Thursday, July 8, 2010

Veggie Tales

My son started eating pureed veggies at 6 months which is the current recommendation from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).  I knew he was ready for solid foods because he was constantly eying whatever was on our plates.  If he was sitting on my lap while I was eating he would open his mouth as I brought the food to my mouth...very cute until he started grabbing for the plate, fork, spoon or anything within reach.  The first puree he had was peas.  The pediatrician gave me a list of least allergic foods to start with and they consisted of peas, carrots, butternut squash, sweet potatoes, avocados, bananas, pears, applesauce, and peaches.  Luckily we don't have any real allergies in our family except my husband gets this weird rash on his forehead when he eats tomato sauce and I get tingly lips when I eat pineapple...but other then that, we are allergy free.  So I was pretty confident that Dylan would be o.k. when it came to introducing new foods.  I always observed the 4 day rule when starting a new food, and always gave the new food in the morning because I figured if he had an allergic reaction, I didn't want it happening in the middle of the night.

Once I knew Dylan could tolerate all single ingredient purees, I started mixing things up...literally.  He went through a stage where he only wanted bananas, so in order to get him to eat his veggies I mixed in bananas.  Sounds gross I know, but if that's what it took to get him to eat spinach, then that's what I did.  He really loved avocados and banana.  You wouldn't think that would taste good, but surprisingly it isn't that bad.  The nice thing about this combination is that you don't need to pull out the food processor...both ingredients are soft enough to mush with a fork and you can just mix in breast milk or formula to thin it out.  See recipe below.

The other veggie that my son loves is sweet potatoes.  They are high in beta carotene and contain vitamin B- 6, which helps the body use carbohydrates, protein, and fat needed for healthy skin, nerves, and circulation. I serve it to him pureed, but now that he is 8 and 1/2 months I just steam it and give him small chunks mushed with a fork.  He really likes picking it up with his fingers and feeding himself.

Avocado Banana Mush
1/2 Ripe Avocado
1/2 Ripe Banana
~2-3 oz. Breastmilk or formula
1 Tsp. Gerber Baby Oatmeal, Barley or Rice Cereal (optional)
Mash with fork and mix in liquid until you reach the desired consistency.
**You can prepare your own grains or rice cereal, but they need to be pulverized and then mixed with boiling water before use.  I like the Gerber brand grains because they mix instantly with warm or cold liquid.

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