Over the past few months, we've been working on transitioning Ro from purees to solid pieces of food (or table food). He started with rice and oat cereal around 5 months and then soon after started purees (which he still loves). When we first introduced table foods, he was a bit hesitant and seemed to take some issues with the textures of the food.
Something that helped us smooth into table foods has been Bobby's homemade vegetable and fruit purees and solids. When Ro was eating exclusively purees, Bobby made sweet potato, carrot, butternut squash and apple purees that Ro loved. Eventually Bobby started mixing the food less and making thicker, more textured foods. Now, Bobby has transferred his puree recipe into a table food recipe. At every stage in the transition process, Ro was always hesitant at first, and what I think worked for us was familiarity and persistence. Ro was familiar with the taste of Bobby's food, and I think that eased him into trying new textures from purees to bits to whole pieces. Same color, same smell, same taste. Bobby, who primarily feeds Ro his solids, was also great about continually trying new textures with each meal. He would always feed the new food first and try several bites before rewarding Ro with some purees. He would continually try the new food at every feeding until it eventually became the primary breakfast/lunch/dinner item.
This recipe is so simple and easy that it almost seems silly to share it. But if you are like me and are someone who doesn't/can't cook and you have no idea about what temperature to set the oven on or how long to cook something, then this is for you. It's something easy to refer to when you need some basic direction.
This recipe is designed to freeze and use over time. When Ro was eating only purees, we would freeze 1 oz portions into these little trays. It's an easy way to know exactly how much your babe is eating. When we transitioned to whole pieces, Bobby would just freeze big chunks (which he weighed out) in ziplock bags, which is certainly not as cute but just as handy. It's also great because it is not separated into each individual vegetable or fruit. Bobby cooks them all together, which is easier, and as he says, makes everything taste better. It's simple and easy and is great for babies just beginning purees and babies transitioning to pieces.
Without further adieu, take it away Bobby!
Greetings, this will be the first but not last time you will hear from me! Come back soon to hear about me and Ro's favorite afternoon trip!
This recipe works really with any root vegetable or hearty fruit like pears or apples. For this one we used butternut squash, sweet potato, apple and carrot. The first time we did this batch, I also included chicken which added some nice flavor to all the vegetables.
1. Chose your vegetables and fruits and wash the ones you wont be peeling. Preheat oven to 375 F.
2. Peel the vegetables that need to be peeled and cut in to rough chunks. Butternut squash needs to be halved and seeded. Sweet potato can be left whole. Core your apple.
3. Place into pan with no thoughts whatsoever. Remember this is supposed to be easy.
4. Bake for about an hour or until the root veggies are nice and tender
5. For a smoother puree throw vegetable or fruit in blender and blend until smooth. For a rougher texture, just mash. For chunks or pieces, you can peel and then slice as seen in the second photo below. When we are giving Ro pieces (average size seen in the very amateur third picture below), we reheat the whole slice and then cut into smaller pieces that he can pick up himself.
6. For the purees and thicker purees, add to your trays and freeze. Once frozen, pop your frozen portions into a freezer safe bag! For your chunks, place on sheet pan covered with parchment and then freeze. Again, once frozen, toss into freezer safe bags.
7. When you are ready to use, all you have to do is grab the portions you need and defrost in the microwave. We generally select the defrost option, let it go a few seconds before stirring and then heat again for few seconds. The medallions of sweet potato are my favorite because it lets Ro practice his finger food techniques while also being very soft and easy to eat.
We wanted to share this recipe (or maybe it's just a simple process?) because we have been able to use it and variations of it since Ro started eating solid foods. It's been our go-to and it's great because it's so easy and we trust it. We know what's in it. We know there is nothing scary or harmful for Ro.
Ro is getting more and more adventurous with his food everyday and we always want to try new things. Bobby loves cooking (and Ro loves eating), so please let us know if you have any great recommendations for table foods that are healthy and tasty.