Tuesday, October 23, 2012

We started solids!

We finally started solids! we waited until she was exactly 6 months old to start, it was like a mini half-birthday celebration. Overall it was successful but as with most things in life, it didn't go exactly according to plan....

Firstly I did a lot of research on the best first foods and decided to start with green beans. I honestly can't say why I chose green beans, but for some reason I was pretty set on starting with green beans, maybe it's because a few years ago many pediatricians recommended starting with non-sweet veggies first, followed by sweet veggies and then fruits last. The reasoning behind this recommendation was that starting with sweet foods might cause babies to develop a preference for sweet foods and refuse veggies later. More recently many doctors have changed their position with regards to this and state it doesn't matter which foods you start with because we are born with a natural preference for sweet foods and introducing veggies first won't change that. I'm not an expert on the matter and I think there is logic on both sides of the argument, but I think the older method makes more sense to me. If it is true that we have a natural preference for sweet things, then that's all the more reason to delay introducing sweet foods, because giving them sweet foods first is more likely to cause them to refuse anything that doesn't taste as sweet later.

So anyway, I decided to start with green beans, but then a few days before her 6 month birthday, I got into a conversation with someone about how green beans were not a good first food because of how hard it is to blend them into a smooth puree and how notorious green beans are for turning lumpy and stringy when blended, even after being put through a strainer. I went to my trusted source the wholesome baby food site and sure enough it was the same information there. How had I missed this? Everyone was saying to start with something 'easy' like banana or carrots, but I really wanted to stick to my guns and not start with a sweet food.  I was pretty worried about it, but decided to give it a try anyway. So I went to our local farmers market and bought a bag full of green beans or string beans as some people call them. I cut the tips off, washed them thoroughly and boiled them in a tiny bit of water and let them get a bit soft since I didn't want to have trouble blending it. Then I put them in the blender and added 5oz of breast milk. To my surprise, I got the smoothest creamiest puree! No lumps, or stringy bits in it at all, so I didn't even need to use the strainer. I think boiling it a few extra minutes helped plus the breast milk also made it smoother and creamier. I did notice that it had a fine grittiness to the texture, but it was barely noticeable!

I used a spatula to spoon the puree into the mumi & bubi ice cube trays as you can see from the photo it was a bit messy but I got the hang of it towards the end.

I let it cool down for a bit and while it was cooling down I sat down with Baby S to feed her. I then put the lid on the ice cube tray and put it in the freezer.  Its a bit tricky at first figuring out how to get the cubes out once they are frozen, because you can't twist this tray like a regular ice cube tray. I went back to look at the instruction sheet and basically you have to push on one side of the cube and because of the curved bottom it slides right out. This photo from their website demonstrates how to get the cube out. If the cube doesn't slide out easily just run a litte water on the back of the tray and you'll be surprised how smoothly they pop out!

(Photo from Mumi & Bubi)

The next day I had perfect little half-moon cubes of green beans with no freezer burn! I  popped them out of the tray and placed them in Ziploc bag which I dated and labelled. This whole process couldn't have been easier. It didn't really take much time or effort to get freshly made baby food to last the week.

Anyway like I said before things didn't go exactly according to plan, firstly I guess you noticed I mentioned using my blender to make the puree rather than the cute little Kidco baby food mill that I had mentioned in my previous post. I'll tell you why; because I ordered it online and when I received it, I didn't bother to open the box to check it which turned out to be a big mistake. When I did open the box to clean it the day before we started solids, I noticed there was some greasy petroleum type substance inside the food mill, it was also very scratched up and showed signs of wear, like it had been used and returned to the store. I decided to put it back in the box and return it asap. In the end I'm actually glad I used my regular blender because it allowed me to make a bigger batch of food enough to last more than a week. The ice cube tray in the picture above holds 21 oz of food plus I had a few ounces left over.  The Kidco food mill could only do 2 cups of food at at time which is 16 oz. I've decided to keep using my regular blender for now.

The second thing that went wrong was regarding the awesome Fisher-Price booster seat I had previously raved about. I opened the box and guess what? Just like the Kidco food mill it was also all scratched up with dirt in the scratches and the little feet under it showed clear signs of wear and tear. It wasn't new either! I could have cried! I was so looking forward to having the perfect first meal but my whole plan was falling apart. I decide to feed her in the bumbo seat instead and honestly it went great. She didn't really have  a big reaction at all. She just calmly ate it up as if she had been eating green beans her whole life!  She spat out a few spoonfuls on the first day and would sometimes bite the spoon and not let go expecting more food to come into her mouth just by sucking the spoon, but by the second day she had pretty much mastered getting the food off the spoon and waiting patiently with her mouth open for the next spoonful! I didn't keep track of how much she ate the first day, because I just poured the left over puree from the blender into a bowl for her.  On the second day I defrosted one cube (1oz) and she gobbled it up in seconds, so the next day I defrosted two cubes (2oz) and that seems to be a good amount for her for now.

Defrosting and heating up the food is easy. Basically before I go to bed, I take a couple of cubes out of the ziploc bag, and place them in one of the 4oz canning jars and put it in the fridge. By the time I get home from work the next day its pretty much defrosted and I just warm it for a minute in our bottle warmer and then its ready to be devoured!


  1. Happy 6months to Baby S! How quick time flies. I love that you stuck to your guns about the green beans as from the look and sound of it, its worked well! Such a shame about the mill and fisher price seat but isn't it wonderful that they didn't affect her eating experience.
    The post is so informative on starting a baby on solids!