Feeding a baby can be very fun! Fox started eating solids at about 5 months, and he was obsessed with all food. If we were eating it, he wanted some. Because food was such a novelty, we tried really hard to diversify the food we gave Fox, so he could try as many things as possible before he started expressing opinions about his food, and getting picky. We have entered that stage now, but hopefully we gave him a good foundation. Then again, this week I tried to feed him a delicious vegetable pot pie that only contained peas, carrots and potatoes, and he refused everything but the crust... baby steps.
Janssen did an awesome post about baby-led weaning, and said many things that are more eloquent and useful than what I will tell you today, but I wanted to tell you a little about our experience with keeping baby stuff in the kitchen minimal.
I don't like buying baby food or most baby products, because if it is marketed for a baby, it probably costs a lot. So we use as much as we can from our existing tools, and food that we are already eating. In the equipment department, I have purchased one or two things for him, and a few things were given as gifts.
As he gets older, we may need to invest in a plastic plate or two, and maybe a plastic cup, but I keep hoping that we can just have him eat off regular plates, with a broken plate or two along the way, and never have to buy plastic plates. I guess we will see if we get that lucky, or maybe I am just a rookie mom who doesn't know that that isn't possible (if it isn't, I don't want to know).
- Blender/Immersion blender/Food processor (the links are all the same model or same brand that I have at home) - any of these will work, depending on how much you want to puree (the blender or a full-sized food processor will have a hard time pureeing small amounts of food). Typically I like to take my immersion blender and stick in a smallish jar and blend his food up there. A very small mess that is easy to clean up, and I can use the jar to feed him out of and store any leftovers. Plus, jars are great for storing stuff after your baby isn't a baby anymore.
A lot of people figure if they are going to be making baby food, they might as well make a lot and freeze it. That sounds pretty great, but I never did that. I usually just blended a soft pear, a microwave-baked sweet potato or an avocado with a tablespoon of coconut oil. Simple things. Plus, it was so fast, and cheaper, healthier and fresher than store bought.
- Containers to store food - My favorite are glass canning jars. I also like my Weck jars, but the seals tend to stretch out, and don't fit properly, which can be irritating, but they are a great size and perfect for keeping a baby portion in. Plus, food just looks pretty in them.
- Cutting Board - Good for cutting fruit... I don't think I needed to mention this one, but I do use it a lot, for baby and otherwise.
- Sharp chef's knife - Another one that I probably didn't need to mention. I like giving Fox small pieces of pear, berries, apple and other easy to chew food. Mostly fruit and veggies, at the beginning, but now I feed him just about everything. And I often cut it up with a sharp knife.
Fox in the Ikea chair with the Freshly Picked mocs, which are the best mocs known to man (c/o freshly picked), and I am not saying that because they sent them to me! They really are incredible! He wears them almost every day.
Baby Feeding Equipment:
- Baby spoons - We have 6 (they came in a pack), and they are great. I particularly like them at the beginning, because they are easier on the gums than a metal spoon. I also like that they fit in Fox's mouth a bit better than a normal sized spoon. Now we switch back and forth between metal and plastic, but either one would work.
- Bibs - These are essential for most babies. As clean as you might try to keep them, babies just make a mess while they are eating. We have cloth ones, there are tons of plastic ones out there, or you could make your own.
- A sippy cup - The doctor's office recommended we get one early on. Fox actually prefers using a cup most of the time, and is getting pretty good. We just use a regular dinner glass and we help him with it. If he wants to drink on his own, we give him a sippy cup, and he navigates that just fine, too. They are great for preventing huge spills, which is nice. That is the main reason why I would suggest one.
- towels - We use these to wipe face, hands and tray after meals. I was using wipes, but that is wasteful, and expensive, so we switched to these absorbent towels that I bought as kitchen towels a few years ago. They are awesome. Soft enough to use on a baby's face and super absorbent.
- high chair - We use this one from Ikea. We love it because it is light, portable (which is good, because it's home in our house is not close to the dining table), and easy to clean.
- bowls or jars - Containers for storing or feeding food are great. I don't usually give him a bowl of food, because he likes to drop stuff over the edge, but I like keeping cheese or whatever in a bowl on the table. I like using these ones from Anthropologie (these are the big ones, but I have the mini ones, and use them regularly for baby food and late night snacks), or my Weck jars.
Do you have great tips for keeping your kitchen minimal with your baby? I would love to hear about it! I am still learning and I am sure things will change as Fox grows!
*The Freshly PIcked that Fox is wearing are the only affiliate link in the post. They were sent to me c/o Freshly PIcked, but we sincerely LOVE them, and will probably buy a pair or two on our own.