Pureed root vegetables especially kumara and pumpkin are ideal first foods, mixed with a little bit of breast milk or formula to thin it down. Its better to start with vegetables, rather than sweet fruit, as baby may develop a preference for these sweet flavours.
Mix and matching different pureed vegetable, made into ice cube trays, is the easiest and most economical way of making baby food. If you have a food processor or blender, or even a handheld one. If you don’t have one, but a family member or friend does, you can do a few batches at once, once a week.
You can add meat and other proteins quite quickly with babies, and we will discuss how to do this easily, using the ingredients you would use for your family meal. Legumes, lentils and beans are a great way to get in extra protein and nutrients, including Iron, and are easily blended with the vegetable puree.
Once the baby is having ¼ to ½ cup of vegetable/protein puree twice a day, usually for lunch and dinner, and some kind of baby cereal and fruit (weetbix not until 8 months due to the high levels of fibre), for breakfast, and is heading towards the 7month mark, you can change to consistency to a more mash consistency. You would be thinking about adding some soft finger foods now as well, can increase the variety of foods and flavours.
Again, by 8 moths, baby should be having 3 meals a day, around ½ cup of mashed consistency, with vegetables, legumes, pulses, lentils, meat, dairy, egg, nut butters, fish, cereals, fruit and a good variety of finger food. Their milk consumption will drop, to around 600mls, so they are hungry enough to eat the nutrient rich foods, and their milk feeds will be around 3 a times a day, usually before going for a sleep, or to bed at night. By 1 years, they should not be having more than 300mls milk a day. It is around this age that they can have normal cows milk in their bottle or cup instead of a bottle of formula or breast feed. But they can have dairy in their solids from around 6-month, cheese, yoghurt, custard etc.
A 1 year old eats far more than a 2 years old, and toddlers have a very natural and normal resistance to some new foods. Around this age, parents often worry that their child isn’t getting enough, and it can become a battle. This is something to avoid.