The first time I heard the phrase “mash up” was during a Glee episode when certain songs that might or might not seem like they had anything in common were intertwined to make an (obviously) danceable mega-song. I like this concept. And organically, this is how I have been making my 7 1/2 month olds’ food since he started eating more solids (we started around 5 months).
And, this is my first blog post in quite some time. In the past year we took on a puppy and a baby, and I chose to step away from my nutrition practice for a while (at least full time) and take care of the LG (“Little Guy” as my friends’ kid calls him). Yep, it’s hard, shakes your nerves, forces you to run on very little sleep and makes you question who in the heck this person is in the mirror with saggy boobs, dirty hair and milk stained clothes, but is it worth it? Yes. It is. And I have no complaints but just to say how you don’t know what you don’t know until you know what being a parent is all about. It’s quite the ride already. Ok, on to the food.
The LG’s first food was a simple liver pate, via Nourishing Traditions (runnier than a traditional pate). Yes, I wanted to make a point and feed him a very iron rich food that wasn’t iron fortified rice cereal. Baby’s iron stores start to diminish around 6 months, so I took the opportunity to see how he would respond to such a taste and texture as this. I ended up mixing it with a touch of apple sauce (no sugar added) and then rotated between that and avocado for the first couple of days. He started to love it and really eats anything (I think he is just really motivated by food). I am lucky.
I should also mention that I make a lot of the baby’s food from the food I am making for our household. For example, when cooking salmon for dinner, I just take chunks from our food and make his concoctions. Note: it has taken me (still a work in progress) a couple of years to make cooking a major priority in our house. Our largest household budget line item is food, and we cut back elsewhere to afford the quality of food we want. I think we are also lucky I like to cook.
Other (in no particular order, no added sugar, water and cooked on lower heat if possible):
- Peaches (with skin) and pastured egg yolk cooked in raw coconut oil
- Steamed broccoli with goat butter
- Avocado alone, or with a bit of apple sauce, mashed banana or just cooked pear (sometimes mixing in beet kvass, or fermented beet juice)
- Cow (St. Benoit) or sheep (usually sheep) plain yogurt, plain, or with apple, pear, banana, or pickled figs mixed in (a yummy Good Eggs product). Also have added ground cinnamon, ginger and clove to this concoction
- Liver cooked in goat butter with homemade chicken bone broth, with apple
- Sweet potato (with skin) and kale, steamed and mashed together
- Butternut squash plain, or with coconut oil, curry and homemade broth
- Wild Planet canned sardines in olive oil, blended with steamed frozen peas
- Spaghetti squash steamed with goat butter
- Wild King salmon, mashed up
- quinoa cooked with broth not just water, alone or mixed with banana and avocado (this is the only grain he has had thus far)
- sauteed pear in goat butter, mashed up and mixed with sheep’s milk yogurt
- blueberries to help him start to find his his pincher fingers and practice picking up food that size
I also add in an infant powdered probiotic from Klaire Labs to some of the cold mash ups that aren’t yogurt every once in a while to get other forms of healthy bacteria working in that little body of his. And the kid hasn’t been sick yet!
We haven’t checked peanut butter, strawberries, other beans or grains yet, but will get to strawberries and peanut butter (homemade) in the coming week or two. I can’t help but be nervous about peanut butter, but I have a feeling he won’t be allergic.
The next foods I want to try will be beets in some form or another, and chicken with some kind of vegetable. Excited to see how things progress!
Embrace a nourished palate!