When my son turned 6-months old I became obsessed with making sure he enjoyed eating all types of food. While we’ve had our ups and downs (we just went through the “throwing food when I don’t want it” stage), little Tommy is a pretty good eater so far. Fingers crossed it stays that way!
Here are the top 5 resources and tools I continue to use:
1. Weelicious.com! – I just LOVE this site. It is so useful and full of great ideas for baby food, toddler food, and family food. When I’m in a rut I go to this site for inspiration. Weelicious is about wholesome food that is still delicious. They make all their everyday recipes with no (or little) refined sugar and nothing artificial. In my fridge right now is the apple walnut puree (I stir it into oatmeal and yogurt for me too!) and the edamame hummus. I also love the banana wheat germ muffins and the pumpkin apple muffins. The recipes are always easy and not time consuming.
2. Baby Led Weaning – A friend introduced me to this “BLW” method of eating solids. I used it for Tommy and it’s been amazing to see how well a 6 or 7-month old can eat if you try it out! The premise is that babies were fed purees when it was recommended they start solids at 4 months. Now the general recommendation is 6-months and at this age babies don’t necessarily need purees. Baby Led Weaning is about giving your baby finger food options from the beginning and letting them feed themselves. The pros: your baby feeds themselves and you can eat with them, not after them. The cons: be prepared for a mess and some food waste.
3. The Baby’s Table and Start Fresh!: Two books I love and refer to often. The Baby’s Table is excellent as it’s updated to reflect the latest Canadian baby feeding recommendations, and there are some great recipes in there. Start Fresh! is by one of my favourite chefs, Tyler Florence. Some of his flavour combos are unique and so good. He has an avocado, banana, and pineapple pudding that could be dessert for me. Many of his recipes are also online.
4. Baby Bjorn bibs and Silpats as placemats – I am all about bibs with a pocket to catch the food, especially if you are doing BLW. These bibs are my go-tos as they are washable and easy to put on. I had trouble finding a good placemat that would stay put and not distract Tommy from eating. I returned the first set of placemats I bought because they were so colourful he just attacked them! My husband suggested using my silicone baking mat and it was a great idea. It’s food safe, stays put, and I don’t mind buying extras as I know I can use them for baking for years to come.
5. Zoli products and Wean Green storage containers – For on the go meals and food storage, I get regular use out of my Zoli Snack Stacker, and wean green glass storage containers. The Zoli snack stacker lets me compactly bring multiple food items when we go out for a meal. You can get Zoli products at Hip Baby, Jack & Lola and Saf & Benjamin. The wean green containers are the perfect size for little snacks or purees. You can freeze them, heat them, travel with them, stack them…you get the idea. And they’re a Canadian company too!
Modern Mama will be hosting an Essential Series topic on Nutrition in 2012. Stay tuned for details!