So my twins are 10 months and have been trying solid foods since around 5/6 months. We are fully done with puréed food (thank goodness!) and have been trying out different textures and some finger foods to various degrees of success.
Current favourites are any kind of berries, smashed avocado, eggs (usually scrambled or made it an omelette that I then chop up), softly toasted bread (again cut up), yoghurt, baby porridge that I’ve started mixing in some normal porridge flakes into for texture, bananas, pears, cubes of cheese, broccoli and cauliflower smash, carrot and parsnip smash, pasta.
But a lot of the foods are very separate and are individual components on the plate. I want to start introducing more meal like things, the closest thing currently is that they love mash potato with broccoli and stuffing with pieces of roast chicken on a [name_f]Sunday[/name_f] for [name_f]Sunday[/name_f] roast.
Also, I know my list looks short on meat and that’s not because we are vegetarian or anything it’s just that I’ve tried different meats and they always try it and then leave it and I’ve tried many times, the only exception is chicken and they don’t mind sausages. I am trying once or twice a week to give them the option but they almost always leave it.
They still receive a mix of breast milk and formula (I didn’t have the flow to keep up with twins around 4 months stage so it they have some formula). They also are given the opportunity to try sipping on water and they eat with us most of the time so that they can see how we are eating etc.
So anyway, I would really appreciate some recipes or some ideas of books that have worked for you because it’s such a minefield.
I post this book. But honestly we own EVERY cookbook she’s written and have favorites from each! We do have ones that won’t be made again but for the most part big success! Some recipes from her varying books that are household staples: bok choy soup, zucchini bread waffles; pumpkin spice pancakes; frozen hot chocolate; honey roasted chickpeas (just remember no honey before 1), chicken Parm sandwhiches, chia seed pudding (4 yo requests this almost daily).
Things not in those books that my kids love:
Eggs in a basket
Breakfast Banana splits
Varying soups- creamy chicken, kale soup, Supra tuscana, tomato, tortilla
cheesy & tomatoey pasta bakes (we make ours with tofu and courgette since we don’t eat meat but would work with chicken I’m sure! We use rotini pasta since it seems to be easy for him to pick up)
tuna sweet potato fish cakes (tuna, left over sweet potato, an egg, and some flour mixed up and then fried in the pan - I don’t eat fish so my wife is in charge of making this but it seems easy!)
“porridge balls” are hit at breakfast, we make regular porridge, mix in some unsalted smooth peanut butter & hemp hearts, scoop out spoonfuls to cool off on a plate, and then we roll the porridge into little balls (although our son is increasingly interested in spoons and might switch to eating porridge with that soon!)
What do you eat? Feed them that. Modify it if you feel it needs it (less salt added, veggies cooked a little longer etc).
With our two daughters (2yrs and 8.5months) we’ve never cooked them anything different to what we eat because it’s really important to us that we all sit down to the table together as a family and eat the same meal. Our 2yr old does have a cows milk protein allergy so I will often make her a df version of the same meal or simply make us all a df meal (swapping out butter for olive spread etc etc).
As @sarahjane1 says above, it has worked well for me to feed our kids whatever we’re eating, with some adaptations. It keeps the cook from getting burnt out only cooking what the kids want to eat
Some meals that everyone in my house enjoys fairly well (2 adults, 5-, 3-, and 1-year-old): spaghetti and meatballs, baked or grilled salmon fillets or chicken drumsticks with brown rice or potato wedges (I toss wedges with oil and salt and roast them in the oven), chicken noodle soup, pulled pork sandwiches, sloppy joes, tacos (a real winner since everyone assembles their own), pizza (sometimes homemade, occasionally takeout.) I have one gluten free kiddo, so I use gf noodles, leave off the bread, make sure it’s gf crust etc. My kids like cucumbers, carrots, broccoli; one likes bell peppers. They love cheese, so adding cheese on top or on the side helps sell the meal
They like most pasta. For lunch we often have some sort of noodle preparation. Or quesadillas. At lunchtime it’s just me and the kids.
Smitten Kitchen is my favorite cooking blog, period. Deb has two kids, and one is very picky, so her current cooking reflects that. I have all three of her cookbooks, too.
[name_f]My[/name_f] partner and I have really varied tastes, we meal plan a lot because he works strange hours because he works as a line cook in a restaurant and does a mix of shifts that change on a weekly basis. Lots of people have suggested the whole the baby (babies in my case) eat what you eat but it’s tricky because I need to unlearn some ways of cooking like salting pasta water or not adding hot chillies to almost everything
We love fish and eat it probably two/three times a week, I like the idea of making some fish cakes because I could make a “plain batch” for the twins without salt etc and then making up an “adult batch” once I’ve made theirs.
I tried macaroni cheese last night for them because I craved it when I was pregnant and they loved it! Everybody else had mac and cheese but I had leftovers because now that I’m no longer pregnant I can’t stomach mac and cheese.
Salting pasta water is absolutely fine for babies (cooking with salt is fine, adding salt to a child’s individual plate after a meal has been cooked is not recommended)- as is cooking with Chillies.
They’ll eat whatever they’re used to. If it’s super hot just serve some yoghurt or milk on the side. Honestly half the world feed their babies on really spicy food right from the start because that’s what their cultural food tastes like. I know a Nepalese baby that is fed lentil curry as a staple. I like reasonably spicy food and I’ve tried the dish at theirs and nearly died because it was so hot! [name_f]My[/name_f] point being, whatever you feed kids as small children is what they become accustomed to. The whole “baby’s and children must be fed bland food” is a marketing ploy brought it around the same time as commercial baby food. It’s actually fascinating to look into.
[name_f]My[/name_f] best advice is cook whatever you and your partner usually cook and love to eat and serve it to your kids. Don’t be scared by marketing that loves to tell you you “must” feed children [name_m]Dino[/name_m] nuggets, fish fingers, [name_m]Mac[/name_m] n cheese, buttered pasta, non spicy food etc etc. By all means eat those things if they’re something you and your partner enjoy! But you don’t HAVE to serve the kids those things just because they’re children
If you have Instagram I recommend following @solidstarts. They make it all really easy
I completely relate to this! Which is why when my first was getting ready for solids I went searching baby food cookbooks. Hubby and I both grew up with some level of food picky ness (I think neither of our families really encouraged variety and especially for me Infell into a pretty big food preference trap) and we actually both went into marriage not knowing how to cook as is so “just eating whatever we were eating” really wasn’t an option. We actually made some rules to not let our kids know of our picky preferences because we wanted them to develop their own preferences. And kind of decided that if they ended up picky so be it but we didn’t want it to be because we created them to be. That’s one reason why I love the cookbooks we did find because the author really taught us about exposing them to foods and flavorings that would have never crossed our minds had we not been challenged to…. [name_f]My[/name_f] oldest is now 6. And it’s really cool to see how our kids certainly have their preferences but are way more adventurous at trying variety and new foods. And how because of being more intentional about what we feed them we’re finding numerous family staples that we likely wouldn’t have found otherwise!
Some popular ones for baby-led weaning include “The Baby-Led Weaning Cookbook” by [name_u]Gill[/name_u] Rapley and [name_u]Tracey[/name_u] Murkett, “Baby-Led Weaning: The Essential Guide” by [name_u]Gill[/name_u] Rapley, “The Complete [name_u]Baby[/name_u] and Toddler Cookbook” by America’s Test Kitchen, and “Tasty one pot meals” by [name_f]Hattie[/name_f] [name_u]Ellis[/name_u].