Baby Food Versus Baby Bites

Maya pulling my hand towards her mouth

When my 7 year old, Evelyn, was a baby, I blended real food into “baby food.” I was on the right track with feeding her fresh foods but maybe I was going overboard with the complicated preparation.

Babies don’t need special blended foods.

Feeding right from your plate or bowl usually works just fine. Now, that doesn’t mean that blended baby food is totally bad. But it isn’t a must.

Why you might not want to blend your baby’s food:

  • Blending can damage delicate proteins
  • Blending takes extra time
  • Blending mixes flavors and reduces the baby’s experience of variety
  • Blended food is gooey and doesn’t give babies the chance to work the jaw
  • Baby knows when to quit eating

Why you might want to blend your baby’s food:

  • Mixed flavors make new flavors
  • Filling baby’s tummy is quicker (but why are you in a hurry?)
  • Baby can eat foods that would be otherwise inaccessible (pre-chewing could accomplish the same thing)
  • Prepared and frozen, fresh baby food is easy to drop off at day care and grandma’s house

What to feed your baby:

For specific foods and recipe ideas, please refer to the book I reviewed last week – Super Nutrition For Babies. Feed the foods right off your plate as long as they’re soft! Babies are equipped with survival mechanisms, just like the rest of us. They aren’t likely to choke. Always sit with the child and watch your baby eat. You’ll see if she chokes but chances are her reflexes will make her cough if it goes down wrong.

Good foods to feed babies include, meats, fish, liver, eggs, and butter (no starches). Also throw in a little soft fruits and avocado. If you’ve made bone broth, you can feed her some in a bottle, with a spoon, or in a cup.

When to feed your baby:

You can start feeding babies as soon as they take an interest – 6 to 7 months. Evelyn was interested right around 6 months, Maya barely took an interest at 8. During the first year, breast milk is still their primary source of calories, and their sole/main source of carbohydrates.

How to feed your baby:

Squish a piece of meat or avocado between your fingers and touch the baby’s lips with it. Once he’s used to eating, just bring your hand close to his face and wait for him to open his mouth or even bring your hand to his mouth.