Baby food...doesn't have to be PUREE

When you think of baby food, a few words come to mind, bland, dull colored, puree, mush, all around YUCK! As my 6 month daughter is venturing into the world of food I have realized how many options there are. First, let me start by saying that I had already decided that I would be making my own baby food. For a few reasons, first and foremost because I want to be able to expose my daughter to a variety of different flavors, textures, colors, fruits and vegetables. If I was to buy her food at the store I would be limited in what I could expose her to, if I make it myself the sky is the limit, well actually the produce section at the grocery store but you get the idea.

I want to be able to control what goes into her food, if I make it myself I know EXACTLY what went into her food and I could add things like leeks, basil, vanilla bean, nutmeg...of course not yet she has to get introduced slowly but the options are limitless. I can make kale for her, how many times have you seen kale on the baby food aisle at the grocery store? The future for her and her palate are as big as my imagination.

I think the biggest revelation I have had is that baby food doesn't have to be PUREE. Of course I'm not saying that I can just cut up and apple and gave it to my daughter. What I'm saying is that we start our babies off on food that is a consistency that unless you're eating pudding everyday for the rest of your life isn't a natural consistency. Not that pudding everyday would be a bad thing, but I think one of the greatest things about food (other than the taste) is the different textures everything has in your mouth. How a pear feels when you bite into it compared to an apple, of course you can tell an apple from a pear by the taste of it, but if they both had the exact same flavor you would still be able to distinguish the two by texture.

Anella's first food was avocado, I was really excited to start with avocado because when I feed it to her it will be the exact same texture as when I eat it myself. After avocado, we moved onto peas, now we had a rainy weekend and I decided to puree some peas and freeze them for her. So we heated up the puree fed it to her and she enjoyed it. At dinner that night my husband and I had peas as well, and I realized that if I just pop them out of their little shell she would be able to eat the small pieces that were left. And so it goes, pea after pea. I placed them very carefully on her highchair table and she would slowly pick it up, look at it and stick it in her mouth. Once she got it in her mouth she would make a "chewing" motion and it would be gone. And so it goes, pea after pea. Every once in a while I'd take a peek into her toothless mouth to make sure she wasn't storing them all for later, but after much searching I found that her mouth was empty and she was just enjoying her new ability to feed herself. So this got me to thinking. baby food doesn't have to be puree, and why should it be!


3 comments:

  1. thank you so much for posting this. my son, (9 mos)spent a few days at my mom's (baker and food lover) and i know that i had better be prepared for the new found experience of texture.

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  2. loved the post! I remember feeding my son non-pureed chicken (basically pulled-chicken) as one of his first foods. It was well cooked, pulled, and minced up into tiny bits...but is still LOOKED like chicken. I can only imagine if I had pureed it...gross! It would have been soupy slop...;0

    This was after avocado, banana, and yes, popped out of their shells peas! He LOVED the chicken. We hence started calling him "chickenhawk" because he would DEVOUR every last bit, and want more.

    I really enjoyed being able to just feed him real food, from the table, instead of buying baby food. He has a HUGE palette now. His favorite food? Kale, straight out of the garden ;) (he's six now ;)

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  3. What a great post! We are going to start our little boy on solid foods this week. Thanks for the wonderful tips!

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