When it comes to starting solids, it seems like there are several schools of thought. There’s the traditional route of rice cereal and purées, and within that category are those who make all their purées from scratch and then there are those who use store-bought purée. There’s baby-led weaning, which is considered progressive in some cultures, but if you talk to any mom with more than two kids you’ll probably hear something about how their third started on table food much more quickly than their other children did. There are those who say, “Food before one is just for fun,” and those who feel like their babies need more than breastmilk or formula to stay satisfied.
And I’m going to tell you that however you decide to start feeding your babies solids is for you and your child’s pediatrician to decide. I like to do a large combination of all of these things because I am all about balance, reality, and the ease with which I can adapt my kids to everyday life.
But I’m also going to tell you that amidst writing this post and introducing solids to Chloe, I also had to change my entire approach. So take it all with a grain of salt, and modify when needed. There's a saying in Spanish, "Cada hijo es un mundo," and it translates to "Each child is a world." Basically, no two children are the same, and what works for one of your children may not work for another. So like with anything else related to children, adapt adapt ADAPT.
First things first. Talk to your child's pediatrician. Make sure your pediatrician thinks your child is ready to start solids. With both of my kids, since I was exclusively breastfeeding, my pediatrician's recommendation was to wait until 6 months to introduce solids. I also feel more comfortable waiting until my kids are sitting up a little better, even if it's with support, just so that they aren't flopping over.
Decide on how you will start and gather what you need. If you're buying foods, figure out which ones you need to buy. If you're making it yourself, you'll need a few additional supplies! You don't need a special baby food maker - but you will need something in which to steam your veggies, a good blender, and containers to store and freeze the foods. You can check out my Amazon Idea List to see some of the things I use.
Just start! Don't overthink it too much. If your baby is showing interest in foods, it's probably a good time to try it.
A couple of key points I follow, regardless of what methods I'm trying:
Baby-Led Weaning vs. Traditional Purees
When I was ready to introduce solids to Caleb, I did a lot of reading up and came across baby-led weaning (BLW). I thought it had some really great merits, but I was still a little hesitant. I had a conversation with a great friend about it and she told me she had done a combination of BLW and traditional purees with her twins. After talking about how she did it, I knew it was something I could really get behind.
Some of the things I liked about BLW:
So how did I integrate the two?
Whenever I tried a new food, I introduced the "solid" first. These are finger-sized pieces of food that baby can grab and bite. Vegetables are steamed or boiled so they are soft enough for baby to chew. I prepared half of the food this way and then pureed the other half. After they had a chance to explore the new food, I would give them some in puree form so that I could make sure they ingested it. So I basically combined the best of the two methods and found what worked for us.
Again, this may or may not work for you, and for Chloe, it's been an adventure. I finally figured out that she likes fruits, but she isn't crazy about veggies, so if I mix the two, she will eat it. Of course she wants nothing to do with homemade food!
If you are in the process of starting solids with your little one, I hope this helps. But again, please please please check with your child's pediatrician before you introduce solids. This is simply me experience with my children and I am not a medical professional.
Good luck, mommas (and daddies, too!)! You've got this!
Disclosure: I've partnered with PerfectFit Meals for this post.
As a mom to young kids, I don't often have a ton of time to prepare meals for myself on a daily basis. Most days I'm okay with leftovers or some eggs for lunch, but sometimes I want something different. When PerfectFit Meals reached out to me, I thought this was something that I could really fit into my day-to-day.
Unlike a meal delivery service, I can find these at my local Publix grocery store, and I can keep as many or as few on hand as I want. They give me the option to have a nutritionally balanced lunch, designed by a dietician, and filled with the same ingredients I might use at home.
They are sealed for freshness, so they don't have to be frozen, and they take less than three minutes to heat up and be ready to eat. They use a process called high pressure processing to kill off bacteria and make the food safe to eat and keep in your refrigerator longer than most meals. All of the meals I tried were delicious, and I was actually able to eat them all one-handed because of the way they were prepared.
My husband actually tried some of the meals as well and he was really impressed with the taste. While some of them have a higher sodium content than I would like to consume on a really regular basis, they did have some options that had a lower sodium content. If you're worried about sodium, the Roasted Pork Loin meal has the lowest sodium content of all the meals and was so tasty (it was actually my favorite!). I also don't eat a diet high in sodium, so that's not really a concern for me if I'm eating a couple of these a week. They have a couple of Paleo options if you're on a Paleo diet. A couple of the meals (like the Turkey Skillet Scramble I'm pictured eating) had a little more of a kick than I'm used to, but they were still good and didn't have enough of a kick that it affected Chloe when I nursed her.
I thought the meals were filling, and hearty enough that I wasn't hungry afterwards. The meals didn't taste like they had been sitting around forever, either. I can honestly see myself keeping a few of these in my fridge for the days when I realize it's 2 pm, I have to pick Caleb up from school, and I haven't had lunch yet. Because they are ready so quickly, they're just a really good option so I'm not eating fried eggs or peanut butter and jelly five days a week (clearly I have a very grown up diet lol).
So if you're struggling to eat a balanced meal a couple times a week, grab a couple of these and keep 'em in your fridge. I don't think you'll be disappointed! You can find out if your local grocery store carries them here.
*Links are affiliate links.
July has been a busy month! It's obviously my favorite because I celebrate my birthday, but I love the laid back vibes that July always brings because it's summertime. I'm not crazy about this heat, but I can't change that, so we embrace it with trips to the beach and lots of indoor activities. Anyway, here's what I've been loving this month!
The product was gifted to me in exchange for my honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
This past Sunday, while Eddie was off at a course, I decided I was going to brave our local Publix store by myself with both kids. I had a little anxiety about it, but there were a few things we were out of and I didn't want to place another delivery order. I had promised Caleb that we would make Hulk Muffins this week, and I needed some of the ingredients for that. Plus, I really wanted to use my Binxy Baby Shopping Cart Hammock.
As shown in the image above, putting your child's infant seat in the seat that is meant for older children is a really unsafe way to go about doing your groceries. It throws off the cart's balance and can easily lead to the cart tipping over and the infant seat falling (super scary, right?). When Caleb was a baby, I remember getting so frustrated when I went grocery shopping, because his infant seat took up the entire basket area of the cart, so I was really limited in the amount of groceries I could buy.
But with the Binxy Baby Shopping Cart Hammock, I was able to save tons of space in the cart. I was even able to put things under Chloe while she was in there. Caleb loved being able to see his little sister, and it really did make the shopping trip that much more pleasant since I knew she was safe and I didn't have to limit my groceries too much. The hammock fits most standard grocery carts, holds up to 50 pounds, and if you don't feel comfortable having your baby in the hammock on it's own, you can actually fit a standard infant carrier in the hammock, which frees up all that space for you under the infant seat. You can safely use it until baby is sitting up on their own.
The hammock clips onto the sides of the grocery cart with two plastic clips, and you secure it with a velcro strap on both sides. I felt like Chloe was really secure in there! There is also a safety harness to keep the baby in place.
So even though Chloe did decide to melt down at the very end of the shopping trip and let the entire store know how hangry she really was, the shopping trip leading up to that point was as smooth as I could have expected it to be thanks to this nifty little invention.
Want a Binxy Baby Shopping Cart Hammock of your own? Shop this affiliate link and get 10% off your order! This also makes a pretty awesome gift for a new or expecting momma.
The biggest reason we went to the grocery store was to make Hulk Muffins for Caleb. I made these once before and documented the process so I could publish on the blog, and I'm glad I documented it then and not this time, because this time was an epic failure. I decided to sub out whole wheat flour for coconut flour, and let's just say it was a dry crumbly mess. Apparently coconut flour is super absorbent and you need to use way less of it and more eggs, and I had no idea, so we had a failure this time around. But the first time around, they were a yummy hit. They are green because they are loaded with spinach, and they are sweetened with applesauce, so they're not loaded with sugar.
They were so much of a hit that one evening, Caleb ate FOUR of them (and then refused dinner, which was fine by me). So if you have a picky eater, you may want to give these a try! We call them Hulk Muffins because he's obsessed with anything related to super heroes, and he got to watch them grow in the oven like the Hulk does. But they would work well with a ton of other names. I actually had him help me with the process and he really enjoyed it!
Recipe originally from Pretty Providence
Servings: 18 muffins
So there are a lot of things I haven't been really great about this pregnancy, and eating super well has not been one of them. With both of my pregnancies, my first trimester has been all about the carbs. Second trimesters I've been pretty balanced. But this third trimester I have been feeling pretty exhausted (read: lazy). I would definitely say that I have been lacking in the department of a well-balanced diet - thank goodness for vitamins!
But a couple of months ago, local Miami chef and author Lauren Arboleda of Food from the Heart sent me a copy of her book Pregnancy from the Heart. Her book is really great because it talks about how to keep yourself healthy during pregnancy, along with tips for staying active, and preparing for baby's arrival.
Last week, I was feeling a little yucky with some of the food choices I had been making, and I was really craving an açaí bowl. So I opened up the book to a page I had bookmarked, with the recipe for homemade granola and an açaí bowl. While I didn't have all the ingredients for the granola, I mixed together a few of the ingredients I DID have, and then made the açaí bowl. It was exactly what I needed - it was filling, and it made me feel like I was at least getting some veggies and lots of vitamins and antioxidants in! Read below for the recipe, along with what else I've been loving from this book!
recipe can be found on page 121
1 frozen package of açaí (no sugar added) [Trader Joes has, I also found at Publix]
1/2 cup pineapple
4 cups kale (I actually subbed for spinach because I didn't have kale)
I also added a tablespoon of peanut butter since this was my lunch and I wanted to add a little more protein.
1. Add everything to the blender and blend until smooth.
2. Pour in a bowl and sprinkle granola on top.
3. Add anything else you would like - I added fresh strawberries and drizzled with a little local Orange Blossom Honey that we picked up at the farmers market a few weeks ago.
Something else that is different from my pregnancy with Caleb - with Caleb, I made the time to go to prenatal yoga at least once a week during all of my second and most of my third trimester. This time, I never got around to it. But, Lauren has included a section in her book that has all the yoga poses you will need to help with all the typical pregnancy ailments. So I have actually been doing some of these yoga poses to help alleviate heartburn and back pain!
I've also jumped around the book checking my list with hers for how to prep for baby's arrival and what to pack for the hospital.
It's a beautifully illustrated book, and a great resource for a healthy, holistic pregnancy. I think it would make a beautiful gift for anyone you know who has recently announced their pregnancy, or even as a gift for yourself! You can buy it by following this link, or on Amazon, or at Books & Books in Coral Gables (my favorite bookstore ever and actually where I held Caleb's baby shower!).
Keep it cool, mamas!