Remi is now 8 months old! Isn't it just amazing how quickly the time passes when you have a new baby? Like the last few months of pregnancy seem to take absolutely for ever, then suddenly you have a baby who can crawl, sit, move around, communicate through facial expressions and gestures, and eat!! Like holey moley, feels like just a few days ago she couldn't lift her head off the bed!
We tentatively started solids a couple of months ago. The current guidlines are that babies start solids between four and six months old, and there are a few other signs to look out for when you're about to start solids, I'm not a medical professional, chef, parenting specialist or anything else so please do talk about those signs with your Plunket Nurse :-) These are my experiences as a mum, and the things I'm finding helpful for starting solids.
To be honest I'm a little scared about baby choking. Not sure why. I was never this nervous with my first baby. Something about the second baby, it's difficult to sit there and attentively observe them eating, because the older one is demanding so much attention. I do find it helpful to put something little and tasty, like a mandarin segment, or a soft piece of pear in the Feeding Teether. It's also easy for baby to hold, for example if I gave her a real mandarin segment she would drop it and not be able to pick it up again, but with the Feeding Teether it's both easier to hold, and easy to pick up again. Remi loves the Feeding Teether and gets excited as soon as I pull it out of the drawer- cute!
I'm a big fan of freezing food in these tiny portions. There's nothing worse than going to all the effort of making baby food and freezing it, only for baby to reject the food- meaning that you have to throw the rest away. OK there are a few things that are worse, but you get what I mean! I boil vegetables in the pot then puree them in the pot using the stick blender, then I freeze most of the puree in the freezer trays, keeping a little bit of puree in the fridge for the next couple of meals.
(pictured Marcus & Marcus Suction Bowl)
I also use the freezer tray for pasta sauce for my big girl, she can have two portions when the baby has one. Here's my packed-full-of-veg pasta sauce recipe:
Dice all the vegetables, heat the oil in a pan and add onion and garlic, gently fry until almost clear. Add the other chopped vegetables and cook gently. Add the tin of tomatoes and simmer until carrots are soft. Using a stick blender blend everything up until vegetables aren't recognisable (you might need to add a little bit of water to get the right consistency). Freeze in the Haakaa Freezer Tray.
This sauce is my absolute go to, and I have so many ways of adjusting it so my children are getting a little variety- but not so much variety that the older one rejects it. I serve it over pasta, or over mash, add meatballs to the boiling sauce and cook for a further 15-20 minutes (until meatballs are cooked through), or pour the sauce over browned mince for a veggie-packed Bolognese. Sometimes I stir a teaspoon or two through Remi's puree to give it a bit more flavour.
Remi is still breastfed and from time to time I'll make a fruit smoothie and add some of this powder. It contains ingredients to help with milk production, to be honest I'm not sure if it works because I've always had good supply, but I figure it can't do any harm, and it's a good excuse to have a smoothie.
One thing that I noticed was stopping me from making smoothies was all the mess of chopping up the fruit, and also the need to clean the blender because our blender didn't fit in the dishwasher. Now I cut up fruit as soon as I buy it, and freeze it in little snap lock bags. If my four year old doesn't eat the whole banana, I'll pop what's left in the snaplock bag in the freezer too. For me it's win win win because I feel like there's less waste, less mess, less time spent in the kitchen, and the frozen fruit makes the smoothie nice and cold. Here's one of my favourite recipes.
1/2 banana (frozen)
Put everything in the smoothie maker and mix it until the little pieces are no longer visible. You can also add a few spinach leaves if you're feeling extra healthy.
I have no idea what I did with all my bibs from when Priya was a baby! I can't find them anywhere! Good excuse for some new ones. I'm loving these Elephant Ollie bibs that we're now selling at Global Baby, because they're big enough to cover the front of her clothes, they're absorbent, and those prints are totally cute!!
I'm a big fan of this high chair because it has the easy to clean plastic tray top, and because the high chair grows with your child. You can adjust the seat levels and foot rest levels as they grow, and you can remove the tray entirely so that your child can sit at the table with you. It looks good too!!
What are your essentials for starting solids? Do you have any recipes that your little one loves?