Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Baby Eats: A Sample 9 Month Old's Meal Plan

For the last month or so, Ezzy has been eating actual solids (as opposed to just pureed and mashed food). I found it kind of nerve-wracking in the beginning, because I figured since he doesn't have any teeth, he would just try to swallow stuff whole and I'd have to do the baby heimlich maneuver on him. Thankfully he's good about gumming stuff into mush before swallowing. So far there are only a few things I've given him which he hasn't liked: avocado (you can check out his disgusted face in this post), potato (I really don't understand this one), certain types of bread, and scrambled eggs. We're really trying to start him off eating his fruits and veggies early, because Joe and I both know firsthand that it's harder to teach yourself healthy habits later in life. I was the child in a high chair eating McDonalds and drinking soda out of a baby bottle (Seriously. I have the pictures somewhere.) It wasn't until I was an adult that I educated myself about nutrition (the book Superfoods Rx changed my life) and started eating fruits and veggies and whole grains, and eventually gave up meat. Joe also doesn't eat meat, so obviously Ezzy will be a vegetarian when he's eating at home. I'm not going to force him to not eat meat, but I'm not going out of my way to prepare it for him either. So here's a little insight into what kinds of foods we've been feeding him lately, and what he likes at this stage (although I've heard with babies and toddlers, they like stuff one day then hate it the next, so this info could all be very different by next month.

At the Valentine's potluck we went to earlier this month, a sweet little girl was kind enough to share her peas with Ezzy, and he surprisingly loved them. Now I just microwave frozen peas for a minute, let them cool down, and he eats them plain.

Ezzy is a fan of cheese. I bought him mozzarella sticks from Trader Joe's and just tear off little pieces for him.

In the past week I've been giving him tofu when we eat it and he loves it. Once was at a vegan restaurant, and I think they just prepared it in some kind of veggie broth. I also made it for dinner a few nights ago, and I baked it brushed with a little barbecue sauce. 

Blueberries are one of his favorite things. I'm surprised by how many he'll eat in one sitting.

Also, bananas are a daily favorite for him. Instead of mashing it like I used to, I just break off little pieces for him.

We tried oranges for the first time the other day and he loved them. It was a cara cara orange, and it was delicious. If you haven't tried these, go get some today. They're in season right now and they're amazing. 

We also recently tried tomatoes, and I was surprised that he ate it without making his "you're poisoning me" face. 

Steamed beets and zucchini go over pretty well with him.

I've tried giving him beans a few times. It's hit or miss, but I'll keep trying because that's a pretty big staple of a vegetarian diet.

Frozen whole wheat waffles were his first finger food, and he still eats about one a day. And he still likes them straight out of the freezer. No warming necessary.

I've started carrying little puff cereal snacks with me wherever in case he needs something to much on. I've tried giving him plain cheerios, but so far he isn't a fan.

He still eats purees, but I usually add a little plain greek yogurt and some Gerber oatmeal cereal for a little extra iron and protein. 

Here's a day's sample meal plan for him (actually, this is what he ate yesterday):
  • Breakfast: frozen waffle + banana.
  • Lunch: veggie puree + yogurt + oatmeal.
  • Snack: Blueberries.
  • Dinner: cheese, peas, steamed beets.

Also, I'm still nursing Ezzy about 6 times throughout the day and night. Lately I've just been trying to feed Ezzy a little bit of whatever I'm eating (as long as it's soft enough) so he can get used to different flavors. We're lucky that he's a good eater. Even though he'll sometimes start off with a horrified look on his face, he usually finishes eating whatever is in his mouth instead of immediately spitting it out. Also, he's gotten really good about feeding himself. He'll pick up his food with his pincher and thumb, examine it, sometimes pass it back and forth from one hand to the other, and then cram the food + his whole fist in his mouth. It's seriously one of the cutest things to watch. One thing I've learned though is to only put one bite at a time on his tray, otherwise he thinks they're toys and starts banging them together and throwing them on the ground.

I want to get a little more creative and give him some homemade veggie nuggets and pasta, so I'll give an update on how he likes those in the future. If anyone has any other healthy baby meal recommendations, please let me know! I'm always on the lookout for food inspiration

And, just because, here are the many faces of Ez while eating:
One bite for my mouth. One bite for the floor. One bite for my shirt...
What is this???
I'll give it a try...
I just woke up, get the camera out of my face.
Scowling at Daddy while eating.
Ack! Call poison control!!
Food or toy? I haven't decided yet.

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