There’s no rule that baby has to eat “baby food” from a jar!
Here are some new and more adventurous tastes to try.
So your baby’s at least six months or has been cleared to start solids by her doctor and she’s successfully digested some simple fruits and cereals. Now the fun begins! You don’t have to just feed baby stuff labeled “baby food,” which is really just everyday food, pureed and preserved in a jar, and not as healthy or safe as fresh food made at home. If you have a heat source and a fork, you can really turn just about any food into food for a baby—the only specific ingredients that pediatricians warn against are is raw honey (due to concerns about bacteria), and dairy under one year.
Beyond choking and honey hazards, any ground-up grownup food is fair game, so long as you stay alert for signs of allergic reactions and make sure any food is chopped in small enough pieces that it doesn’t need chewing.
And while babies can eat just about anything, they do have certain preferences. Naturally they go for sweet and bland-ish above strongly acidic or spicy flavors, and tend to favor single ingredients, smoother-textured food, and stuff served at room temperature.
Mushy fruits like bananas, mangoes, plums, avocados and melons are almost always popular, and can be peeled and chopped quickly. Try making your own simple applesauce with a peeled apple simmered with some little juice or water until soft, then mashed and cooled. You can also make sauce of plums, peaches and other fruit.
Lumps of mashed yams or cooked carrots also usually go over well, being a little bit sweet and easy to pick up. Your baby may or may not like mashed canned vegetables or liverwurst but they can be served up with no more preparation than the back of a fork and a spoon. And once you figure out what your baby likes, you can try introducing tablespoon-sized combinations, such as:
- Smashed potatoes and peas
- Squished peas and avocados
- Applesauce and mushed yams
- Hummus and avocado bits
- Scrambled eggs and Braunschweiger