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<p>My aunt made her own baby food from veggies she grew herself. (I don't remember what she did for fruit.)  That is about as natural as you can get. Her kids grew up to love vegetables because they never had processed junk to eat.</p>
<p>My mom's other sister gave her kid jarred food and junk from day one.  He was one of the kids who ate nothing but junk food and fast food when he got older.</p>
<p>Being that this is my only experience from this sort of thing, I totally want to make our LO's food.  I'm really excited about starting solids in the near future. </p>
<p>Does anyone have any  advice, recipies, stories, or experiences you could share?</p>
<p> </p>
<p>I bought 2 cookbooks - Parenting: Love in Spoonfuls and Super Baby Food</p>
<p> </p>
<p>What did you feed yours first? Our pediatrician wants us to start with oatmeal.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>What did you do different from the norm and why?</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Is there anything you figured out that made it easier?</p>
 

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We went with baby-led weaning (BLW), so we skipped purees altogether. My daughter's first food was a slice of avocado she fed herself. We're also holding off on grains until 12-18 months, so no cereals here either. Cecilia now eats a variety of fruits, veggies and fish.<br><br>
Gil Rapely's book <a class="bbcode_url" href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/redirect.html?ie=UTF8&linkCode=ur2&camp=1789&creative=9325&tag=motheringhud-20&location=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.amazon.com%2FBaby-Led-Weaning-Essential-Introducing-Foods%2Fdp%2F161519021X%2Fref%3Dsr_1_1%3Fie%3DUTF8%26s%3Dbooks%26qid%3D1289419172%26sr%3D8-1" target="_blank">Baby-Led Weaning</a> is a great place to start, and there are many online resources as well.
 

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<p>We are also doing baby led weaning, but I'm also following some "rules" whereas some who do BLW just give babies whatever they are eating. I'm introducing things one at a time to make sure there are no allergies (b/c DS already has issues when I eat dairy and soy) and waiting 5 days to introduce the next thing. We've done pears, bananas, carrots, potatoes, and other soft chewables. We skipped rice cereal because it doesn't really have any nutritional value. I actually didn't follow my ped's recommendations at all, other than what NOT to feed, like citrus, wheat, dairy, etc. only because of my concerns about allergies.</p>
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<p>DS loved feeding himself! It helped to cut the food into "strips", kind of like french fries, so he could hold it in his fist and still get a bite. He'll also feed himself if I load the spoon, for food that is too mushy for him to grab.</p>
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<p>I have to say that I do agree with your thinking in terms of introducing whole, healthy foods to get your DC off to a good start. My parents did that with me, and I plan to do the same. However, I think a little bit of junk food now and then is ok, like my mom used to let me eat birthday cake and stuff like that when I was older and at someone else's house. I remember a lot of the time I didn't like it anyway and wouldn't even eat it, but I think that's better than making some foods "forbidden" to your child because that seems to cause other problems. Not that I'm saying you would do this, it's just my two cents!</p>
 

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<p>Baby's digestive systems can't digest grains until 12-18 months, so I won't be introducing oatmeal or rice until then. I plan on waiting until 12 months to introduce the sweet fruits. My mom did this so that the baby's taste buds were very accustomed to savory vegetables first before tasting the sweet stuff. That includes fruit juices. This method can help avoid the 2 year old vegetable rejection :) Babies do not need the blood sugar skyrocketing that occurs with fruit juices---I probably won't introduce juice until 2-3 years and I know that is unusual. But I'd rather give the fruits whole, with the self-contained fiber that prevents that blood sugar spike. </p>
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<p>I do plan on using purees---here is the list and schedule I've made for myself and baby, of course subject to change as we muddle along together in about 5 months :) </p>
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<p>Around six months (or when baby establishes readiness), I will begin with the following veggies. I will puree them raw in a baby food mill or the blender. I plan on doing avacado first (good fats for brain growth!) and then following with spinach for iron. </p>
<p>Avacado</p>
<p>Lettuce/spinach</p>
<p>Peas</p>
<p>Zucchini</p>
<p>Cucumber</p>
<p>Bell peppers</p>
<p>Carrot</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Eventually (between 6 and 9 months), I will start adding in cooked vegetables. They will be steamed or baked and then pureed in a baby food mill or the blender. I will probably add in a dash of olive, flaxseed, or coconut oil to facilitate the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins. </p>
<p>Squash (butternut, acorn, yellow summer)</p>
<p>Eggplant</p>
<p>Sweet Potato</p>
<p>Broccoli</p>
<p>Parsnip</p>
<p>Beets</p>
<p>Turnip</p>
<p>Pumpkin</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Sometime between 9 and 12 months I will introduce beans such as navy, black, pinto, kidney, lentils, and chickpeas. I will throw the dry beans into the crockpot, cover with water, and cook on low or high until very soft. Then I will mash them up a bit with a fork and add some olive, flaxseed, or coconut oil. </p>
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<p>At one year, I will introduce scrambled eggs, homemade breastmilk yogurt (made with a probiotic capsule so I needn't use a spoonful of cows-milk yogurt as a starter), and fruit. The fruit will be cut into small chunks/slices raw. I will probably blend hard apples, nectarines, and cantaloupe into a chunky puree until enough teeth have come in to chew it.</p>
<p>Banana</p>
<div>Apple</div>
<div>Pear</div>
<div>Nectarines</div>
<div>Peach</div>
<div>Plum</div>
<div>Watermelon</div>
<div>Cantaloupe</div>
<div>Berries</div>
<div>Figs</div>
<div> </div>
<div> </div>
<p>Somewhere between 15-18 months I will introduce small bites of animal protein (beef, lamb, turkey, chicken, and fish) and grains (brown rice, oatmeal, quinoa, whole grain bread, whole grain pasta, and millet). By then baby will most likely be eating off of our plates and no extra preparation would be needed. At around 2 years old I will introduce raw goats milk, and I plan to wean from breastmilk by 3 years of age.</p>
<p> </p>
 

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<p>I am much, much more mainstream in how I feed my baby. For various reasons, we started feeding DS at a week before 5 months. His first food was Earth's Best Sweet Potatoes. He also has had some whole grain oatmeal. Jarred baby food has come a long way. It's easy to find organic, well made baby food these days. It's not all Gerber junk. It's totally awesome to make your own baby food, I just wanted you to know that I don't think it has a huge difference in what kids eat. I think like many AP techniques, it is often the caring person behind the technique that makes the difference, not the technique itself. A parent who makes their own baby food is more likely to "go the extra mile" in all aspects of parenting. For me, it's just not something I want to take on right now so I use organic baby foods.</p>
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<p>We do feed the oatmeal because he seems to digest it well and enjoy it. I did not think it was entirely necessary so if you don't want to do it, don't. I try not to micromanage and overthink feeding, I think this stems from my failure to breastfeed. Food is just for fun in the first year so it's not such a big deal if you don't feed them everyday or whatever you feed them as long as nursing is going well. I also don't totally buy into the not eating fruit until after a year because they'll become addicted to sweet food, but that's just me.</p>
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<p>The truth is my baby seems to love eating, he giggles the whole time and has no trouble moving the food from front to back and sitting up to eat. I often let him hold a spoon and he'll bash it into baby food on his tray and lick the spoon. I let him make a mess because he's a baby, it's so cute.</p>
 

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<p>I have an 11 month old, and we did BLW where DS really got to set the pace. We watched carefully for food sensitivities but since we haven't had reactions so far we've relaxed a bit. We avoid processed food, artificial flavors/dyes, and too much sugar, but otherwise I've been letting DS try almost everything we eat. I love to cook healthy flavorful dishes and I try to model healthy eating to DS. He so far loves vegetables (raw and roasted), traditional live fermented sauerkraut, meat and fish, plain yogurt, and seems to prefer savory to sweet. I hope that if we enjoy healthy food and try to make it delicious he will grow up to like it. <span><img alt="eat.gif" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/eat.gif" style="width:31px;height:26px;"></span></p>
 

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<p>With my first, we mashed food with a fork to start (banana, avocado, pear, etc) at 5.5 mos. and moved onto real food shortly thereafter.</p>
<p>With my second, we did BLW and started at 6 mos. with sweet potato fries, blueberries, peach and pear slices, avocado slices rolled in baby cereal, etc. </p>
<p>With baby 3, who is currently 4.5 mos., we have done a few spoon foods (applesauce, soup) and banana, apple slices, bread, sweet potato fries, etc. I'm feeling a lot less attached to any specific method this time around. If it's a healthy food and she wants it, she can have it, whether or not it requires a spoon. </p>
<p> </p>
<p>I have to say that sweet potato fries have been a huge hit with my babies. Banana and peaches are up there too. </p>
 

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<p>We started solids shortly after my ds's 6 month birthday. He is now almost 7 months and so he's been eating solids for about 3 weeks. I was keen to try BLW with my little guy and also had purees made ahead of time and frozen. I must say BLW didn't go as well as I hoped - so much gagging that I didn't feel right in continuing with it. I was worried that eating would be so stressful for my ds that he would dislike the whole thing. We love food and the one hope I have for him with regards to eating is that he have a curious and wide-ranging approach to food. So we've been pureeing his food for the most part. Breakfast is usually millet cereal with some fruit mixed in. Supper is pretty varied. He loves meals with lots of flavour rather than a single vegetable. I do give him the opportunity to gum a peeled apple or banana or something like this when we're eating these foods. He does love these snacks.</p>
<p>I find <a href="http://www.wholesomebabyfood.com" target="_blank">www.wholesomebabyfood.com</a> to be a great resource for recipes or food combining suggestions.</p>
<p>good luck!</p>
 
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