You’d think I have things mastered and be well prepared when it came to starting solids with baby number three. You’d think I would have a plan for what to feed her, and even have food pre-prepped and frozen.
But nope. That’s not how I roll…
Partly because I can be unorganized when it comes to my personal life (don’t look in my purse!).
Partly because I didn’t know how she would roll.
Sienna was ONLY about the purees, being spoon-fed and staying clean (my former extremely picky eater).
Naomi was ONLY about the solids, self-feeding and loved getting messy (she’s my independent child and former developmental picky eater).
So I had no idea what to expect with Mackenzie.
And she turned 6 months just like that!
After helping hundreds of parents with picky eaters, including my own, I know how important it is to have a plan for HOW to feed our kids. This might shock you, coming from a Nutritionist. But WHAT to feed our kids is secondary.
As long as it’s made with quality ingredients, it’s primarily whole foods, and it’s not honey (in the first year of life)…you’re doing amazing.
Why do I care so much about HOW you feed your child?
Because research shows that how we feed our babes – right from starting solids – can influence their relationship with food for the long term. I made a lot (A LOT) of mistakes with my first daughter, Sienna. I was desperate to get her to eat so I pulled out all the tricks:
…sneaking in foods
…only feeding her kid-friendly foods
…bribing her with dessert
…making her try everything
…and the list goes on…
It took us a while to rebuild trust at the table and get her to the point she’s at today – an AWESOME eater.
So I put a lot of focus into HOW we fed Mackenzie, along with having confidence that WHAT we fed her was quality, nutrient-dense foods.
Baby Led Weaning or Purees?
Both! We actually used a mix of baby led weaning or baby led feeding, as well as purees. Here’s why:
- Baby Led Weaning (BLW): to build her fine motor skills, improve her self-feeding skills, strengthen her sensory system (by getting her hands into and on foods), and give her control of what and how much she eats. All of this is so key at this age.
- Purees: to give her more volume, especially when the BLW foods are trickier to eat (i.e. more food ends up on her lap than in her mouth), to give her more flavours, to exposure her to different textures (smooth, smooth and chunky, chunky). And honestly, just easier for feeding while on the go when there is no highchair accessible.
This child has had so much exposure to new flavours and textures, I have no doubt she’s developing a great palate.
But I did something different this time around…
The problem was that I didn’t have the time to make my own foods from scratch – at least not ones that would give Mackenzie an opportunity to expand her flavour palate. And I definitely didn’t feel great about using many of the store-bought brands of purees (most are primarily water, or mixed with ingredients I don’t love)
Baby Food Delivered by Organic Yum Yums
Especially when I knew Mackenzie was getting the best quality with Organic Yum Yums:
- All of their meals are handmade
- They are made with 100% organic ingredients
- There is no added salts
- There is no added sugars
- They are free of preservatives
- They are free of artificial colours or flavours.
- They are free of top food allergens
- They are packaged in glass jars (BONUS!)
They are also vegan, which wasn’t a big deal for us being meat, egg, and fish eaters. So I simply add other proteins to her highchair (i.e. shredded chicken, grass-fed ground beef, wild salmon, sardines..yes sardines!, etc.)
[Can you tell she’s hungry and sick of waiting for me to take photos of her lunch?]
I just throw them in the freezer for emergency meals. You know those ones when it’s 5:30pm and you realize your family needs to eat (oops!). They’ve been especially great for the summer because I can throw a glass jar in the stroller bag and by the time she’s ready to eat, my Organic Yum Yums is thawed out, yet refreshing.
How it works:
A cooler bag arrives every week with your selection of jarred baby foods. You can pick the stage of foods based on your child’s age and texture preferences as well).
Stage 1: 4+ months (Single flavoured purees)
Stage 2: 6+ months (Simple & blended combos)
Stage 3: 12+ months (Mini meals)
Stage 4: 10+ months (Finger foods)
What my babe ate (and loved)
Stage 1 and Stage 2 foods:
Stage 3 foods:
Stage 4 foods:
What I particularly liked was that Organic Yum Yums also carries a few handheld health-ified baby snacks.
These Lil’ Power Bites took some getting used to but, after a few tries Mackenzie moved on to double-fisting these little guys. Heck they even grew on me! What’s great about them is that they are SUPER low in sweeteners (which is a given in many packaged snacks you grab from the store).
And their version of a baby cookie is made with chickpeas! So you’re getting some protein into those little cookies. They are more dense then those rice-based Nums Nums, and require some oral motor skills from little ones. But because of their hearty texture they also help babies develop their jaw strength.