Starting Solids: Making First Foods

Lucas was 5 1/2 months when we started him on solid foods. I don’t think I ever realized how easy, convient and free breastfeeding was until we started solids! Making and starting solid foods is messy, requires preparation and clean up, and cost money. It’s a very fun and new stage though, and he loves all the new foods he’s eating!
I have been making all of his food. I’m still learning how to do things, but I want to share with you what we’ve been doing so far.
Lucas’ first food was an avocado. We skipped rice cereal completely. It’s not necessary, it has a very bland taste (ask yourself- would you like to eat it?), and the nutritional value is almost non existent. It’s like an empty carb that we didn’t see necessary feeding Lucas. Avocados are a great first food and have healthy fats that babies need!
To prepare an avocado, all I did was take it out of the pit and put it into a blender. Really, making your own baby food requires a lot of blender use! A good blender that works quickly and efficiently is key. (Thank you 2005 wedding gift! I knew you would come in handy some day!)

The faces he made when he tasted avocado for the first time were absolutely priceless. I imagine avocados taste quite different than milk! When I first made his avocado I added breast milk to it so it had a familiar taste to it. I only did this the first time and haven’t done it since.

Peaches and pears were the next foods that Lucas had. We buy organic produce- pears are among the top 12 “dirty dozen.” Foods with a peel like a banana or avocado aren’t necessary to buy organic because they have that outside layer. Foods such as apples, peaches and pears with no skin are more important to buy organic because you’re eating the outside skin. And yes, you will usually find that organic produce is more expensive, but it’s important in our house so we make room for it.
To make a peach, pear or apple for Lucas I removed the skin first. It’s recommended to remove skin when they’re this young because it might be hard for them to digest it. After peeling the skin off the fruits then you just add it to the blender to be purred. It comes out a perfectly blended and ready to eat!When I first pureed the pear I added some breast milk to it. I found this was an unnecessary step.

I then tried to puree the pear just as is, without adding anything and it turned out much better. It definitely isn’t necessary to add anything-water or milk- to pears. Lucas loved this pear, and the smell of sweetness was delish! The consistency of this was also really easy for him to eat.

We love peaches in our house! They are also the messiest and let me warn you- they will stain clothes! Thankfully bath time is right after dinner!

As always, he wants whatever he can get in his mouth. He kept grabbing for the spoon, so finally I just gave it to him and let him feed himself!

As far as preparation, serving and clean up, bananas are the easiest I’ve found. They are the perfect traveling food! It’s so simple to cut off a slice of banana and offer it to your baby. Any left over can be ate by you or your older children!

To make a banana ready for my son to eat, all I did was cut it in half . I then put the pieces in a bowl and mashed it with a fork. Even a baby fork or spoon will work if you’re away from your house- bring a banana, baby spoon, and tupperware!

You can see the consistency of a banana is quite smooth. There were a few very small chunks, but nothing my son couldn’t digest. A banana is already very soft so water or milk is not needed. This took the mashing of a fork for 20 seconds. Very easy!

This is in preparation for a banana and peach smoothie. Put chunks of banana and peaches in a blender and you’ve got yourself a delicious and healthy smoothie! Your little one will love this!

As to date, Lucas is 6 1/2 months old and has had avocados, peaches, pears, bananas, and apples. He usually eats two “meals” a day- usually a brunch and then dinner. He continues to nurse every 3-4 hours. I would say that his favorite food are the peaches. Of course, peaches here also happen to be the most expensive! We’re talking $3.29 a pound! This kid has more gourmet meals than his parents do!
Our next step are vegetables. Vegetables aren’t as easy as fruits because they require steaming and/or boiling to soften. Vegetables also aren’t as sweet! He has tried carrots once and he hated them (me too love!) so we need to experiment with it. I have some zucchini and squash that we’re going to try today.
If your baby doesn’t seem to like a food right away, try again! It takes more than once for children (and adults!) to decide if they like a taste. They’re also learning so much about what food taste like as they begin to experiment with it, so it’s normal for them to not like something right away. Texture can also play a role. Try adding milk or water to a food to change the texture if needed. Lucas didn’t like his avocado at first, but I wanted him to like it so I kept feeding it to him. I can’t let him pass up a food as healthy and delicious as an avocado!
Wholesome Baby Food is an excellent site that I am always referring to. It will answer almost any question you have about making your own baby food! Along with preparing some vegetables, I’m also looking into how I can freeze more of his food. I’ve found that pureeing his meals every few days is not very time saving friendly.
If your making your children’s baby food, what methods do you use for freezing? What vegetables do your children eat? For those of you who buy jars of food at the grocery store- do you know how much money you spend a month on baby food? I’m trying to figure out what the cost difference is between jars and organic produce. It won’t change my mind either way, but I think it would be an interesting comparison.
Happy eating and baby food making!

Published by Samantha Mellen

Certified personal trainer & health coach helping women transform their lives through fitness, abundant mindset coaching and internal peace. Mom of two boys, living life in Alaska.

26 thoughts on “Starting Solids: Making First Foods

  1. Thanks for the great information. I was wondering if you have come up with a system for freezing food? If so, what is it? I just started my daughter on Earth's Best Rice Cereal this week. I went ahead and started rice cereal to get her digestive system used to solid foods. I am going to start “real foods” next week. I'd love to hear your input on making large batches of food and freezing them.

    Corisven@gmail.com

  2. Great post! My little man just turned 5 months old and I give him a tiny spoonful of either mashed bananas or breastmilk w/ rice cereal once in awhile but he is not ready yet. I can tell cause he still spits it out. When he starts to swallow then I will begin introducing new foods 🙂

  3. Thanks for this great post. My daughter is turning 5 months soon and we are going to start foods so this is great info. I didn't even realize I could skip the cereal. That is great. Thanks!

  4. This is terrific. I've been so intimidated by this process and not knowing where to turn (everyone says something different). I'm with you, I don't realize how easy and convenient breastfeeding is until I'm feeding solids. Thanks for the inspiration, references, and advice!

  5. He's lovin the spoon, huh?
    We started Garrett a few weeks ago, at 4 months…he didn't go for the cereal, and doesn't care too much for fruits(except mama's banana), but he looooves veggies! Squash, sweet potato, peas, green beans…all the rage at our house! He's just practicing…not filling up…he still nurses every 2-3 hrs!

  6. Neither of my babies like avocado at all, but they are both crazy about veggies! Green beans are the easiest in our house- I buy a HUGE bag of organic frozen green beans at Costco for $5.99 and that will feed us for at least a month and we eat green beans A LOT!

    Costco is a great place to get inexpensive organic produce, and frozen is just as good as, if not better than, fresh. You can also get loads of organic frozen fruits too. Frozen fruits are not my favorite because they can get mushy and my kids like to feed themselves (being 1 & 2 they can eat them whole), but they are so good for making baby food. I do buy organic forzen blueberries and just run them under warm water to defrost and I add those to things like yogurt, pancakes and oatmeal. Blueberries are RIDICULOUSLY good for your kids, but let me warn you- be prepared for the poop! The blueberry skin doesn't digest super well so sometimes it comes out whole, and it will also make their poop pretty smelly. Oh yeah, and it will be blue. 🙂 Spinach is also a super-food and it is easy to mix in when your kids start eating eggs.

    Frozen is really the most economical way to go organic, or try your local farmers market. I use a food co-op to get our regular produce but I am also going to check out a local farmers market that is supposed to have great prices (like 25 cents for a box of blueberries!)- you should look into that!

    I could write an entire post on how to do Organic the affordable way!

  7. You are awesome. I wish I was half as determined like you. I myself failed at breastfeeding, didn't find out about cd'ing until half way through diapering my 2nd child and I attempted to make baby food, but also failed. I applaud you and live through your posts and thinking that one day if we have another, I could be half as good as you. I do make sure my kiddos eat a balanced meal (me not so much). As I recall, buying baby food can be expensive even with coupons. They start off around $0.50 and go up to $1.00 depending on stage & age. A month it can range from $45 up to $90. I never really put it into prospective like that until now. I really could have made the time to make the food. Great Job 🙂

  8. To freeze my baby food I use containers bought at OneStepAhead.com

    My daughter's favorite veggie is sweet potato, it was her 1st food & it's been her favorite. She also eats carrots, peas, green beans & squash, I usually mix purees with some baby oatmeal to make the veggie taste a little milder.

  9. What a great blog, Samantha! And your little boy is absolutely adorable! Looks like you are enjoying him. What an informative and fun blog, and a great way of keeping track of his milestones!

  10. You do realize that since he's over 6 months, you can skip the purees, right? : ) Look into baby led weaning/baby led solids. N has had lots of foods (carrot, broccoli, banana, cantelope, tomato, pasta & sauce, rice cake, rice, peas, etc)& none of them have been pre-smushed.

    Also, not only *can* you skip baby cereals, you should. They're constipating & pretty devoid of nutrients. Plus, they taste gross. 🙂 Nice to see you getting the word out. 🙂

  11. Peanut LOVES fruits especially bananas. If she refuses to eat whatever veggie we prepare for her we'll just give her a banana. We mush it up and feed her with a spoon and we put some on her tray so she can pick some of it up to feed it to herself. It's so messy but she likes to feed herself.

  12. When we were still on purees, I found that for us it was easiest to spend a couple of hours about every 3 weeks or so making up food. I bought a whole bunch of the 4 oz size plastic gladware containers and I would just fill those with 3-4 oz of pureed food and freeze them right in the containers, they are microwave safe so I'd just pop a conatiner in the microwave and put it on the defrost setting for like 10 seconds and that way it was already in a bowl, ready to go. We don't have a dishwasher, so I'm big on not having to use extra dishes lol.

    As a side note though, when you start on meats, DO NOT puree then freeze, we did this with chicken breast and when it freezes it solidifies into a pattie, so when you thaw it you have to re-puree it, talk about a HUGE waste of time.

  13. Our first food here was squash. Definitely try a sweet potato – it may be a good way to transition from all the sweet fruits to veggies. Also, I always kept a couple jars of the organic jarred baby food on hand – this was especially useful as she got older and required more “meals”. At 6 months, she was still nursing 10-12 times a day…yup.

    I froze all her baby food in ice cube trays, then dumped them in a freezer bag and labeled them.

  14. D-man is just starting to make his way to solids, he is now starting cereal. It's great to see them explore different things I cannot wait until D-man starts exploring beyond cereal. And it looks like your little one is having a lot of fun with that spoon.

  15. The only veggie I have made and frozen is green beans!! I have the book Blender Baby Food and it gives you all the info on how to and everything!! The fruits I have made and frozen have been peaches, pears and apples. I just use the ice cube trays to freeze them and once they are frozen I put them in ziploc bags! I made everything about 3 weeks ago and I am just starting to run a little low on a few!! I love making his baby food!! It is so much fun!!!! I think next I am going to make sweet potatoes and squash!!
    great post!!!

  16. Fabulous post! M will be 6 months old next week and we have introduced different foods but just 'tastes'. He's had a broccoli floret(steamed) and that didn't go over well. smushed peas(I took the skin away) and he loved these. and today I gave him a bit of banana. We will be skipping over cereal as well.

    I will begin making his food soon. I plan on getting these little tiny containers that they sell at the dollar store and pureeing the food and freezing them in there. I also like the idea of freezing them in ice cube trays and tossing them in a ziploc and labeling the bag. I guess we will see how it goes, but I'm SOOOO excited.

  17. great post! i buy a lot of my organic frozen and it save somes money :). I also set aside an afternoon once a week or everyother week and make a ton of food and freeze. that way I dont have to worry about it for awhile – w/ 3 kids to get fed, I couldn't deal with pureeing something at each meal – lol! I do give my little one rice cereal 1 or 2 times a day though b/c of the iron. It is very common for babies to develop low iron counts between 6-9 months of age (both of my older kids did). So to avoid having to put my little one on iron supplements (which taste much worse than rice cereal, oatmeal, etc), I make sure to give her some rice cereal or oatmeal as most fruits & veggies do not have a lot of iron.

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