Feeding Your Baby Fresh & Healthy Food
It's easy to just cop out and say that it's simply too hard to feed your baby fresh, healthy food, but that's just not true! As a busy entrepreneur at home mom of one sweet little man I've made it a priority of mine to feed him well and I want to share my tips with you. First I want to say that this post isn't to say I'm an expert, it isn't to brag about how amazing of a mom I am (ha!), it isn't to make you feel bad if you haven't figured it out yet, etc. I wrote this post to help other parents feed their babies in a way that makes them feel good, not guilty. P.S. I'm not trying to say my son doesn't eat crap once in a while, it definitely happens, but I do my best!
Feed baby what you eat
The main way we make sure my son eats well is when I focus on healthy meals for the whole family. I almost never make him his own meal because I make sure to feed my husband and I fresh, healthy meals and more often than not our son enjoys the same food we do! If you aren't already eating as healthy as you'd like here is some extra incentive. I'm more likely to do something that's good for my child than I am to take care of me so being healthy myself is a total bonus!
Skip the purees
We did baby led weaning which basically means we skipped the purees and went straight to solid food when my son turned 6 months old. I'm not saying it's for everyone, but feeding him whole food rather than pureed food made it much easier to feed him fresh food from the beginning. Here's a website with some info on baby led weaning if you're interested in learning more.
Steam veggies every 2-3 days
As a back up I like to steam a couple types of veggies and keep them in the fridge ready to heat up. You can either go out and buy veggies for this purpose, or since babies eat tiny amounts, you can just swipe a little form the meals you're making. For example, a few weeks ago I made an enchilada casserole and left out a handful of butternut squash to steam and keep in the fridge as an easy snack or meal. Bam. Easy.
Keep chopped fruit ready
It helps that I love fruit, but having fruit chopped and ready to eat is great because you don't have to go through the whole ordeal of chopping the fruit and cleaning up when your baby is ready for food. If I don't have to get out a knife or cutting board in the middle of the day then I'm happy. My son loves melon and pineapple which are pretty soft making it easy to eat and they keep pretty well in the fridge for several days.
Share a smoothie
Though he hasn't mastered sucking up liquid in a straw yet, my son love smoothies! It's a great way to make sure he's getting plenty of nutrients in at least one meal a day so if the rest of the day it's not quite as easy to get healthy food to him, I know he's not doing too bad. I usually just do the finger over the straw trick to hold liquid in and give it to him that way, but a spoon would work too.
Portion out tiny meals (leftovers are great!)
When I make a meal I know he loves or I want to feed to him again I will sometimes portion out tiny little leftovers that are quick to reheat. This saves me time from having to pull out a couple different containers of leftovers to put on a plate and heat up. You could also freeze little meals like this if you want! If you make something like soup or chili you could even throw some in an ice cube tray and save it that way. I like using the really tiny glass storage containers we have or 4 oz jars like this (affiliate link). Don't get tricked into buying expensive baby food containers, any container works!
Don't buy baby food
I'm proud to say that I haven't bought a jar of baby food for my son. Part of that is because we skipped the purees and went straight to solids and part of that is because I knew if I bought them I would use them. Simply not having baby food available in the house forces me to feed him the food, fresh stuff, just like my husband and I eat. I'm cooking for us anyway, it's easy to share!
It can be rough to start the process when you're easy to convenience, but once you get used to it, feeding your baby fresh, real food can be super easy. Take it one step at a time so you don't feel overwhelmed.
Do you have tips for feeding your baby healthy, fresh food? I'd love to hear them in the comments!