whole slices.

Banana – Break the banana up with your fingers into thumbnail sized bits.  Later, when baby is confident with controlling how much goes into her mouth, offer larger pieces.

Steamed Broccoli Florets – The florets are the ‘green leafy part of the broccoli.  Steam these on the stove or in the microwave until the florets are brightly fresh colored and comes off of the stem easily with a fork.  Flavor these as you would your own steam broccoli with margarine and spices (but hold the salt!).  Offer the florets to your baby.  Later when baby is a better eater, offer some of the stem.

Steamed Asparagus – Same instructions as Broccoli.

Squash, Carrots, and other Nutrient Dense Roots – Steam, boil, or roast until these are soft enough to mash with a fork.  You can leave these as chunky or as mashed as your baby likes it.  Flavor these as you would eat them.

Other Tips…

I found that if I was eating at the same time as my son, he'd monkey me more and do much better.  I had to slow down my eating quite a bit and I've started including things like clementines and oranges into my meals (not his, not yet, their too acidic and cause diaper rash) so I have to take time peeling and eating for myself while he's eating.  Our meals generally took at hour at first.  Now we're down to about 30 minutes until he seems done.

Anything you can put a light gravy or sauce on to help make it slippery is great too.  You can get very small sized pasta, prepare it like you would for yourself.  Take a tablespoon of cream cheese.  Grate a kids snack wedge of cheese.  Melt those in the microwave and add whole milk to consistency and you've got a great, easy to eat baby pasta.  Just add or take away sauce to your baby's preference.

We went a long time too where I was offering a full range of foods.  I offered a puree or yogurt, a helping of 10 month chunky jarred food, and something off of my plate and I went with whatever he seemed happiest eating.  A lot of food ends up on the floor or goes uneaten, but this is how learning happens.  If I was anxious about my son not getting enough fruit or vegetables, I'd stir in a little vegetable puree into whatever he was eating.

When I was seeing next to no gagging, I gave my son larger bits and now he has a really good handle on how much he can put in his mouth or bite off.  But he still sometimes tries to bite off a little bit more than he can chew.

Just try to relax and keep working with it.  The doctor might prescribe your baby some vitamins if you're concerned about nutrition and may recommend that you stay on the formula until your baby comes around to eating more solids.  Technically, babies are still suckling well into 2 or 3 years of age and many can expect to have primary nutrition coming from breast milk or formula until then.

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