My daughter liked the bananas I gave her last week but she LOVED the apples I gave her this week.  I'm amazed at how quickly she is adapting to eating solids.  If there was any doubt in my mind that she was ready to start solids, those have been alleviated.  She has even started grabbing the spoon and directing toward her mouth and she is spitting out a lot less.  Apples have been the easiet baby food so far as I simply purchased a jar of organic applesauce from the Whole Foods store.  If you choose to buy the premade applesauce just be sure to check the ingredients because the only ingredients should be apples and possibly water.  Read up on why apples are an excellent food for your growing baby here.  If you prefer to make your own apples/applesauce here's how:
1.  Core and slice apples.
2. Steam, boil, or bake apples to soften them.
3. Mash or puree softened apples, adding water for desired consistency.
4. Freeze the puree in tablespoon servings for later use.

I gave my daughter the applesauce plain the first day.  The second, I mixed it in with her rice cereal to add a little thickness (and iron).  I warmed the mix for 10 seconds.  It doesn't really get any easier than that!  Apples are very versatile and can be mixed with lots of other foods for interesting new tastes.  Some of the foods that are good for mixing with apples include:

  • Rice or other cereals
  • Bananas
  • Avocado
  • Pears
  • Carrots
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Summer Squash

    I ordered a simple, mechanical steamer (I'd been wanting one to prepare veggies and rice for my husband and I anyway) and it arrived yesterday.  I'm planning on starting vegetables on Friday (likely sweet potatoes and or squash.)  These veggies require a little more work than the fruits I've been giving her so far so it could get interesting... stay tuned.
Bananas 07/22/2010
  1. So here's what I learned since last time:
    The Magic Bullet is amazing
  2. Even if you can mash fruits or vegetables, it may be easier to get out the machine and puree them (especially for babies who are very new to solids as they get much more smooth that way)
  3. Adding just a splash of water to the avocado mash makes it less of a chunky mash and more of a smooth puree.  You can add water, breastmilk, or formula to acheive desired consistency for your child.
  4. My baby is not too sure if she likes avocado.
   My daughter seems to have a love/hate relationship with avocados.  Yesterday was day 4 of avocado puree and she seems to enjoy them quite a bit more than the fist day (when she literally spit avocado back at me). The avocado she ate yesterday was pureed in a food processor with a splash of water, rather than mashed with a fork so it was much smoother which is part of why I think she enjoyed it more. 
Later today I plan on giving her bananas for the first time which I'm anticipating she will like a little better.  Bananas are a great 1st food for baby because they are well tolerated, are nutritious (since they don't need to be cooked or steamed they retain all of their nutrients), and are quick and easy to prepare. Find out why bananas are a great choice for one of your baby's first foods here.
To prepare them, I quite simply:
1. Peel and slice the bananas
2. Place the slices in the magic bullet and puree them until they are a smooth, slightly liquified puree (alternatively, you can mash well-ripened bananas with a fork or spoon). 
3. If necessary, add water, breastmilk, or formula to acheive desired consistency (this is probably less necessary if you use a food processor)
4. Spoon the banana puree into approximately 1tb servings into  an ice tray, freeze them, and pop the cubes into a large freezer bag.  Remember to label all your bags of frozen baby food cubes with the type of food and date and to store them as far back in the freezer as possible (and never on the door.)
Here are some good foods to mix with bananas once your baby has tolerated each of them independently:
Sweet Potatoes

Ready to puree.

Pureed bananas.

Ready to freeze.

Today I gave my 5 1/2 month old daughter her first real taste of solid food.  We started rice cereal about a month ago to get her used to eating from a spoon.  We started with very thin consistency of the cereal and gradually made it thicker by using less water for mixing. If you've ever tried the rice cereal you know that it is essentially tasteless.  Needless to say, I was pretty excited to give her something more flavorful and see her reaction.  I made the decision to try my hand at making homemade baby food awhile ago so I've been researching for a few months now.  I found this baby food making site Wholesome Baby Food which essentially has all the information you need to begin this process. To get started you will need:
  •  a blender or food processor (I use the magic bullet- the cheapest price I found for this is at Bed, Bath and Beyond for $49.99 minus 20% with their easily attainable in-store coupon for a final price of $39.99).  I chose the magic bullet because the blender cups double as microwave steamers and because it is extremely versatile for use after I'm done making baby food (can you say margaritas! ;))
  • ice cube trays (I picked up these because I wanted them to stay clean and covered but regular ice cube trays are fine)  
  • Freezer bags (for convenient storage of the "cubes" after freezing)
  • Fruits & Vegetables (I buy organic whenever possible)
  • Small Bowl (any is fine)
  • Baby Spoons (any age-appropriate soft-tipped spoon is fine)
  • Feeding Bibs  (BJ's has a multipack similar to this one for cheap) TIP: I put on a regular soft bib under the waterproof feeding bib for extra protection.  My daughter loves to play with her bib and this keeps food from getting on the neck of her clothing.
I decided to start with avocado because it is packed full of nutrients, is generally well-tolerated, and is extremely easy to prepare. It is a fruit but isn't sweet like bananas or pears and I wanted to start with something that wasn't sweet so that my daughter wouldn't reject less sweet foods introduced later. Here are some other great 1st Foods for baby: Apples, Apricots, Bananas, Mango, Nectarine, Peaches, Pears, Pumpkin, Green Beans, Carrots, Peas, Sweet Potato, Squash.  A ripe avocado has a dark, green (almost black) appearance to the skin, is bumpy, and it gives a little when you push on it.  The flesh or "meat" of the avocado is a soft green color which yellows as you get closer to the pit.  Avocados peel and mash very easily so its a very quick, easy food to prepare for baby.  Quite simply, to prepare avocado you:
  1. Peel avocado (it helps to roll it around on the counter first) and remove pit (there is no need to cook or steam avocados)
  2. Slice avocado "meat" to make for easier mashing
  3. Mash with a fork or spoon (or blend or puree if you prefer.
  4. To freeze and store avocado you can do one of two things.  Either slice the avocado (some recommend this method to prevent browning) and freeze. When you defrost the slices you then mash them immediately prior to feeding. You can also mash the avocado prior to freezing and then freeze the mash in ice cube trays in tablespoon-sized portions.  Once the avocado mash is frozen you can transfer the "cubes" to freezer bags for easy storage (and to free up your ice cube trays for other foods.)  I chose to try both ways.  I'll let you know what works out better for us.  Take a cube (or slices) out the night before you want to use them and let them defrost in the fridge.  See this link for more information about thawing and warming your purees.  Make sure that you label all your purees when storing.  They can be kept frozen for 3 months maximum.
Your result should be a smooth, read-to-feed puree.  You can add a little water to the mixture if you feel it is too thick for your baby.  When introducing a new food always introduce it by itself and try it for a few days to ensure that your baby tolerates it. The general rule is to introduce a new food for 4 days before introducing another.  Once you know your baby tolerates a given food you can start mixing it with other foods they have tolerated.  With avocados try:
  1. Avocados + Banana
  2. Avocados + Banana + Pears
  3. Avocado + Peaches
  4. Avocado + Pumpkin
  5. Avocado + Apples
For more information about avocados and for recipes for avocado mixed purees see this helpful link.
Find out why Dr. Sears ranks avocados #1 on his top list of fruits for families.

Sliced Avocados
Mashed Avocado (I mashed this a little more to get all the chunks out before feeding it to her.)
Ready for the Freezer (Some slices, some mashed)