By Kelsey on February 19, 2013 14

Our Experiences With Purees and Table Food


Baby food has been one of the biggest unknowns for us. What should she be eating? How much? When can she start puffs? How do I know when she’s full? When will she actually realize that she’s eating and not just playing? Did she get any of it down?

I can’t say I found a great resource for us or that I have all the answers. Day after day we kept experimenting and learning from our mistakes and successes - it was frustrating at times, but now I look back and realize that we found out a lot that way. I hope that in some way our experiences will be helpful to you.

1. We splurged on our high chair, and I am so glad we did. (We also have a booster seat for traveling and if she eventually wants to sit at the table with us.) Our high chair has wheels, and I roll it around our house daily so she can eat O’s while I get ready in the morning (to the bathroom if I’m straightening m hair, or to the kitchen if I’m making my lunch, etc.). It’s a great design, is easy to raise/lower, and the tray goes on and off with one hand. Roo also gets to go for rides in it occasionally, which she loves. :)

2. Our favorite bibs are cloth bibs. We have almost 20 bibs, in many different brands, shapes and colors. The cloth bibs are the only ones that Roo doesn’t get distracted with and try to eat. We throw them in the laundry when they’re dirty, but my cousin told me she washes hers in the dishwasher. Note: I only do laundry once per week, so ideally I’d have at least seven of them (we only have six). Keep in mind that Roo goes to day care and I am not responsible for cleaning those bibs. Luckily, there are some feedings where they don’t get dirty.

3. We’ve taken a slower pace. For some reason I felt a lot of pressure for her to try foods at 4 months (even when the recommendation from the AAP is 6 months), and to give her puffs before she had top teeth. The saying is “Under 1, just for fun.” Honestly, at first it wasn’t much fun for us. Once we started, we didn’t do it daily. Eventually we worked our way up to 2 meals (8 months) and then 3 meals (10.5 months). Your baby will let you know when they are ready to add table foods and when they are full. She has gagged on pureed peas (one of the thicker baby foods) and puffs (still haven’t tried them again). So at those times we just step back and try it again in a few weeks. I knew she was ready to chew table foods when I was eating a banana and she crawled over, took a bite off it, and proceeded to chew and swallow it. Success!

photo (1)

4. We’ve been very protective of her diet. We didn’t feel comfortable with rice cereal, so we skipped it altogether. She gets very little grains, and when she does it’s from oatmeal or Trader Joe’s O’s for a snack. She just recently had some dairy when we made smoothies and she wanted a taste (there was organic yogurt in it). We’ve chosen to stick to mostly fruits, vegetables and meats for now. We only buy organic. I know we can’t protect her forever (they don’t serve organic at day care or school), but we’re trying to get her started on the good stuff.

5. Homemade vs. store-bought. We made 5 sweet potatoes, 6 bananas and 5 avocados in August, and it lasted for months! I’m serious. I think it lasted five months! I wish I would have also made broccoli, since I haven’t been able to find that in stores until recently (Earth’s Best has stage 3 zucchini & broccoli). I sort of lost interest in making it, so we’ve bought jars/pouches as of late. If you do have the determination, I would make very large batches (like we did) at a time.

6. The first food doesn’t really matter. I obsessed over what food to give her as her first food, which was so silly! We chose egg yolk, which was weird (hard to cook it right), and found out at 4 months that she wasn’t ready to even swallow it. We waited a couple more months (when she was more ready) and then we did avocado. But, three days later, we tried sweet potatoes. So, what was the big deal with her first food — three days?! Haha.

7. Rooney has liked every single thing we’ve ever given her (on a spoon). Her mom (yeah, that’s me..) is a SUPER picky eater, so this is kind of surprising. She has never refused anything on a spoon, but I know that can be a common problem. She shows more fear and resistance to table foods (as seen by her face in the photo above), but we keep trying!

P.S. Ashlee’s experience was much different than mine. Check out her post!

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I love my husband, my daughter and the Internet.

  1. That first picture! Oh mah goodness, it’s adorable!

    It’s so fun to read your baby adventures :) We were pretty relaxed about the food thing, too, and all of our kids (so far) have turned out to be awesome eaters. They all have gone through a spell at 2 years old where they get picky, but we just soldier on!

  2. That first picture is oh so cute! Looks like she is enjoying whatever she is eating!
    I used this site with my first daughter and plan on using it for my second. So much useful info, recipes and ideas!!
    My now 2yr old is a picky eater so we always force at least one bite so she’ll try it, but then she can eat what/and how much she wants. She eats oatmeal for breakfast most days and then snacks till supper. She refuses to sit and eat lunch lol! So fruit, veggies, cheese, boiled egg, ect is what she nibbles on here and there through out the day. It was our dr’s suggestion. We never did a whole lot of grains either. Our second daughter is only 3 months so we’ve got a bit before we try anything, but I’ll admit I’m excited to get started!
    You’re doing great and Rooney is obviously healthy and happy so keep it up!! :)

    • Thanks, Miranda! That Wholesome Baby Food site is probably the best one out there, but I found I still had questions that they didn’t answer! I guess probably because every baby is different…

  3. You are so right on – there are so many books out there with healthy recipes for baby food, but where are the guidelines for when and how much to feed your baby? We started solids at six months and I homemade organic purees. Well, it turned out our little girl (almost 10 months now) didn’t like purees. I thought at first she wasn’t ready until I started giving her what I was eating and the floodgates opened. So she gets what we eat, either mashed or put in the food processor. Her favorite food is avocado, but happily eats anything: any kind of bean, carrots, broccoli, spinach, salmon, banana, quinoa, etc (all organic). We live in California so we have unlimited access to organic, local food. She still breast feeds on demand and has never taken a bottle. Supposedly if you feed your baby a wide range of tastes and textures they will continue to eat whatever, so it will be interesting to see if that rings true.
    Fun to read about your adventures in parenting! I am also a first time mom to a baby girl :).

  4. my son will be 4 months old on 3/4/13 so i have been thinking about his upcoming diet and what that will look like. my mom and sis gifted me a baby bullet for christmas and i am excited to use it. i was wondering why you are not comfortable with rice cereal? do they not make organic options? i have seen a way to make this homemade to insure it is without preservatives. i thought i might give it a try. is there some other reason i should be leery of it?

    • Hi Elizabeth! The article I read (which I can’t seem to locate now) said that rice cereal is very difficult for a baby to digest (esp. at 4 months). Maybe even impossible. I am not sure if this applies to homemade, though, or if it makes a difference whether you are using brown or white rice. I will say I think I am in the minority to not use rice cereal, so you will certainly not be alone if you go that route.

      • I’m in the minority with you but I think the group is growing! There several sources that discuss carbohydrates in general being difficult for babies to digest, specifically because they don’t produce much of the amylase enzyme. We basically didn’t do much (if any) cereal at all until he was around one year.

        Elizabeth- do you breastfeed? My son was exclusively breastfed and in withholding the grains and fortified cereals, he was missing out on the iron that is added to those. If you breastfeed and plan to skip the fortified grains/rice, you will just want to make sure your baby is getting enough iron from another source.

  5. First of all, that picture! SO cute.

    Was wondering if you guys read the book “Baby Lead Weaning”. I feel like I did everything wrong when it came to foods for my first. He’s 4 and we are finally overcoming his texture issues. Anyway, things have been better with our second, but am considering skipping right over “purée-ed” with the third – hoping to use baby lead weaning with this one. Curious to hear your thoughts if you have read the book.

    • I haven’t read the book, but I have read some articles and blogs about it. That is what Kari mostly did with Mylie, since she refused purees. I find it very interesting. Rooney is much more willing to take a bite off something than pick up a small piece of the same food and try to eat it that way (banana is a prime example).

      We were at The Cheesecake Factory last week and Roo reached for a piece of bread when we weren’t looking, so we let her play with it. She was able to bite off little chunks and chew it up and swallow! So, I think she might do better than I think, but I am afraid of her choking :)

  6. I totally get where you are coming from! There are so many opinions and options out there for feeding babies that it’s overwhelming to say the least.

    My daughter Penny is a few months younger than Rooney. I have made most of her purees and we do a little baby oatmeal and a little whole grain cereal. I totally understand your weariness of rice cereal. I had the same concern and voiced it to my doctor who told me that baby cereals are fortified with iron which babies need after 6 months. This scared me a little bit and made me more confused. So sometimes she gets iron from cereal and sometime from other foods.

    About puffs, I think I started Penny on puffs a lot sooner than most people. However, Penny was crawling before 6 months so according to the packaging that was a sign that she was ready. Seeing her eat the puffs so well and also eating bites of our bananas like Rooney I decided to look into baby lead weening.

    Wow I just realized that I have a lot more to say about feeding a baby that I would have guessed. Sorry for this long wordy comment. Long story short, I just wing it! If Penny is happy and not chocking I figure we are doing ok!

  7. THAT PICTURE. I just giggled. Babies are so cute when they eat.

    So fun to read about your baby food adventures, even though they were different than ours! Everett occasionally tries to chew on his bib, but he did that with cloth bibs too. Do the food stains come out of your cloth bibs?! All of ours have food stains on them after sitting in the laundry hamper for a couple days before washing. I didn’t spray them or try super hard to get the stains out, so maybe with a little more effort I could have saved them?

    Great post!

    • I do have to spray the cloth bibs before washing. Sometimes I forget, so then I have to rewash them with the spray. At least you found out what works for you and E!

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