Wow. Just wow. The main reason I began working on this blog was to have a place to document, troubleshoot, and discuss with other moms about the ins and outs of feeding a baby, then toddler, then child, then teen and so on. At the time Charlotte was a newborn and I thought I had some extra time. Now she is 6 months, eating real food, and I guess I need to start documenting the process! Like our approach with Grace, feeding Charlotte is just slowly taking a natural course. I didn’t have a set age or plan to officially start her on solids. She started showing signs of wanting to eat after 4 months, and was actually getting quite ornery about it! If we were eating and there was something I thought she could tolerate, then I would give her a taste. Closer to six months, I occasionally would puree something from our dinner (mostly vegetables) so she could have something to share and now we are building from there. I felt like if I could keep her interested by giving her little tastes of things here and there but wait to really start her on solids after 6 months, then I could serve her more right off the bat rather than starting with bland rice cereal or applesauce. If I had to pick a specific approach I take, then it would be close to the French way of introducing food to baby (though not nearly as organized and strict!) with a heavy focus on vegetables in the beginning and just feeding her versions of what we eat. We like to eat a lot of vegetables in this family so it’s really no trouble to share with the youngest member 🙂 I thought I would map out below what she’s eaten and share a spontaneous soup recipe her and Grace are enjoying this week. The recipe was born out of avoiding the grocery store and trying to clean out the kitchen before we fly into New Orleans on Friday. Here we go!
What Charlotte has eaten so far:
Veggie purees: To make the purees, I roast or steam the veggies then mix with a little expressed breast milk and baby grain cereal to tone down the taste of the veggies, particularly the ones that are stronger in flavor. This also helps with digestion and gives baby the extra iron doctors encourage. Some of these I didn’t even really puree but just mash with a fork.
- leeks and potatoes
- sweet potato
- green beans
- acorn squash and spinach
Small tastes of
- butternut apple soup with sage
- roasted red pepper hummus
- ham and turnips
- cheesy roasted asparagus
- egg yolk and salmon mashed together
I take her lead, offering her a few spoonfuls until I think she’s lost interest or tired. In a few weeks once I think she’s ready, like with Grace, I plan on encouraging as much self-feeding as possible. She already insists on holding the spoon which is such a pain! Oh the joys of the mess and fun in feeding a baby. So novel to them and a lesson in patience for me. I am not counting on Charlotte being quite as food-motivated and adventurous as Grace, but I plan on taking the same approach in hopes that she will at least appreciate and enjoy a good meal. I hope to use this blog not just as a way to share what I’m doing, but also get ideas and insight from others as questions or issues arise, which I’m sure will happen in some way or another. More to come and enjoy the recipe!
Simple, scrumptious spinach soup for all:
Serves: a baby, a toddler and two grown ups
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 leek, white parks only, sliced then
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 3 fingerling potatoes, roughly chopped
- 1/2 large bag frozen spinach
- 3 cups chicken stock
- Handful grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- Salt and pepper to taste
- On medium high heat, cook the leeks and garlic until fragrant and soft, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add the potatoes, stir and cook for a minute more.
- Add the spinach and the stock. Bring to a boil then turn down to a simmer for about 15-20 minutes until potatoes are soft.
- Blend soup with an immersion blender or in batches in a regular blender.
- Fold in Parmesan and seasoning.
- Add more or less stock depending on desired consistency.
- I portioned out some for Charlotte before adding the cheese since we’re not totally on dairy yet.
P.S. Grace has taken on the role of “taste tester” when it comes to Charlotte’s food..she approved of both versions 🙂 Enjoy and Happy Holidays!