Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Feeding 7 & 8 Months

I wanted to do an entry every month to update what foods could be introduced, but I am already behind. Since my little guy is going to be 8 months in two weeks and I have the time right now, I thought that I would just do 7 and 8 months together.

7 months

These are the foods that (in my opinion) are safe to introduce at 7 months

Homemade (organic) mixed cereals, Tofu, Cottage cheese, Hard cooked egg yolk (not the white), Peaches (raw), Asparagus, Carrots, Green beans, Peas, Summer squash, White potatoes

All of the fruits and vegetables need to be cooked, strained, and pureed into a smooth consistency, free of lumps. Fruits that are safe to serve raw are indicated.

Juices are now safe to introduce, too. We have been working with a sippy cup with very little success. I do not make my own juice, but buy organic. I would like to make my own some day, but the solid food is priority right now. These are the juices that (in my opinion) are safe to introduce at 7 months:

All organic: Apple, Apricot, Grape, Papaya, Pear, Peach, Prune

Water down all of these juices. Remember that since the introduction of a sippy cup is very new to the baby, the first few times he/she will probably drink very little, so don’t fill up the cup. I use about half water and half juice.

8 months

These are the foods that (in my opinion) are safe to introduce at 8 months

Tahini, Ground nuts, Ground seeds, Brewer’s yeast, Powdered kelp, Natural cheeses, Apricot, Apple, Cantaloupe, Grapes (peeled and quartered), Honeydew, Kiwi, Plum, Watermelon, Broccoli, Okra, Cooked parsley

Although I don’t think that this is going to give him a much larger variety of food (anyone have powdered kelp handy?), it does look like 8 months is a turning point. The purees can be chunkier and thicker. More foods can be fed raw. Also, it looks like a lot more finger foods can be introduced. This is definitely great for convenience, but it also can be a little scary because the risk of choking is greater.

Since my son is at the 7 months mark, I will let you know what he is eating. Right now we are doing two solid food meals a day with a lot of bottle feedings. He takes just a fruit to the baby-sitter and we have a full meal for dinner (perfectly timed to end right before his bath).

We are only rotating two fruits right now, pears and bananas. Pears were an instant favorite. The bananas are supposed to be a great “take along” food because you can just mash it on site, but I find that mashing with a fork still makes it too thick for him, so I have to mix in some formula. It’s actually quite a bit easier for me to put a cube of food in a container (I bought specific “safe” ones to use just for this purpose) for the baby-sitter than dealing with her mashing bananas for him. Because of this, bananas have become more of a weekend fruit. I have some apples at home that I want to make for him soon (maybe tonight? maybe this weekend?) and I would also like to introduce peaches and mangoes. I plan to make those after the apples and really hope that they are available.

His dinner always includes organic rice cereal and avocados. He still loves the avocados, but now that there are more options, I don’t know if I would still consider them his favorite. He really loves those pears. He also has either carrots, sweet potatoes, or winter squash, which I try to rotate. We have a lot more carrots and sweet potatoes than winter squash, so he gets those more often. Carrots are his least favorite of the three, but he likes all of them. I took green beans out of rotation because he just would not eat them.

He has had some juice, but, as mentioned earlier, with little success. I gave him apple at first. He was really surprised when something other than breast milk/formula came out of the cup. He mostly likes to chew on the top. I also gave him some prune this past week. He started sucking it down and drank about an ounce before he realized that it wasn’t formula. If he is having constipation problems I will mix it in his bottle which makes it look like chocolate milk. I have papaya juice ready for him, but he hasn’t tried it yet.

You may notice a lack of incorporating dairy into his diet. He does have a mild milk intolerance, so I have hesitated introducing yogurts and cottage cheese and other dairy foods. I think that he would love them, so it makes me a little sad. I have started research on goat’s milk products, but don’t really know enough yet to form an opinion.

I still use the same method to make all of this food. If I can, I will steam the produce and then just puree it in the Magic Bullet. Otherwise, I will bake it and then puree it. The sweet potatoes and winter squash were baked. After that, I put it into the cube tray, freeze it overnight, and then put it into a labeled (food and date) bag the next morning.

I don’t really like using the plastic bags, and I just read a great tip on another blog: mason jars. They are reusable and they are glass, so BPA free. I think I am going to invest in a few the next time that we go to Sam’s Club. I am really trying to cut back on that kind of thing, so I am looking into WasteNot Sacks, too. I think that these will be great to transport his bottles and his food to the baby-sitter.

I haven’t made my own cereal yet. I haven’t needed to. We have only bought one box of the organic rice cereal and are still using it. I am interested in trying to make it, but I am also thinking that if a box lasts this long that it may not be worth the effort.

I found that I really hate peeling fruit. I really don’t know why. I don’t think that I am very good at it, so I feel wasteful and it’s time consuming. Anybody have any tricks or anything to make this easier/better?

I still can’t believe how easy it has been to make this baby food. I always procrastinate, like it’s some big chore, and then once I finally make myself do it (usually right before the produce is about to turn) I always wonder why I didn’t do it sooner. The most it has ever taken is about 30 minutes, and that's when I have to peel fruit (ugh).
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