Friday, May 2, 2014

Baby Meal Planning




In case you couldn't tell yet, I leaned heavily on BabyCenter.com from conception and beyond, for advice.  If you'd like more detail on what to feed your baby and when, you can check out their age by age feeding guide.

From birth to 4 months, your babies don't need anything other than breast milk and/or formula.  Then, I seem to hear a lot of conflicting advice on when to introduce "solids," anywhere from 4 to 6 months.  I would go on your pediatrician's advice or your own detailed research from a source you trust, when it comes to that question.  For the record, we gave our boys baby rice cereal when they were about 4 and a half months.  They spit it out.  After that, I'd "practice" with them just once a day, with just a spoonful of cereal.  Then when they were 5 months, we did peas, and continued on from there.  




I received the Baby Bullet as a shower gift, and it was wonderful for making your own baby food!  (Shop around for the best price.)  Sadly, I only used it for a few times before we had to pack everything up and move to another state (see my post on moving with twins).  Some things were in storage, some in boxes in a temporary housing situation, and who knows where the Bullet ended up.  I suppose I thought we'd find permanent housing sooner, and then I'd tote it out of a box and use it again.  So I also used a lot of store-bought baby food to save time, since those months were a huge period of transition for us.




(Now I'm discovering there are lots of gadgets out there that will both steam and puree your food in one container, so you can take out the step of transferring.)

There are now a lot of organic options out there for ready-made baby food, though I will admit that I did not do 100% organic.  If you do, that's great.  If that's too expensive for you, but you're still able to do some organic, here is a chart that might be helpful when deciding what to buy organic:  (Taken from last year's FoodNews.org)



Once solid food was an established part of our routine, the boys "meals" from around 7 months old onwards looked something like this:  (You'll note that I wrote "bottle" for milk feeds.  I was sadly not able to produce milk past 3 months.  So if you follow our pattern, you would either be nursing throughout the day and then feeding solids a little after they've digested, or doing a bottle of pumped milk.)

7 am:  Bottle 

8 am:  Breakfast:  
  • 1 serving/package/jar of pureed fruit
  • A few spoonfuls of baby oatmeal
11 am:  Bottle

12 pm:  Lunch:  
  • 1 serving/package/jar pureed vegetable
  • A few spoonfuls of rice cereal
3:30 pm:  Bottle

4:30 pm:  Dinner:  
  • 1 serving/package/jar pureed vegetable
  • A few spoonfuls of rice cereal
7 pm:  Bottle

As the boys progressed in months, from 7 months old to 12 months, I gradually added two snacks, other types of food, and tried to add more finger foods, and their meals gradually looked like this:  (It will look like a lot of food, but keep in mind that they may not always finish everything you offer.  We were trying to introduce variety and new things.  And also during this time, your babies may start to crawl and be more mobile, and need more calories.)

7 am:  Bottle

8 am:  Breakfast:  
  • 1 serving/package/jar of pureed fruit
  • A few spoonfuls of baby oatmeal
  • Handful of grain-based finger food
9:30 am:  Snack:  
  • 1/2 serving/package/jar of pureed fruit
11 am:  Bottle

12 pm:  Lunch:  
  • 1 serving/package/jar pureed vegetable 
  • A few spoonfuls of rice cereal
  • Handful of soft fruit or steamed vegetable as finger food
3:30 pm: Bottle

4:30 pm:  Dinner:  
  • 1 serving/package/jar pureed vegetable or pureed meat, or baby yogurt
  • A few spoonfuls of rice cereal
  • A handful of soft fruit or vegetable as finger food 
6 pm:  Snack:   
  • 1/2 serving/package/jar of pureed fruit
  • A handful of grain-based finger food
7 pm:  Bottle

When the boys got older, I followed a slightly different pattern, which you can see in my post on Toddler Meal Planning. 

Happy feeding!


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