From the Ground Up–Raising Healthy Eaters

I have been asked to do a post on an overall guide to how I feed my children from birth on.  I would love to share that! I’ve had a blast reviewing my notes from over the past four years. And I’m still going through this process with my son who is 20 months old now.

I have chosen to breastfeed my babies through 18 months. It is at 8 months when I introduce my babies to their first solids.  I will give a month-by-month list (plus yummy combinations) of the foods I have introduced for both my kids, minus a few differences which I’ll note below. Overall, I introduced both of my children to the same foods around the same months.

Remember, it is recommended to introduce a new food for four days to see possible reactions.  After four days, a new food can be introduced.  With my daughter, I was very motivated and did a new food every 4 days.  My son got a new food every 4 to 7 days (I was a bit busier at that time).

This list is so comprehensive because of how much fun I had making new foods for my daughter and exposing her to new tastes. My son, like I said, got the same foods, just not as many per month. In a way, I felt like I had failed him because I didn’t follow my daughter’s order of new foods exactly, and I’ll tell you, it is much harder with the second child because you are a lot busier anyways. I had to learn to give myself grace. Give yourself grace too. Use this list as an inspiration for you and your baby. That’s what I want this to be: an inspiration for health.

Everything was homemade.  If not, I’ll note the brands that I liked and thought were the purest.

Remember, I hold off on introducing grains until about 14 months because of the gluten intolerances in our family. I only introduce grains containing no gluten (rice, quinoa, etc.). Also we start with goat dairy around a year, and I don’t let my kids have cow dairy until between 18 months and two years. (A little bit of ice cream, if they handle it well, is fine with me every now and then).

Finally, when I mention my daughter, she is my first born. My son is my second.

Month-by-month guide (foods are listed in the order I introduced them within each month)

Eight months:
pears-very first food for both babies
(I did mango only for my son as a second food because they were available and delicious. He did not react well–he spit up quite a bit that day and was fussy–so I did not do mangoes again until 12 months)
sweet potato
butternut squash
acorn squash
Yummy combinations: pear/kale, apple/kale, sweet potato/apple, butternut squash/apple, carrot/prune, acorn squash/apple

Nine months:
sesame milk (yes, I made this from scratch. Very easy. Perfect protein to add to any fruit or veggie)
Yummy combinations: pea/zucchini, sweet potato/sesame milk, banana/sesame milk smoothie, zucchini/apple, mashed avocado/sesame milk, carrot/sesame milk

Ten months:
spaghetti squash
tahini (sesame butter- I bought the Once Again brand of organic tahini)
brussel sprouts
nutritional yeast
ground flax seeds
Yummy combinations: nutritional yeast sprinkled on avocado
Finger food readiness: bake sweet potatoes and roll little balls of the flesh in a pile of ground flax seed to make for easy gripping, dice avocado into small pieces and sprinkle with nutritional yeast to help with gripping, dice bananas into small pieces and sprinkle with either flax seed or nutritional yeast

Eleven months:
kabocha squash
split peas
Yummy combinations: broccoli/apple, broccoli/pear, lentils/nutri yeast

You may be thinking: “Some of this food is disgusting! Who gives their baby brussel sprouts or lentils?”
Answer: I do. It’s always worth a try. Of course, my daughter did not like pureed brussel sprouts the first time. So I’d mix a little in with apples, just to give her the taste. Brussel sprouts are packed with good stuff (and her mama loves them), so, why not introduce these new tastes? Why not develop tastes for a lifetime of healthy foods? I truly, truly believe this is so important. To this day, my daughter still eats brussel sprouts. She hates tomatoes, but loves broccoli, lettuce, and sweet potatoes. All I can think is I’m happy she has some favorite veggies that she asks for and actually eats. It’s all about exposure and developing tastes.

Here’s my little munchkins enjoying some broccoli.  My daughter dug this broccoli straight out of the grocery bag on the table.  Immediately my son climbed up on the chair to share in the spoils 🙂  My mama heart was so happy. (Note: I know you may not believe your eyes.  But I didn’t prompt them to do this at all.)

IMG_7300 IMG_7294

Twelve months:
coconut water
blueberries (I bought and froze a bunch and put them in a mesh feeder. Whole berries are about the only thing I put into the mesh feeders. NOTE: bananas are a terrible thing to put in a mesh feeder–does not clean well!)
green beans
garbanzo beans
almond butter (For my son, but I waited until fifteen months with my daughter).
coconut milk
goat yogurt, plain (I like Redwood Hill Farm brand)
Yummy combinations: apple/cinnamon, butternut squash/cinnamon, coconut water/banana, beet/apple, garbanzo mash/zucchini, goat yogurt with pureed peaches
(Stay-tuned for a future post about what I made for their one-year-old birthday treats that were gluten and dairy free).

Thirteen months:
hummus (I made it from scratch to begin with then started buying Blue Moose brand)
orange juice
Yummy combinations: veggie/fruit smoothies, egg frittatas with finely chopped veggies

Fourteen months:
Kelp powder (sprinkle on food in small amounts, good added nutrition)
Curry powder (I’d sprinkle a tiny, tiny bit on eggs before scrambling. The turmeric in it is so nutritious!)
Olive Oil
Rice (plain rice puff cereal and cooked rice)
Quinoa (I used Ancient Harvest Quinoa Flakes to make a hot cereal and the cooked whole grains)
Nutmeg (tiny bit sprinkled in Quinoa oatmeal)
Hazelnut milk
Yummy combinations: rice and scrambled eggs, baked egg casserole with spinach and quinoa, hazelnut pancakes (recipe to be posted in a later post)

Fifteen months:
almond butter
Yummy combinations: almond butter is SO good on sweet potatoes!
Larabar plug: I felt my babies chewed things well enough at this point to give them Cashew Larabars. Cashews soften easily especially sitting with dates in a Larabar. These were easy-to-grab snacks.

With any new foods after this, I stay on a four-day new food introduction until my children are two years old. I do this to watch for any reactions.
Finally, as I mentioned earlier, I introduce cow dairy anywhere between 18 months and two years and corn around two years.

I hope you find this helpful and something you can use as a guide. Please ask me questions any time! Health is a passion of mine!