Introducing Foods to Your Baby


When R got old enough to start eating food, I found the whole thing to be very overwhelming. I have some friends with older kids, and I asked them what they did just to get an idea of what others were doing. 

There are a lot of different opinions about how to introduce foods to your baby, and I don't believe there is only one way or a right way to do it. As long as you are feeding your baby something and your baby is growing, you're doing it right. Ultimately, you have to do what makes you the most comfortable and what you feel is best for your baby. 

I wanted to share what we did/are doing with R. I hope this is helpful to anyone who is approaching this stage!

Homemade Purees

We started R on homemade purees at six months old. I really wanted to make my own purees, and I was happy to discover that it's pretty easy to make your own baby food! The process is literally this easy: steam it, blend it, freeze it in cubes. Some foods like mangos and blueberries you don't even need to steam! When you are ready to serve the puree, just pop a cube or two out of the freezer, microwave it for 10-15 seconds, and serve! Alternatively, you can take the cubes out of the freezer 24 hours in advance, and they thaw in the fridge overnight. 

Below are my favorite products for making your own baby food.

These are perfect for freezing and storing your homemade food cubes! What I love about these is that they come with a lid. Each cube is 1 oz, so you know exactly how much you are feeding your baby. They are made of silicone, and in my experience, cubes pop out easily from the tray.

I don't think you can beat this awesome little blender for the price. I'm obsessed with it. I used it for making R's food and also make smoothies and blends with it for me! Note: it is made of plastic, not glass.

I've been using this for years for steaming our own veggies for dinner, and I used this for steaming all the fruits and veggies for R's purees!

*If you are the type to like books, I highly recommend this book, which I used to get flavor combinations and for tips on how best to puree different foods.

Food Pouches

Baby food pouches have been working very well for us. They are especially handy when we are traveling or when we want to feed R something but don't want to deal with a mess. As she's gotten older, I try to buy more advanced combinations of pouches for her. I've done the math, and it is cheaper to make your own baby food, but R loves the pouches, and they are very handy. They come in 4-oz portions, and you can buy them at Target, Walmart, etc. I have also seen pouches at Aldi! They are cheaper but a bit smaller with 3.2 ounces.

// Related Post: Traveling with Your Baby

Baby-Led Weaning

When we first introduced purees, R took a while to get used to it. Each cube was 1 oz, and she would eat maybe one third of the cube in one sitting. After a few weeks, she starting eating more and more, and by eight and a half months, she was eating 2-3 full cubes at a time and still acting hungry. It was at this point that Jordan and I decided to start trying baby-led weaning. 

Here's the thing you need to understand about baby-led weaning: Don't be intimidated. It's a fancy term for giving your baby table food.

I asked a few friends of mine about baby-led weaning because I didn't understand how to do it. And then I had a lightbulb moment when I realized it was as simple as cutting up the food we were eating and feeding it to R. I feel like people are making this sound more complicated than it is. (Note: my friends were very helpful on this topic. When I say people, I mean Internet people.)

Some people like to skip purees altogether and jump right into baby-led weaning, which is, again, completely personal preference and great if you want to do that! But for us, it just made us too uncomfortable, and we felt better starting R with purees first. Looking back, I am happy with what we did and wouldn't change anything!

R is ten months old now, and anything we eat, I cut up into small pieces and give to her. She is doing so great with it! We still do give her food pouches sometimes when we are on the go or just need a quick (read: not messy) snack, but I am not making purees anymore.

She does gag sometimes, and it's terrifying, but we keep a close eye on her and have discussed what we would do if she actually started choking. It's really so fun to sit and eat family meals together at the table, and it's easy to just cut up whatever we are eating and give R.

Below are some of our favorite products for mealtime with baby!

These are regular, cheap spoons and have been working great for us! She doesn't use the spoon to feed herself yet, but we are working on it.

We loved these spoons for R when she was first eating purees. The tip is smaller and seemed easier for her to use. The bigger infant spoons (above) are better now that she's older and eating more at a time.

3. Stay-Put Suction Bowls
Just in the last few weeks, we have introduced a bowl for R instead of just putting the food on her highchair tray. She's actually doing really well using the bowls. Some of the reviews say these bowls don't stick, but we haven't had a problem with ours. I do wish all three bowls came with lids. Only the smallest bowl has a lid, which is a bummer. We do have some regular plastic bowls (no suction) that are working fine too!

So that's where we are at! R eats basically everything we eat, and she is loving it. The other day she ate an entire hot dog in one sitting! I was like, woah, girl, woah. I still nurse/bottle feed 5x a day, and we try to give her 3 meals a day when she's with us. At daycare, she eats at least 2x, usually for breakfast and lunch. Overall, even though it has been stressful at time, I would say that introducing foods has been fun (and messy) for all three of us. 

I hope this post has been helpful to you! Please feel free to leave any feedback or questions in the comments.

p.s. Allison shares some fun and easy baby- and toddler-friendly recipes on her blog!

What are your favorite infant feeding products?
Would you make your own baby food, or do you prefer to jump right into table food?

Julie @ Just the Joy's said...

Baby food can definitely be intimidating! But your right, it's really not that bad! And it's fun! I have to admit, cleaning up such a big mess for 3 meals a day is kind of tiring everyday. ;) Remi isn't a big fan of the pouches. She tips it upside down and squeezes it all over. Ugh! I've seen where you can buy your own pouches and make your own of those too but I never got that ambitious. :) The suction bowls make Remi mad so I typically always use a plate. I found an Oxo plate that has a non slip under edge on it that helps keep it on the table and that seems to be working great! They also come with an edge protector for when they start learning to feed themselves! Pretty neat! :)

The Lady Okie said...

I agree that cleaning up the mess can get old. Thankfully, R isn't *too* messy (yet!). I do think that's ambitious to make your own pouches. I still feed R the pouches with a spoon, so there's no worry about her squeezing it all out herself. We do have a plate, and she seems to do okay with it. So far the suction bowls haven't made her upset :)

Kristen @ See You In A Porridge said...

i definitely think internet people make things sound way more complicated than they are. when i first read about baby led weaning i thought people were crazy and trying to kill their kids. i was talking to my friend about it and she was like that's what i do and i was like no, you give your kids whatever you're eating, you just cut it up and let them eat it. and she was like yeah, that's baby led weaning. hahaha.

Nadine said...

There is so much out there on baby foods and the dos and donts and all of that but it is nice to see what a real person does haha. It seems so confusing but you make it sound much more simpler!

Unknown said...

I'm thinking we are ready for BLW! You make it sound so simple!

Laura Darling said...

I had my cousin and her 9 month old for lunch today and she brought him one of those food pouches. She only uses them when they're out and about, but he LOVED it!!

Michelle said...

I think this is the first common sense/not stressful baby food post I've read. I was SO STRESSED about solids. The internet makes it into such a huge deal when it's really so simple.

Jenny Evans said...

We do a lot of homemade purees for our babies when they hit solid food age and just freeze them in ice cube trays. Then dump cubes in a coffee mug and put in the microwave (this also makes mixing and matching flavors easy.) Our oldest used to get VERY excited when she saw us get the coffee mugs out of the cupboard!

The Girl who Loved to Write said...

This post came at the best time for me! I started looking into this recently and it can be so overwhelming...even just googling what I need to make and freeze baby food sent me running. So THANK YOU. Ordering those cube trays now!

Rachel said...

Just the other day, I saw some of those cool baby food puree pouches in a grocery store here, looked at the price, and got sticker shock--I could take Angel and myself out for breakfast at a local restaurant here for the cost of one of those. No wonder DIY is such a popular idea!

Ashley @TheCreamToMyCoffee said...

^^^ what Rachel said about the pouches - they are so expensive but I totally stock up when I find a sale! They are convenient even for older babies like mine - he loves them!

I own to the BLW book and I agree that it is a simple concept - BUT I was super worried about choking so I'm glad there is so much info out there because it made me feel much better about what I could and could not give. Also, we started blw solids at 6 months (no purees) and I do think that it is a little more complicated because they can't pick up little pieces (so there are strategies about the size and shape of food, etc).

Anyway, so glad R eats like a champ! Love that she ate so much hot dog!

Evan @ WhoLovesBabies said...

"As long as you are feeding your baby something and your baby is growing, you're doing it right."

This is absolutely true! We started experimenting with different purees and found that sweet potato really goes with anything else. And it makes a great healthy dessert for adults!