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11/11/13

On Raising Healthy Eaters

Around Emmett's 6 month birthday, we began to introduce him to solid food.  From the beginning, we had chosen to exclusively breast feed for several reasons; not the least of which was convenience, cost-efficiency and of course the health benefits.

When it became obvious that he needed a little more than breast milk only, we began to introduce whole foods into his diet.  Much to the delight of his California Daddy, Emmett's first taste was avocados and he has been in love with food ever since.  In the last two months, we have gone on to introduce lots of fresh fruits and vegetables into his mealtime each day.   

We live in a culture that has strayed so far from real food.  Even 'healthy' things are overly processed and pumped full of sodium and preservatives.  My hope for our home is to cultivate a family culture of clean, well-balanced eating habits.  I will be sharing more on this in the next week.

A lot of my inspiration for Emmett's food has come from the wonderful book, Weelicious.  I love how the author encourages parents to make their baby's food from fresh fruits and vegetables, as canned baby food is made to last for many months on a grocery store shelf.  My goal is to continue to make fresh food for Emmett as long as my schedule allows, remembering that relationships are always more important than the healthiest version of foods.

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The options for baby food blends are endless, but here are a few of Emmett's favorites so far to spark your own imagination in the kitchen.

// I use frozen peas for this mixture with fresh pears.  After cooking until tender, blend to desired consistency.
// Boil sweet potato and apple chunks until soft.  Blend until smooth.  Add water to create desired consistency.  Mix in several dashes of cinnamon.
// Bake a fresh pumpkin according to these directions.  Steam fresh spinach and kale.  Blend all to desired consistency.  Add water as needed.
// Blend whole oats until flour consistency.  Store in fridge.  For a single serving, boil 1/4 c water.  Add 2 T blended oats and whisk until thickened.  Chunk and boil one apple until soft.  Mix together and serve immediately.

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What are some of your favorite baby food blends?  Do you have any tricks for raising healthy, wise eaters in our culture today?!  I would love if you would share!

Happy Tuesday, friends!
xo

18 comments:

  1. Love this post! I have been looking for healthy + easy options for Cooper.
    And my husband and I are firm believers that we will not be giving Cooper the kids menu at any of the restaurants we go to as he grows up. I am always amazed at how unhealthy the options are!

    xo - Marion

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  2. Absolutely love this! I'm just now attempting to start my little guy on solids, and so far he is NOT a fan. I'm also making everything at home myself, and I hadn't even considered a blend of things. Maybe that will help...perhaps one thing is too bland? Fingers crossed!

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    1. Yes! I think blending helps a lot. I like to try what I make for him and be sure it taste good to me too. ;)

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  3. yum! william's first solid food was avocado too. such a great first food. he still eats a whole one every day :)

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    1. wow! good for him! sadly avocados are so expensive in the midwest. i need california!!! ;)

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  4. such fabulous combinations.

    i noticed when introducing new foods with Ari (especially as she got older and got to experiment with more textures) that sometimes she'd try a bite and refuse any more. I didn't push the issue, but would continue introducing it in various forms, always encouraging her to at least try some. She used to absolutely refuse tomatoes, but enough repetition and variety and now she gobbles them up both fresh or in soups/mixtures.

    Oh -- and Arianna saw the pics of Emmet and is barely letting me leave this comment as all she wants to do is look at the baby and talk to him and point out is ears, fingers, etc... so greetings to your lil' man from Ari! :)

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    1. this is so good. i love the idea of giving kids a chance to learn to like particular foods.

      i sure wish we lived closer so ari and emmett could hang out! xo

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  5. some of those i would eat. yikes. the apple and oats. sweet potato and cinnamon. yum!

    but I love that you make your own baby food! I want to do that too... one day.

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    1. yes! i like to taste test just to make sure it's eatable. ;)

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  6. The crockpot has been my best baby-food friend! Applesauce overnight, no added sugar? Perfect. Sweetpotatoes, carrots, zucchini, etc. It all cooks right up, and you keep the juices (aka- the good stuff). We also have started cooking our food with minimal salt, and blending that up for RG to eat. She'll eat pretty much anything you put in front of her, and I'm so grateful!

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    1. this is BRILLIANT! i never thought of using the crockpot. thanks for sharing!! xo

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  7. I made a lot of these combos for my kiddos too - the problem for me was them getting strong food opinions around 14 months..... :(
    Here's to hoping your little man stays strong in the healthy food department!

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    1. i'm a little worried about that. ;) one day at a time though, right?!

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    2. Yes - that's right, one day at a time! I'm having more success with my son who is almost 15 months. As long as he can feed it to himself (for the most part) he will eat it or at least try it :)
      p.s. sorry - I wrote the above, not my husband :)

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  8. This is great! I made most of the baby food for both of my boys and I actually loved it. You can get creative with it and it feels so good to give them healthy food and you know what's inside. My boys both eat what's on their plate, but necessarily because they're good eater but because they know the rules in our house! If I put it there, you eat it! And you're grateful for it! I've taken full dinners away before because the first words where "yuck!" when I served it. Oh no, not gonna fly son! Good luck girl, I think you'll be amazing!

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  9. I feel the same about wanting to fill our home with whole and nourishing foods! We actually did a hybrid baby-led weaning with my son, and are doing the same right now with my daughter. My little one is loving avocado and banana right now :)

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  10. Admittedly we have been using store bought foods, as I just felt I haven't had the time to do anything since the baby was born, although I really did have a plan to make his food. This book looks great though, and I love the combos of foods! Green beans and pears just sounds delightful!

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