Starting Solids

When I ventured into the world of baby solids, I thought – I’m going to own this whole Baby-Led Weaning and never make a puree to save time and mess… Famous. Last. Words. The main reason I was so allured by Baby Led Weaning was due to the fact of avoiding pre-made concoctions which contain additives, sugars, juices, preservatives, etc. So here I was, with two options; Baby Led Weaning or becoming a master of the purees. Don’t get me wrong – I still believe in incorporating BLW in everyday so they can gain the pincher skills and learn to self feed.

I discovered it was easier for my son to intake and experience a plethora of different fruits and vegetables if I were to puree them. I also learned that it took me just as long to cook to soften the produce for him to eat slivers of zucchini or soft sweet potato pieces than it was to just steam and toss into my Vitamix.  It’s understandable if families all eat at the same time, and yes, we still have our son join us at the table when we eat, but let’s be real – baby schedules are not the same as adult schedules, especially in the beginning! When we do sit down at a restaurant, I take advantage of giving him half rounds of soft veggies, mostly to distract him, but at home – these jars of nutrition have been a life saver and he will devour them.

The reason I began to love pureeing foods for him is because I realized I can easily make a few 4oz jars in a 20 minute sitting OR I can whip up a large batch to stock pile my freezer during one of his good naps.  I chose the first option so I can create a variety a little at a time while not having to clean my mixer over and over again. I would take some time mid-day and call it kitchen therapy. I’m a girl who loves a little retail therapy, but when the budget is tight I consume myself in my kitchen because I love to cook! Play to your strengths momma’s. One helpful kitchen tool for me is my 3-Quart Steamer! I literally use it on a daily basis for steaming baby food, veggies for dinner or just the base pot for quinoa… I almost wish I had two..

Another tip for purees – you can easily create single vegetable or fruit purees, store them in individual jelly jars or ice cube trays and thaw two to three at a time to create delicious mixtures for your little ones.  I have a son who gets quite blocked up so I keep plenty of prunes, peas, pears and peaches pureed up so I can blend them together or with other veggies to keep his stomach happy.  I also know he will eat anything mixed with pears, so it’s quite a ploy to get the intake of higher nutritional foods on a daily basis.

One of my favorite (and prettiest) of purees includes the antioxidants of blueberries, Vitamin K, A, manganese, folate, magnesium, iron (and much more) of spinach, and fresh summer plots. This blend is thick and will have a jelly like texture, perfect for the older months of purees.

Spinach, Blueberry & Pluot Puree

2 cups spinach
1/2 pint blueberries
1 ripe pluot
1 pinch celtic sea salt (optional – for added minerals)

20151026_131857Toss all ingredients in a steamer on the stove with water boiling on medium-high heat. Steam for 5-8 minutes until pluots & blueberries are soft to the touch and spinach is wilted. I happened to use blueberries that were in the freezer, but fresh are great. Throw steamed produce into a Vitamix or food processor and mix until desired consistency.

20151026_134542I store mixtures in 4oz jelly jars (approximately what my son will eat in one sitting). Our family only uses glass for storage, but you can also put these into pouches for easy feeding on the go – but remember, glass is better. The purees will store for 3 days in the fridge and up to 6 months in the freezer.

No pluots? Substitute peach, nectarine, apricots or pear. Fresh is best – so pick what’s in season.