• February 1, 2022

Baby Food 101 – What’s Gaby Cooking

Here it is guys!! I’ve been working on a Baby Food 101 post for quite some time now and it’s here! I’ve got tips and tricks that I’ve gathered from pediatricians, tons of simple puree recipes, all the tools and appliances we used to get Poppy started on solids, WGC adaptable recipes for babies and so much more. All the baby food specific recipes we’ve been making (and honestly, eating ourselves too bc they are delicious and coming in about 2 weeks aka pancakes, snacks, zucchini cakes etc) Here we go!

First thing – I know not everyone here is interested in baby food – I get it. No shame in your game. BUT – if you are – go ahead and fill out the form below so we can let you know when new baby related content goes live. It won’t go out in the main feed so make sure you’re in the know. We’re shooting 15-20 of Poppys favorite homemade recipes next week and the below form will make sure they come right into your inbox.

Let’s start with some basic questions:

When are babies ready for solids: Your doctor might tell you sometime around the 6 month mark – but here’s the deal… you’ll know. Poppy started grabbing for our food when she was about 5 months. We’d let her nibble on a banana, eat a little guacamole, and gum a cucumber here and there (while I was holding it in my fingers). For us, we noticed she started wanting foods when she was able to hold her head up by herself.

What should be babies first food: another question with multiple answers! We opted for banana, avocado and pureed sweet potatoes. Things that are soft, pretty much impossible to choke on etc.

What is Baby Led Weaning: Baby-led weaning is when you introduce solid food to babies and completely skip the purée and spoon-feeding parts of baby food. Instead, you skip right to finger foods that a baby can feed themselves.

What is the alternative to Baby Lead Weaning: This is more traditional – and it’s when you start by serving your baby puréed or mashed foods. You spoon feed them for the first few months and then let them transition into finger foods down the road at 9/10 months usually.

Did you do Baby-Led Weaning or Purees: We did a combination of both. And let me preface this by saying, you do you. Not here to tell you which is right for your family. The reason we did both, is because I wanted to ensure Poppy was getting all the nutrients and flavors early on by spoon feeding her purees. We started incorporating finger foods around 8 months like roasted cauliflower, berries etc when she could really chew. In my mind, I wanted her to be eating real food rather than relying on milk for the majority of her calories.

Food Allergens: I get it, this is a scary subject and I’m going to leave it to your pediatrician to give you their take. Our pediatrician was of the mindset that you should introduce allergens early and monitor the response. For us, that meant letting Poppy lick a little bit of peanut butter, almond butter, yogurt, eggs, hummus (with tahini aka sesame seeds) etc off of a spoon and monitoring if she had any reactions. One other thing to note here – we didn’t introduce 1 fruit / veggie at a time. We just went for it with different combos. Apples and pears – game on. Zucchini and Peas and Parmesan – you know it. Etc. We always just monitored for a reaction but our approach was more to give her all the fruits and veggies and let her experience the flavors.

Let’s talk about SALT: It’s obviously not advised for a baby to have as much salt as a toddler or a full adult. We didn’t NOT salt any of Poppy’s food… but I did really hold back on adding salt to my taste. We occasionally added a pinch of salt to a large batch of purees just to really amp up the flavor.

A Note on Sugars: I’m just going to come out and say it – I’m not mad at sugars. Natural sugars are found in so many fruits and vegetables and I don’t mind if those are in Poppy’s diet. I don’t believe that there’s such a thing as TOO much fruit. I’ve said that before about adults and adult diets, and same goes for my opinion on babies. Take it or leave it – just wanted to be transparent.

Bottom Line (before we get into the nitty gritty): I think one of the reasons Poppy has been so great at trying new foods, is she sees us eating everything. We try to eat meals with her, or at least snack on her food and give her big happy reactions so she sees us enjoying food as well. I allow her to taste everything we eat when we’re out at restaurants, spicy things included, so she can get a taste for things. I’m very much of the mindset that I should let her explore as much flavor as possible!

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