Thursday, August 14, 2014

Feeding Our Real Food Baby: A 12-Month Update and a Recipe for Real Deal Baby Food Popsicles

It's been a while since I've done an update on how we feed our little Paleo baby and, to be honest, he isn't so little anymore so I thought it was about time for a little peek into where we are now. If you want to catch up on Avery's introduction to solid foods you can read my six month update here and my ten month update here. If you follow me on Instagram you probably have a good idea of what Avery eats because I post a ridiculous number of pictures to share our dining adventures. Check out #paleobaby on Instagram, too, to see what Avery and lots of other Paleo babies are chowing down on!
Enjoying a lunch of strawberries, turkey and avocado
As of his ten month update, Avery had just started feeding himself finger foods. Before that, he would eat finger foods if I put them in his mouth, but he wouldn't pick food up and put it in his mouth. We had also just started giving him a sippy cup with water at each meal, but he could only use the kind that had handles. He couldn't quite grasp (physically and mentally) a cup without handles. Because he was getting the hang of finger foods we were finally able to start feeding him some of the same meals we were eating. Usually, I would separate out a bit of meat and vegetables from whatever I was cooking so that I could cut it into manageable pieces for Avery.
Sometimes we eat dirt!
I'll get into what he has actually been eating, but the BIGGEST change and the one I wish I had known about earlier is that as soon as we started feeding Avery three meals a day he immediately started sleeping through the night. Like, literally, that same night. Avery was, and still is, nursing when he wakes up in the morning, after naps, before bed and a few other times during the day when he signs for "milk". I wasn't treating solid food as a required meal because I knew he was getting most of his nutrition from breast milk. I just wanted to introduce him to as many foods as possible and get him used to solid foods. Well, apparently he was hungrier than I realized because even at eleven months he was waking up to nurse at least two or three times a night...sometimes more. We started feeding him dinner around eleven and a half months and, like I said, he started sleeping until 4:00am or 5:00am before waking to nurse and he will usually go back to sleep for a couple hours afterwards.

Would you like a snack?
Now we all eat dinner together as a family and it really is a lot of fun. I love giving him new foods and learning what his favorites are. He still nurses when he wakes up, after his nap (we are down to one nap per day now) and before bed. He usually nurses one or two other times during the day. If he is sick or teething, he still wakes up to nurse three or four times per night, which is a little rough now that I am used to getting more sleep. He also eats one or two snacks, too. And he really does eat the same meals that we do. He has eight teeth and is working on a couple more so I still cut everything up pretty small, but he is learning to take bites off of bigger foods now.

We were avoiding eggs for a while because he got sick a few times after eating egg yolks around nine or ten months, but we reintroduced them at twelve months and he hasn't had any issues. He eats eggs everyday and loves them! I think his little body just wasn't ready for all that protein because he obviously isn't allergic.

He isn't a fan of super-spicy foods (yet...) so I have lightened up the heat-factor in most of our meals, but not much else has changed.
Our gourmet Paleo baby enjoying a Jamie Oliver meal
Here is a rundown of some of our favorite meals:

Breakfast
  • Meat and veggie hash (pretty much any combination we happen to have on hand)
  • Scrambled eggs
  • Avocado - cut into chunks
  • Berries
  • Grapes - cut into fourths
  • Banana - cut into three or four pieces
  • Frittata - cut into small pieces
  • Paleo pumpkin pancakes
Lunch
  • Leftovers
  • Applegate Farms turkey - cut into squares
  • Roasted red peppers in olive oil
  • Baked potato or sweet potato - cut into chunks
  • Fruit (same as above)
  • Pickle slices
  • Cucumber slices
  • Steamed carrots
  • Avocado
  • Hard boiled eggs
Dinner
  • Any recipe you see on this site :)
  • Pulled pork or chicken
  • Ground beef or lamb
  • Seafood
  • Roasted broccoli florets
  • Butternut squash - cubed
  • Green beans
  • Sauteed mushrooms
  • Sweet potato fries
  • Cauliflower rice
Snacks
  • Fruit (same as above)
  • Leftovers (if he didn't finish his last meal)
  • Plantain chips
  • Applesauce
  • Homemade popsicles - see recipe at the end of this post...
  • Trader Joes Fruit Bars - these are awesome! If the flavor is "Apple and Coconut" the ingredients really are apple and coconut.
Eating his Trader Joe's Fruit Snack
We have also started giving Avery a spoon or fork with his meals to get him used to using utensils. Honestly, at this point he doesn't use it much. He will hold it and he does try to use it every once in a while, but I am fine with whatever he wants to do. He seems to be doing just fine with his hands for now. :) One of the funniest dining experiences we have had was when I gave him applesauce and a spoon for the first time. Let's just say things got a little messy...




Avery has gotten a few special treats now, too. He had a grain-free cupcake for his birthday with coconut cream frosting that he absolutely loved. He was a little timid at first, but after he got a taste he picked the whole thing up and tried to take a big bite.
Gimme cake!
He has also had homemade dairy-free ice cream from our new ice cream maker. He definitely has his mom's sweet tooth because he happily ate every bite that Daddy fed him. Here is the cute little video we took.

Summertime treat tools! 
I've also started giving Avery baby popsicles that are full of healthy stuff like avocado, fruits and veggies. You can really make up any combination you can think of...I even snuck some carrots into this recipe! I'll admit he doesn't quite understand how to hold a popsicle just yet so I sometimes break it into pieces for him, but he loves the flavor! If you don't have popsicle molds, you can always use small paper cups and popsicle sticks as long as you have something to hold the sticks upright. You can usually find tutorials online for how to make popsicles without the mold. I bought popsicle molds like the ones pictured above at Meijer for only a few dollars. Check out my recipe for Real Deal Baby  Food Popsicles and use it as a jumping off point to make your own fun flavors. 

                                     

Real Deal Baby Food Popsicles
Yield: 4 popsicles (you may have a little more or less depending on the size of your mold)
Time: About an hour, however long it takes your popsicles to freeze :)

Ingredients:
1 small avocado, peeled and pitted
1 apple, chopped 
1 medium banana
1/2 cup steamed baby carrots or chopped carrots
1/2 cup coconut milk

Directions:
Place all ingredients in a high-powered blender and blend until smooth.
Pour into popsicle molds and freeze.
Save any leftover mixture in the refrigerator and serve it as a puree or to refill the popsicle molds.


This post is a part of Unprocessed Fridays on Girl Meets Nourishment!