When we started Sophia on solid foods I was very particular about when, how, and what to feed her. Our family doctor encouraged us to breastfeed as long as possible and family and friends where surprised to hear that the doctor recommended exclusively breastfeeding for a year before introducing her to solids of any sort. I was successful for eight months. Due to a variety of factors my milk supply was plummeting, Sophie was exhibiting signs of wanting to start solids and we thought it was time too. So over Christmas vacation she had her first bite of "real" food-organic sweet potatoes and organic bananas. She went zero to sixty on solids and sixty to zero on breast milk. There was no gradual weaning off the breast but more like a sudden stop.
The world of solid foods was exciting and scary. This generation of parents has so much to think about when it comes to feeding their family-organic or not, homemade or prepared and packaged, allergies and intolerances. I knew/know I am not a great eater-I try but not hard enough. I loved to eat kettle chips and DQ Blizzards during my pregnancy! But I was/am determined to teach my daughter and thus myself and family better eating habits.
I made all of Sophie's first foods. Picking up fresh and often organic veggies from the grocery store or farmer's market, cooking, pureeing, freezing little cubes of sweet potatoes, collard greens, macaroni and peas with cheese dishes, mango, avocados. Many things I wouldn't have touched with a ten-foot pole! Now that Sophie is older I still try to balance her meals with vegetables, fruit, dairy, whole grains, limited fats, protein, and limited sugar.
Being a toddler her palate fluctuates in terms of what she "likes" or "doesn't like" and that more depends on her disposition that day than what she is actually responding to taste wise! Last week I found this article on MSNBC about restaurant offerings for the under 5 set. It is a helpful list of "eat this, not that" especially as many of us gear up to hit the road this summer on family vacation. It was eye opening to see the fat and calories in some of the seemingly "safe" choices.
Meanwhile in my quest for healthy, family friendly meals I found this blog.
Additionally, if you read Parent's Magazine a new monthly column called Simple Suppers featuring the minimalist Mark Bittman who wrote How to Cook Everything. (My copy of the book is splattered with oil, water, flour, and other kitchen stains from so much use!
If you are looking for a non-restaurant easy to travel and eat option. I suggest Sprout Foods. They are purees that even my toddler will eat, come in a resealable pouch, don't need to be refrigerated or heated and boost balanced nutrition and organic components. We also love Buddy Fruit for an on the go, easy to eat, mess free fruity treat.
Happy and Healthy Eating!