October 2015 Q&A
I’m going to start answering the questions I get on Instagram in a monthly blog post. It will also be a great resource for new followers and new moms.
Here are the questions (and my answers) from the YOU TELL ME post:
I’ve just started weaning for my son. I started with purées / mashed food as was quite anxious but now want to move forward. Should I do this gradually to get him used to BLW or just start? How can I serve his first meat? Should I start with a particular meat or any?
Check out blwideas.com/purees, where I outline everything I know about purées. I never did purées with my son, so I’m not 100% confident in any answers related to them! From what I have heard, it really depends on the kid. Some babies take to table food immediately with no transition. But most babies need a transition period because they’re used to mashed food and being spoonfed. You can try jumping right in (drop purées) and see what happens. But if it doesn’t stick, then you’ll have to do a transition. I’ve got more info in the post above! For meats, just make sure it’s stick shaped for a younger baby. And then make sure it’s soft, but cooked. Meatballs are great.
We do a combo of BLW & purée. But now when she eats mash or anything thick or lumpy she gags or chokes on it. Any suggestions for helping her learn to chew thicker mushy stuff?
Lots of demonstration and continue to offer the thick mushy stuff. If it’s a big issue, stop giving that type of food for a while until she’s used to table food. Then start to reincorporate it!
My 7mth old has been having homemade purées for a month now with intermittent BLW but he seems more interested in being spoon fed. He also has a cleft palate and occasionally gets food in his nose so I don’t want to force BLW but also really want him to learn to self feed. Is it normal for babies to not want to BLW right away/all the time?
Check out blwideas.purees, where I outline everything I know about purées! We didn’t do purées but did strict BLW. So what you’re referring to is the typical transition period that comes with traditional weaning. It really depends on the kid. Some babies take to table food very quickly, and others still need that transition period. You can fly through it, though. Instead of taking many months to go from purées to table foods, you can speed up the process. Your situation is a bit unique, and I don’t know any specific advice for a cleft palate. He will figure out how to feed himself and how to eat all foods. You just have to give him the (guided) opportunities! Good luck!
How can I serve meat to 6 months + ? (Just started solids)
Meatballs are great! And stick shapes of foods (like a hamburger patty or baked/grilled chicken). There aren’t many limitations!
I’d like to know more ways to serve meats at every stage. Veggies and fruit make more sense to me, but I have some sort of mental block with meats.
The only difference between “beginner” and “advanced” with meat is the shape. At 6 months you want to stick to large pieces, like meatballs and strips. At older ages, you can just cut the food into bite sizes (or continue to serve it in balls and strips).
SOUP AND SALAD
How do I serve foods like stew and soup to a 6/7 month old?
The best way is to stick to very thick and chunky soups and just pull out the bites of food. Anything with a broth will be hard for that age, unless you were spoonfeeding. I make a thick meat and veggie stew and just pick out the good stuff for my son.
I have trouble with salad….mine is 17 months and he has started to pick it out and put it aside.
Greens are hard to chew for most kiddos. You can keep trying to offer it OR you can cut it into small pieces. I also like to put greens into smoothies and omelets.
I’m always worried more about the temperature of the foods. But also, what about tougher proteins like steak?
Temperature a preference thing. My husband likes when his food is HOT. I like room temperature or warm. And Alexander likes room temperature. Even something slightly warm, he will blow on it to cool it down! If it’s very hot, you can still offer it if baby is a little older (like 12+ months, I’d say). Then you can use that to teach delayed gratification, how to blow on the food, and what the word “hot” means. But I do like to suggest room temperature foods for the most part, unless it’s meant to be cold. Cold foods should be cold! Hot foods should be room temp (at first, anyway). If the meat is too tough, even for you, I wouldn’t give it to my kiddo! Try to cook meats so they are tender. It’s tricky, and sometimes it means you don’t give any to your kid. (That’s MY opinion only! It’s not a rule or anything.)
I like to have soup on lunch. So now I give a few veggies (in stick shape) and meat (if it’s there) to my 7-month-old baby. What is the next age? How to give lentils and beans if there are no pincer grasp yet?
Lentils and beans are best reserved for 9+ months, when the pincer grasp has developed. You can, however, mash the lentils/beans (like refried beans) and offer a self-feeding or preloaded spoon!
Soup/smoothie bowls/cottage cheese, etc?
If baby is younger, a preloaded spoon is the best way for these. For an older baby, make soups and smoothies thicker so that a self-feeding spoon will work. You can also use food pouches!
How do I serve soup? Is it appropriate to give food like lettuce to 8 month old?
Lettuce is tough to chew. You can cut it into strips and see what happens, but your baby may reject it. And that’s okay! For soup, use a preloaded spoon OR just make it very thick/chunky, and pull out the chunky parts (omitting the broth).
Can I just give my 8m old peas or is that a choking hazard?
Peas are not a choking hazard
What frozen fruits/ veggies do you work with and how? I feel like I waste money on fruits and veggies that we can’t eat fast enough and they go bad.
I used frozen fruit and veggies for smoothies. I don’t use a lot of frozen veggies because they last okay in the fridge for 1-1.5 weeks (sometimes longer). Fruits go bad quicker, so I use more frozen ones, though frozen fruits aren’t that great when they’re eaten plain. If you’re using the veggies for soups, omelets, and casseroles, then frozen works great!
Fall/winter veggies for an 11 month old who is a BLW rock star? Things like Brussels sprouts, squash, etc.
I roast all of that stuff! I’ve got a few recipes on my blog that use various types of squash. B sprouts are GREAT if you cut them small and cook them up with bacon (or prosciutto or ham) in a skillet. It all comes together, and it’s amazing. And potatoes have endless possibilities. I also have a blog post that’s got 10+ ways to use sweet potatoes!
How do I serve broccoli to a 12 mo. who only has 2 teeth?
Teeth not an issue! I like sautéd broccoli (cooked in a little butter, in a skillet) and also roasted (400F for 15-20 minutes). Just serve it plain OR with a pinch of salt, since baby is 12 months.
Do you serve a veggie at every meal?
I try to serve a veggie at lunch and a veggie at dinner, AT LEAST. If I notice I’ve been slacking, I’ll toss some into a smoothie and share that with my son!
Any ideas for beets? I’ve tried steaming and they just don’t get soft enough!
I love sautéd beets! I cut them fairly small and sauté them in a skillet for a while, until they’re soft enough.
What kind of foods are appropriate to serve a 6 month old? I want to try BLW, but I’m nervous.
I’ve got several blog posts on this. Check blwideas.com/startingout and blwideas.com/babysfirst! Nearly everything is appropriate for a 6 month old, but there are some foods that are considered great first foods. That is on the blog!
How do I start introducing my 11 month old to spoon/fork feeding himself? He just waves it around when I’m feeding him something like applesauce. He’s great feeding himself with his hands.
Use a fork first! And just start piercing the food in front of him. Talk about what you’re doing and see if he wants to try. If not, that’s okay! Spoons are harder, so hold off on that for now. My son took many months to pick up on utensils.
Have you introduced cutlery yet?
We started with a fork around a year old. Then we moved onto spoons … several months later (I can’t remember). He figured out the fork at about 18 months and the spoon is hit and miss, even now!
Any hidden-egg recipes?
Anything baked, like muffins and pancakes, will have egg in them!
Best way to serve quinoa/rice to 10 month old?
Quinoa and rice are GREAT as “balls”. Just add some melted cheese, mashed banana, or mashed avocado, and roll it into balls!
How about serving snack at different ages, as far as how to serve and maybe how much? And traveling/day out meals?
Those are big questions! I need to write up some blog posts on those. I do have a post of snacks and meals for daycare, which may be good for the traveling/day out question. Snacks are tough because some babies have them, some don’t, and generally (for us) it’s basically the same as a meal! Keep your eyes open for a future blog post on “traveling” meals.
What to do about most store bought breads containing sugar if I don’t have time to make my own bread?
Great question! That’s another reason to avoid breads altogether if you can help it. Sometimes a sandwich is easy. Same with French toast and things made with bread. I would check the health section of your grocery store and look for a bread that’s sweetened with agave syrup/nectar or maple syrup. NOT honey, as that’s still not okay until past age 1.
How do you get a baby to take cows milk when they are used to nursing? I’m struggling with my daughter just refusing to drink any period. I’ve tried bottle, sippy, warm and cold and she just spits it right out.
We nursed until past age 2 (he still nurses 1-2 times a day). We found that too much milk made his skin break out, so we have stuck to using milk in smoothies and cereal only (not as a beverage). You can use coconut or almond milk too. And just increase the green veggies in her diet, things like spinach. If you’re still nursing, though, I wouldn’t worry about cow’s milk yet!
If you’ve got questions not answered here, you can ask me on Instagram or Facebook or just shoot me an email! (firstname.lastname@example.org)