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Babies, Purees and Organic Food

Discussion in 'Cookery' started by nick909, Oct 26, 2011.

  1. nick909

    nick909 Star commenter

    Our little girl is fast approaching trying her first solids and so I've been doing all sorts of research into what we're going to feed her. D has been in charge of her feeding so far, so it's nice to be given some responsibility and feeling like I can do more in this respect!
    We're going to do a combination of finger food and purees, and I've host of ideas for purees but I thought I'd pick the brains of the foodie parents on the forum to get some advice an opinions.
    Firstly - purees. Lots of recommendations for purees and the shop-bought versions seem to have combinations of veg and fruit in their purees. I can't help feeling that it would best to start simple with baby purees, featuring just one ingredient - such as apple, or banana, or white bean - rather than a combination. Surely the simpler the flavour, the simpler it is for baby to get used to the tastes and build up a range of individual experiences, rather than mixed ones?
    Also - recipes suggest purees such exotic fruit such as mango and papaya. Given that these are expensive, and babies often waste a lot of their food, I'm a little cautious. Surely to a 6 month old baby, an apple is just as exotic as a papaya? I'm sure I didn't eat mangoes as a baby or even a small child and I don't feel as if I missed out.
    Lastly - lots of books/texts recommend organic veg and pulses for pureeing. I'm highly dubious about the benefits of organic food, especially where it's been stored in a supermarket for a while. Freshly picked veg, organic or not, is the veg that's going to be highest in nutrients, no? I take on board that the sprays on crops will be ingested in higher quantities relative to baby's size, but the payoff of fresh fruit & veg (such as those from our farm shop which are sold within hours of being picked and, of course, don't include mangoes and papayas) would surely outweight the benefits of supermarket organic veg which might be weeks old by the time it's cooked and consumed.
    Anyone have thoughts or advice on any of these?
    Any other tips and advice on weaning are welcome!
  2. henriette

    henriette New commenter

    First food for our 2 was baby rice mixed with formula, then on to single fruit purées: apple was good, as was pear. Courgette went down a treat but neither liked pea, carrot went straight through them both and potato had a peculiar texture.
    After a couple of months, I started combing the individual purées to build more complex flavours.
    I would agree with you there, but.... I do think that very small children need to be exposed to strong flavours (such as mango) or they will eventually develop a palate for very bland food. We used to give our a bit of whichever exotic fruit we were eating, rather than get them in specially.
    I always went for local, fresh produce (still do) - I'm unconvinced by the organic story for vegetables as well.

    Prepare food in bulk and freeze it in tiny portions (ice cube trays are fabulous for this) and start puréeing up a bit of your meal for when she moves on to meat : it can never hurt to have a supply in the freezer, especially for when Donna suddenly invites everyone from Mothers and Babies group back to your for lunch and 5 under-1s have to be fed!! (maybe that isn't her - it is what I used to do, though!

  3. Single fruits and vegetables are absolutely fine. Sometimes I mixed fruits/ veg together if I only had a little of each left in the freezer. Definitely agree that you do not need to buy exotic or organic. Obviously you can if you wish but there's certainly no need to. My LO has seasonal fresh produce and I think this is best. Babies naturally have a sweet tooth so getting them to eat mango (for example) is not going to be difficult later on!
    I would say don't be alarmed if it doesn't all happen as easily as you hope. My hubbie and I both love food and I was very excited about the start of weaning. I thought I'd easily get my daughter eating everything and anything! She had other ideas. It took her long time to be very interested and she goes through phases. Sometimes she doesn't eat much at all and other days she eats masses. You have to be very careful not to get stressed when baby doesn't eat what you have spent the last hour lovingly preparing. I'm not sure about freezing big batches of purees. You can make loads of it and freeze it all only to find baby won't touch it! Such a waste of your time and the food. Also my LO did not want to be spoon fed for very long at all. She is very independent and from an early age would push the spoon away and tightly shut her mouth. BUT give her finger food (a slice of toast/ fruit/ roasted veg etc) and she was happy to eat away. Lots of puree in the freezer would have been wasted at our house.
  4. wiemaranerlover

    wiemaranerlover New commenter

    When my daughter was weaning (admittedly nineteen years ago), I used to cheat and buy baby organix foods - they were brand new on the market at the time - she loved the puréed stage, but hated the lumpy stage, and was far happier with toast/carrot sticks/bread sticks/sausages/cucumber sticks which she could feed herself with.

    I had friends in the NCT who did their best to make me feel guilty for not puréeing my own though!

    Have fun [​IMG]
  5. Wotworklifebalance

    Wotworklifebalance New commenter

    I have 3 children - all hulkingly tall, with enormous feet and intellects so I must have done something right.

    I would agree with the don't panic when they don't eat comments. My daughter loved solid food to start with and wolfed down potato and carrot puree for several days and then ruffed solid food for what seemed like weeks (but was in reality probably only 2 days!)

    A fave puree for the first 2 was apple and red lentil. I have a vague theory that apple puree is too acid (my own, never seen it anywhere) and breast fed babies can start to need more iron by 6 months so thought that together the apple and red lentil would be good. It is naturally sweet (try never to sweeten your baby's food; in theory it will help to avoid developing a sweet tooth but in practice this is rubbish, they have a naturally sweet tooth) but with a nicer texture. With the lentils it also contains lots of protein.

    As soon as possible all of mine were on real food. I never cook with salt so they just had a bit of what we had. I used to make lots of soups for us with lovely fresh veg and thin it down a bit for the children. Indeed, my third's first solid food was watercress soup. He was sitting on my lap as I ate lunch watching what I was doing, his eyes apparently mesmerised as the spoon went from the bowl to my mouth so I popped the spoon in to his mouth and away we went. not recommend in the baby books! The real advantage is that they were weaned on to the sort of food that they were going to be eating. The flavours were the ones that they had been getting through their milk from birth.

    Another fave was pasta. I used to give them our sauce with the tiny pasta stars which slipped down really easily (tbh they have a slightly slimy texture!). I was never overly fussed about removing all of the lumps, they seemed to prefer texture.

    A great stand-by in the early days was a tomato - admittedly this was for the 2 who were weaned in summer. Pour boiling water over a tomato for 1 minute, remove the skin, chop finely using a large kitchen knife, hey presto.

    Hope that some of this makes sense. Good luck, relax and enjoy! It's not rocket science so don't get too stressed. No baby has ever starved itself to death because it didn't like the variety of puree on offer.
  6. Wotworklifebalance

    Wotworklifebalance New commenter

    I forgot to mention - beware of the after effects of bananas and kiwi fruits!

    The fibres in bananas go brown and can come through in pooh looking like little brown threads. More alarming are kiwi fruit seeds which look like tiny, shiny black beetles and can alarm the unwary. If you use a nursery/childminder/grandparent it is always worth warning them if you have tried beetroot!
  7. Si N. Tiffick

    Si N. Tiffick Occasional commenter

    You need to get a weaning timetable- you can't start with bean purees or lentils etc until (I think) 6 months- do check. If I remember rightly pear is a good first food as it it practically hypoallergenic, and sweet! I pureed allsorts and froze them as individual puree ice cubes, then mixed them together in varying proportions to make meals. It makes no sense to make a teeny weeny cheese and brocolli pasta, then puree it, IMO. I'd flip out a couple of cubes of cheese sauce, some brocoli puree and add it to some freshly cooked stelline (don't buy baby pasta, it's a rip-off. Buy proper Italian soup pastas). This is all some way down the line. Your baby can't have proteins to start off with so start with individual fruit and veg purees. You're supposed to introduce one thing at a time so you can check for allergies. I was glad of this advice as it turned out as C is v allergic to strawberries.
  8. BelleDuJour

    BelleDuJour Star commenter

    Sweet potato is good but really just try anything!
    My own daughter went from easy to feed baby to picky child to easy to feed teen. No rhyme or reason!

  9. nick909

    nick909 Star commenter

    Great tips, thanks everyone.
  10. egyptgirl

    egyptgirl Senior commenter

    I don't feed Scarlett organic food, even though I've had friends who have told me that I'm 'damaging her future' by not doing so and who went as far as telling me that I should have eaten organic when I was carrying Harry because he would only 'have an average IQ' if I didn't! I don't see the point - the fruit and veg I feed her is either out of the garden or from the local market. Not out of a nasty jar or plastic tray like theirs...
    No more tips from me, I'm afraid. Although I am in front of you in some respects so if you need some help a few more months down the line, you know where I am!
  11. henriette

    henriette New commenter

    A is now 12; I never ate oragnic food (but did eat well) when I was growing her; her baby food was our food - no specail exzceptions!
    She is not only G&T at school, but in the "special" group identified at top 2%.
    I put it down to genetics, not food!!!!
    by which I mean - do NOT beat yourself up: children will be what they will be: inheritance speaks volumes!!
  12. nick909

    nick909 Star commenter

    Total rubbish. The IQ opinion isn't even worth commenting on.
    I always challenge those who mention the future of the planet when championing organic veg by asking if they think the airmiles involved in getting green beans from Kenya might just outweigh the damage done by spraying a few crops.
    Anyway - made a few purees - pear, apple, carrot and sweet potato.
    We tried her on some pear at lunchtime and then a little carrot at teatime. She managed about half a teaspoon of each!
    She wasn't entirely averse...but not convinced either! See for yourselves!


    I can see it's going to be a messy affair...
    Although on a positive note...she loves her highchair (Ikea, £10.99, all wipeable plastic = result)

  13. egyptgirl

    egyptgirl Senior commenter

    Don't worry. I laughed to myself at the naivety of it all. What made it even funnier is that I'm doing a PhD related to education (or at least I hope to be if I can get back into it) - do they really think I would not maximise Harry and Scarlett's opportunities for learning?
  14. egyptgirl

    egyptgirl Senior commenter

    Forgot to add - Molly looks absolutely precious.
  15. I am a wee bit distracted by daughter blethering in my ear, so forgive me if I am repeating anything already said...
    How I did it with both kids...
    first meal (i.e. not mummymilk) - reisbrei (hmmm, that is like a rice puree thingie - I made it myself - tis a bit like wallpaper glue but babies seem to love it).
    Then I kept at that for a week or so.
    Then added one new thing a week.
    So...e.g. millet brei (what is the word for brei???)
    Then carrot purree.
    Then another cereal to try (as brei).
    Then a veg (parsnip for example).
    Later mixed veg puree.
    Fruit much later (pureed) cos of the acid (much later I mean a few weeks or so, not years!)
    Then later bulking up with wee pasta shapes and stuff (or rice).
    Yoghurt pots are the perfect size for freezing individual portions.
    After about 9 months you can puree what you are eating (if you don't go overboard on the spices and herbs).
    Then after a bit, mash with a fork.
    Then just cut up into wee bits [​IMG]


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