When Jojo was born, so was my “mom opinion”. I was instantly making certain types of decisions. Deciding to nurse was the first, going organic was second and cooking my own food when he was ready to eat was the third. Looking back, I am amazed at how quickly I made those decisions. It was almost like my instinct kicked in and said “hey, it’s me your mommy instinct & cooking DNA, it’s time to use me!”. And ever since, that’s where I’ve been. Figuring out the healthiest ways to raise my lil’ Jo.
After what seemed like a looooooooooong cereal stage, Jojo was ready for fruits and purees. I would go to the market every couple of weeks and buy a variety of fruits and veggies that were in season and steam and puree away. I would take out my Hamilton Beach Food processor and my OXO BPA free freezable 4oz squares and go-to-town making all of Jojo’s food.
Looking back, those were the easier times. Jojo did not have an opinion and it was okay for him to survive on fruits and veggies. There was no pushing foods away and certainly no complaining, boy did that change! By the time JoJo turned one, the puree days were gone and it was time for me to start considering the number of teeth he has, what he needs to eat and his food preferences when preparing his meals. Thus, I needed to learn the art of disguising healthy foods and/or re-imagining them in delicious ways!
It was difficult to do this in the beginning, since JoJo had very few teeth. So, I started off simple. Here is a list of a few successful meals I tried: (They are basic, so I figured no recipe necessary.)
- Ditalini pasta with any sort of vegetable puree (It can even be a left over jarred puree)
- Mashed up sweet potato with cinnamon sprinkled on top
- Brown rice, peas & carrots quickly pan-fried with an egg (be sure to check with your doctor for advice on when to introduce eggs)
- Chicken, broccoli, brown rice and applesauce lightly processed in blender or food processor. To add more texture, add additional rice after blending.
- Ditalini pasta with diced tomatoes and peas with a sprinkle of parmesan cheese
- Diced avocado, brown rice, black beans and small diced tomatos w/ juices- it’s a taco bowl for baby (If your baby likes spice add a dash of cumin)
- For breakfast: oatmeal-blueberry pancakes and frozen fruit – defrost it in microwave and it becomes a delicious syruppy sweet that babies love (This one Jojo still loves)
Please comment if you would like more ideas for your 6-12 month old, or if you would like more details about each recipe idea. There will be recipes to come for 12months+ in my next post.