When we started introducing Annie to solids, she was somewhere around 4 to 5 months old. I had done so much research (because that’s what first time mom’s do) thinking that I needed to subscribe to some sort of a baby feeding philosophy. Fast forward seven months, and her feeding routine has a lot less rhyme and reason to it. It can be best described as combo-feeding, combining and alternating between a mix of pureed traditional baby foods, mashed up versions of whatever we were already having for dinner, and special meals made of steamed vegetables to help her learn about grasping, chewing, and exploring new textures.
Combo Feeding: combining a mixture of philosophies to introduce a variety of solids to your baby, including purees, grains, and properly steamed and chopped whole foods.
There were a lot of twists and turns in our feeding journey, but the one I didn’t see coming was the one thing that never came: TEETH. At nearly 13 months old, AB still doesn’t have the first sign of teeth! After a few trips to the pediatrician’s office, I was reassured that, while it is a little bit rare, plenty of babies don’t get their teeth until they are nearly 18 months old. There’s nothing to worry about. PHEW.
But it did present us with a few road blocks when it came to making dinner every night. At first, I didn’t want to give her anything but purees. I was sure she wouldn’t be able to handle it. Thank goodness for the hundreds of different flavors of travel pouches that lined the baby food aisles of the grocery store, or I may have never survived. It didn’t take me long to realize, though, that sucking down goop from a pouch day in and day out is no way for a baby to live. She wanted what we were eating, and she made no bones about telling us.
For the most part, Annie has no trouble eating all the same foods as us. Her veggies just need to be cooked a little bit longer, and she steers clear of things that she would have to tear, like steak. I also take extra care to make sure she’s never serve anything in a round shape to prevent choking. Cheese gets cubed or shredded, chicken is diced, blueberries are quartered or mashed. The real nitty gritty of it all came when I was trying to get meal ideas and flavor combinations to shake it up a little bit.
I stumbled across a Facebook group called Baby Led Weaning Without The Woo. I was hesitant just based on the name – I consider myself to be a little woo. I’m somewhere in the middle. I vaccinate, but I also make cleaning products with natural ingredients from my house sometimes. After spending some time chatting with members of the group, I realized that, when it comes to feeding Annie the best meals possible, I wanted to use evidence-based information to get it right. This seemed like the place to get it done.
Moms, pediatrician’s, nurses, and nutritionists moderate the group as people share the meals they have made for their children, what age they are, and how much actually gets eaten vs. thrown on the floor. If someone serves their child food that isn’t cut or mashed properly, a moderator will chime in to let them know the proper way to get it done. It’s all very civil, and super helpful if you’re like me and have no idea what you’re doing.
If you’re just getting started, they also provide a lot of really helpful information about high chair safety, brands they trust, and tips and tricks to keep your child engaged during mealtimes. I also follow a few Instagram accounts that provide similar tips and meal ideas.
If you haven’t subscribed to my YouTube Channel, I provide a lot more niched down content than I do on this website. This is kind of a free for all of everything going on in my life, from style to business to motherhood and everything between. One my channel, I share cleaning and mommy lifestyle videos that I hope are super helpful and encouraging to other moms who work from home or in the home exclusively.
In this week’s video, I shared a little bit behind the scenes about how I grocery shop and meal prep/plan for our one year old toothless wonder. Watch it here with me and I’ll share the meal ideas from the video below!
Before I jump into this, I wanted to refer back to the Facebook group above so you can talk to professionals and seasoned vets about this stuff. I am not a pediatrician or a nutritionist! But all of these ideas came directly from resources like that, specifically tailored to my child. For example, when we began transitioning to whole milk, I wasn’t dead set on giving Annie cow’s milk because we never really drink it in the house. Why not give her a plant based option like we drink? We have almond milk with everything for the most part, but unfortunately, almond milk is too high in sodium for babies (and honestly, it’s a lot even for us) and the only plant milk options that I thought checked all of her boxes were either crazy expensive or weren’t available in our area. So, I’m glad I had my pediatrician and the Baby Led Weaning Without The Woo Facebook Group to work through those decisions with me!
Here’s what I meal prepped and have on hand in my fridge from today’s video:
The leftovers create a whole lot of snack options if you bought all the same things from my grocery lists, including all the steamable vegetables or steamed and diced fruits. I’d love to know what you make for your babes so I can get more inspiration! I love to season her food well without using any salt and introduce new tastes and textures all the time, so I need more ideas!
there's a first time for everything, and I share those firsts here every week. to chat one on one, follow me on Instagram @becs.lynk