Hey y’all and welcome back! Feeding a baby, whether it be breastfeeding, formula feeding, purees or solids, is tough! Although it is so fun to watch your baby try different things and grow their taste buds, it can be super time consuming and challenging mentally. It feels like I am always cooking and cleaning, cooking and cleaning. And if it’s not that then I am always looking up new recipes or ways to increase Andee’s iron intake or how to make sure she gets something from each food group every day. The list goes on and on.
In previous posts I have shared about Andee’s struggles with formula and our solid adventures. I make almost every food Andee eats, but I realize what a privilege that is. Being at home on a year long maternity leave and having the finances to purchase a wide variety of foods for my baby is not something that every parent experiences. So please know that I while I may complain about the hardships of feeding Andee, I ultimately do know how fortunate I am to be able to provide food for her like I do.
Having mentioned that I make most of the food Andee eats, sometimes I don’t have the food on hand or have the energy to get all gourmet up in da kitchen, know what I’m sayin? Sometimes ya just gotta throw a meal together because big girl’s gotta eat! So that’s what this post is dedicated to – throwing it together.
Throughout the day I try to make sure Andee has some protein, dairy, fruit, vegetable and grain. Common proteins I keep in the pantry are beans and sardines. Eggs are also a HUGE staple for us. Hard boiled eggs, omelets and scrambled eggs are fast, easy and delicious. Greek yogurt and nut butters are other easy ways to include protein, and also a bit of dairy!
Other dairy items I always have on hand are cheeses. Shredded cheddar cheese or goats cheese work really well as does mascarpone cheese. Sometimes I will even do a grilled cheese using swiss cheese. If I do it that way, Andee is getting some grains in as well. Sour cream is another dairy that I will sometimes use. It’s great for holding foods together. For example, I made Andee some black bean burgers, but they are very crumbly. So I crumbled the burger up in a bowl and mixed it with a tablespoon of sour cream. This made it much easier, and a bit messier, for Andee to eat.
Some other grains to have around are quick oats – I make a lot of overnight oats for Andee – bread and couscous. I buy Ezekiel bread for Andee because it is healthier than the sourdough bread Keenan and I like. Couscous is great because it takes like five minutes to make, and it’s even easier for Andee to eat after it’s been in the fridge for a day. This is because it sticks together a bit more when it’s cold, so she can pick it up easier.
Two other things that I always have on hand are hemp hearts and sesame seeds. Both provide great nutrients and I just sprinkle them on top of whatever Andee is eating.
Fruits that I really like to have around are bananas, plums, berries and oranges. I buy fresh fruit each week, but I also have frozen fruit on hand. I use the frozen fruit in the overnight oats (great recipe here) and to put in the mesh food feeder (US link) to help with teething. I’ll also sometimes boil the frozen fruit down, puree it, and then freeze it in ice cube trays. Then if I ever don’t have fresh fruit on hand, I can quickly thaw some ice cubes in the microwave and mix it with yogurt and a nut butter for a simple, but delicious meal.
Vegetables I have found to be pretty beneficial to have around are bell peppers, cucumbers, avocados and sweet potatoes. I serve the bell peppers, cucumbers and avocados raw, but I obviously cook the sweet potato. I find it the easiest and quickest to make sweet potato spears (recipe at bottom of this link) as opposed to baking a full sweet potato. The spears keep really well in the fridge for a few days and Andee loves them.
Having a decent amount of food to choose from is essential to making your life easier. Though sometimes I tend to over buy because I am thinking of the serving sizes I eat instead of the serving sizes Andee eats. But with the food I mentioned above I can quickly throw together avocado toast with hemp hearts sprinkled on top, yogurt with fruit and a nut butter, eggs, mascarpone cheese on toast with mashed berries, couscous with cucumbers, beans and lots more.
Now, I do tend to make a few foods each week, like greek pork patties or prune muffins or lemon cod cakes, but it is time consuming. However, let’s say I make 12 lemon cod cakes. I will keep about 6 in the fridge for the week and freeze the other six. That way I always have something I can quickly thaw for Andee if I need to. Things I have in my freezer now are greek pork patties, black bean burgers, beef burgers and apricot chicken patties.
And a few other staples I ALWAYS have on hand are cheerios, organic puree pouches, mum mums and puffs. These are all great to have for a quick snack with very little mess and perfect for taking on the road with you. In fact I make sure to bring some mum mums on runs with Andee because they keep her side tracked enough for me to get a decent workout in.
As I have mentioned before, Solid Starts is a great website to view when figuring out how to best serve each food. I use their database almost daily to make sure I provide Andee with foods that are healthy and serve things in ways that aren’t a choking hazard. They provide details for different age groups and have great images to support what they are saying.
These are just things that I have found to be helpful and work for us in our home over the past five months. If you have other helpful tips to share, please do so! And let me know how it’s going with feeding your little one(s). Happy day y’all!