Baby Food: Meal Ideas

Two weeks ago, I did a post on Jason trying food for the first time at 4.5 months. For about 4 months, Jason ate only purees (see my post on making baby purees here). Now at 8 months, Jason has slowly transitioned to clumpier “stage 2” food. Now instead of pureeing all his food, we usually shred (with our hands), grate, or mash with a fork – that is unless it is a grain, then I usually still blend the grain to a powdery texture, then cook it, before mixing it with other foods.

I found the transition to stage 2 food, slightly challenging as I wanted to be able to make the majority of Jason’s food and be able to give him a variety of different foods and flavours, while still maintaining a LIFE. Lol.

So, here are some recipe ideas that I have found have worked well for us, now that Jason is eating clumpier food, and a wider variety of flavours.

Note: we chose not do baby-led weaning (BLW), which is essentially the method where parents forego spoon-feeding purees and let babies feed themselves (in addition to milk), once their motor skills allow them to be able to pick up food independently. (I’ve read that parents tend to do BLW – sometimes unintentionally- more for second, third, fourth…children, haha).

Breakfast Ideas
Jason’s breakfast usually consists of an 8 oz bottle of formula first, and then 2 tablespoons of baby cereal, plus apx. 2 tablespoons of fruit. Sometimes I add a bit of Greek Yogurt (I buy full fat Greek yogurt for J.) I typically take one 1 oz of formula and mix it with the cereal to get it to a clumpy consistency, then add about 1-2 different fruits with the cereal.

The cereal I love to use is Love Child Organics Oats and Chia Infant Cereal, which I found to be the cheapest at Walmart (see link here).

Some “recipe” ideas for breakfast:
-baby cereal with mashed banana and applesauce
-baby cereal with mango and Greek yogurt
-baby cereal with mashed avocado and banana
-baby cereal with mashed banana and strawberries
-hard-boiled egg and avocado, mashed together

Lunch Ideas
Jason’s lunch consists of a 4-6 oz bottle of formula, with 3-4 tablespoons of solids. J’s lunch sometimes takes place at home, and sometimes happens on the go. Depending where we are going, I will sometimes pack “homemade” food or just bring a puree pouch, which happens time to time.

If we are doing the pouch route, and I don’t have anything prepared ahead of time, I like to buy either Love Child Organics pouches or Parent’s Choice pouches, both from Walmart.  Parent’s Choice is significantly cheaper, so I just read the ingredients and look for pouches with no additives, etc. since some of their flavours do. :)) Sometimes, I will also mix a couple tablespoons from these pouches with a couple tablespoons of baby cereal, depending on what we have on hand.

I typically feed J his lunch first, and give him his bottle in between bites. When we are finished the bottle, I give him his sippy cup of water for the rest of his lunch.

Some “recipe” ideas for lunch:
-cottage cheese/ Greek yogurt with applesauce and mashed avocado
-cottage cheese Greek yogurt with mashed blueberries and applesauce
-cottage cheese/ Greek yogurt with applesauce and mashed banana (or whatever fruit you have on hand)
-baby cereal with mashed fruit
-mashed tofu with pureed fruit

Snack Time
I usually follow-up Jason’s lunch with a snack, before his 4pm bottle. This works out great, because we are usually out and about at this time and it keeps both of us happy!

His snacks are usually a few mum-mums or baby crackers (again, love Love Child Organics Pat-A-Cakes, which are also the cheapest at Walmart! My sister-in-law just shared some of these with us this last week, and J LOVES them.) and water from a sippy cup.

If we are at home, his snack will sometimes be cut up fruit, like strawberries or raspberries or bananas, that I cut up into small pieces. I put these pieces on his high chair tray, and let him feed himself.

Dinner Ideas
Dinner has been the biggest challenge for us, and also the most fun. It has been the most fun because this is our “family” meal and the meal I put the most effort into. However, it has also been the toughest because I want to be able to eventually just give J what we are having for dinner but because he still can’t REALLY chew it’s a bit hard to do. So right now, I find that I am prepping his meals beforehand so that I don’t have to prep OUR meals and then make a J-friendly version.

As far as “meats” go, at the moment, we have introduced J to chicken, pork and salmon. I typically buy a package of meat, cook a portion and freeze the rest.

Some “recipe” ideas for dinner:
-grains (quinoa, rice or baby cereal) mixed with shredded chicken (or any protein) and mashed steamed zucchini and/ or carrot and a sippy cup of water
-grains (quinoa, rice or baby cereal) mixed with shredded chicken (or any protein) and applesauce and a sippy cup of water
-cut up pasta with tomato sauce with small pieces of meat (ground meats work well!), and shredded cheese and a sippy cup of water
-sweet potato mash with shredded chicken and mashed peas (or any steamed vegetables) and a sippy cup of water

Note: If you are wondering WHY we love applesauce so much, or why I talk ALOT about applesauce…it is BECAUSE we buy the GoGo SqueeZ pouches from Costco. They are 20 pouches for $10 dollars! I have also seen it go on sale for $7ish, which you just can’t BEAT. The pouches aren’t as big as some of the other ones on the market so between a couple meals, (I will squeeze it onto a spoon and refrigerate the rest), they are the perfect size and are AWESOME.

Anyways, that is all the genius for today! 🙂

Next up, I am going to try introducing more spices, and garlic and onion, etc. in the recipes so that J is exposed to those flavours too! I would love to hear more recipe ideas that work for you and your baby/ family! Share your ideas in the comments below! 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

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