You guys – I am back to the blogging world! It’s only taken me a year since I had Jack and Remy to get here, but I’m finally back and I’m excited.
I don’t know about other parents out there, but having babies really zapped me of my creativity, and frankly a lot of my motivation. As the boys got older, probably around 10 months, I started having the desire to start recipe developing again and would randomly think of ideas throughout the day like I used to. I’ve given this lack of motivation a lot of thought and my theory is hormones. As soon as I stopped pumping, it was like this “baby cloud” was lifted from me. Not only did I have SO much more time, I was able to focus on myself again, and some head space was freed up to start thinking about things other than how to feed my babies. It took some time but I’m really excited to have that creative drive back. Now that the boys just had their first birthday (how?!) I’m definitely into a groove with the twin thing and am excited to blog about being a mom, things I am loving and not loving, and recipes!
As far as recipes go – my cooking has definitely changed and I think most of you will be very happy about this! It’s a lot of the same paleo-type food, still very clean and whole-food based, but my recipes are very busy-parent friendly and in general, seem to require fewer ingredients, pots and pans (who has the time?!) and recipe steps. I think this is a blessing for all.
On that note, I’ve been wanting to share a little bit about our journey with solids. We started out very slowly around 6 months but they wanted nothing to do with food. I am a big believer in waiting for cues from your baby that they’re willing and ready to eat solid foods, and I just wasn’t getting that from them, so we waited another 4-6 weeks to try again. Everything I have read essentially says “before one, just for fun” since the bulk of their nutrition is still coming from formula or breast milk. This helped me relax and not worry if my kids weren’t super interested in eating for that meal, or even for that day.
We started out with soft things they could pick up on their own, like bananas, whole strawberries (they loved to pick it up and use it as a teether), cucumbers, avocado slices and soft veggie burgers. Even though we were giving them larger pieces of food than they could eat, it introduced them to a lot of different textures and flavors. In the beginning there was a lot of gagging and I wasn’t a huge fan, but I learned to trust the baby gag-reflex and we never experienced one of the babies actually choking (knock on wood).
My main goal was freedom with feeding. I didn’t want to be stuck sitting in a chair spoon feeding the boys while they ate each meal. I wanted it to be a time for them to explore their food, but also to give me a breather! There are times I want to feed them something soupy or pureed, so I’ll sit down with spoon, but for the most part we have some independent eaters.
Another thing I’m into – no need for “baby food”. Why can’t a baby eat what adults eat? It expands their palate, makes meal times easier because you aren’t making separate foods for baby, and is all-around more nutritious. Here are some of the things we feed Jack and Remy on the regular.
Note on cow’s milk and dairy – You won’t see any cows milk on this list (unless it’s lactose free). Long story short, Jack and Remy were spitting up like crazy when I was eating regular cow’s milk dairy products when I was breastfeeding/pumping. I removed dairy around 4 months of age (took me a while because I was really into my dairy) and it was overnight that they stopped spitting up. So, I am still not giving them cow’s milk and hope they eventually grow out of it. I will do another post on my favorite baby formulas we used.
Hard Boiled Eggs
Forager brand Plain Cashew Yogurt (I find this at Whole Foods) with Chia Seeds
Plain Green Valley brand Whole Milk Lactose Free Yogurt (also buy at Whole Foods) with Chia Seeds or Hemp Seeds
Organic rotisserie, chicken thighs or breasts cut small and mixed with guacamole, hummus or pesto
Butternut squash – cubed and roasted with cinnamon and salt, or pureed and spoon fed
Hilary’s Organic Veggie Burgers – topped with hummus and guacamole – You guys. These are amazing. I end up making myself one each time I make one for them. Not mushy, and SO much flavor. I love the Hemp and Greens, World’s Best Veggie Burger, Adzuki Bean Burger and the Spicy Thai. A little pricey, but SO good.
Spoons of organic peanut butter, almond butter or cashew butter – they LOVE this and it keeps them busy if they start to get fussy while eating 😉
Green smoothies leftover from mom or dad – given to them by spoon, but I want to put these smoothies in their straw sippy cups eventually
Ground turkey or beef, plain or mixed with marinara or pesto
Homemade banana bread – I don’t use sweeteners in the baked goods I make for them – here’s a link to my grain, dairy and sweetener-free banana bread, and here’s another one I love (I just don’t add maple syrup if I’m making it for the boys)
Paleo Pumpkin bread – recipe coming soon!
Almond Butter Pancakes – usually give them plain or top with grassfed butter or nut butter
Paleo Pumpkin pancakes made with Tigernut flour (recipe coming soon – these are AMAZING and no sweeteners)
Guacamole – spoon-fed
Black beans – whole
Tolerant brand Organic Black Penne or Organic Red Lentil Spiral Pasta – tossed with guacamole or hummus and sometimes cut up chicken, ground beef or turkey – this is one of their all-time favorite things
Chicken Pesto Pasta – Organic gluten-free pasta mixed with this kale pesto hummus and shredded chicken
Broccoli – steamed or roasted with garlic and salt and pepper
Oatmeal – I am more of a fan of breads with oats in them, so they can feed themselves, but they do love regular oatmeal
Assorted olives – they LOVE these sliced into small pieces and a great source of healthy fats
Redwood Hill Farm brand Goat Kefir (Kefir is fermented yogurt, and yes, goat milk is dairy, but they tolerate it very well as it tends to be easier to digest than cow’s milk) – I buy this at whole foods and blend it with a couple strawberries or blackberries and let them sip it, or mix it with chia seeds and spoon feed it. Tons of good probiotics in Kefir.
Organic Lundberg brand Thin Rice Cake Crackers – usually topped with hummus or nut butter Wild-caught salmon and cod – roasted with salt and pepper
Wild-caught canned salmon salad (we buys ours at Costco) – mixed with a little mustard and organic mayo – they surprisingly devour this and all of the omega-3’s are SO good for their growing brains
This is a MESSY stage of life. I may feel like I am always cleaning my floor, highchairs and my kiddos, but it’s worth it knowing I’m providing them with nutrient-dense baby fuel. I am always on the hunt for new kiddo feeding ideas, so I hope this list helps! Ask me if you have questions, and I can’t wait to continue exploring other foods these babes love.