What Lily Ate - Part 6

Posted by Kristin on November 2, 2016

 

My baby girl has hit the seven and a half month mark and we've really stepped it up a gear in the feeding department. At seven months, your baby should be able to progress onto slightly thicker or coarser purees. It's important to remember of course that every baby is different, so you should be guided by them and their needs. 

Lily has cut a few little teeth now but babies don't actually need any teeth to eat lumpier textures as their little gums are amazingly efficient at mashing food. Tackling lumps requires more co-ordination than moving thin purees from the front to the back of the mouth and swallowing and will help your baby develop chewing skills. If you find that your baby is gagging on the new texture or spitting lumps out, you could try offering softer lumps or thicker purees from the tip of a soft, shallow spoon. It is common for babies to gag when they move on from thin purees to thicker textures and it can be scary when this happens, but don't panic, it's completely normal. As your baby gets used to the thicker, lumpier textures, the gagging should gradually go away.   

When babies are teething, harder finger foods such as peeled apple, pear or avocado slices, peeled carrot sticks or the crust of toast can help to ease the pain and discomfort of teething. I have found our Yummy Wafer Wisps to be a life saver for Lily when her gums have been tender and we've been out and about and I don't have access.  

A great way of adding extra texture (and of course nutrients!) to your baby’s food is through the addition of proteins such as red meat, chicken, lentils and beans. These foods will not blend as well as cooked fruit and veggies and will naturally provide a lumpier texture. 

They will also add essential iron to your baby’s diet. At 6-7 months of age, it is important to consider iron content in your baby’s meals. Babies are of course born with an adequate store of iron in their body that will last about six months. After this time, it is important to provide your baby with iron rich foods as these stores become depleted. 

Iron is vital for healthy blood and normal growth and development in babies. Their little brains are developing at an alarming rate and they require plenty of iron to fuel all that learning. 

Excellent sources of iron include red meat, chicken, eggs (give only hard white and yolk to prevent risk of salmonella poisoning). Good sources of iron include peas, beans, lentils and leafy green vegetables. 

Vitamin C helps the body to absorb iron from food so it is a great idea to offer your baby foods that contain plenty of iron at the same time they are consuming iron-rich foods, for example mixing red meat and sweet potato, or combining an apple with your leafy green veg purees. 

Research shows that iron deficiency is the most common nutritional deficiency seen in children. Iron deficiency can cause poor appetite and lethargy in little ones. To help prevent iron deficiency in babies, cow’s milk (which is low in iron) should not be given as a main drink until a mixed diet of solid foods is well established (usually after 12 months of age). Breast milk or fortified formula milk should be the main drink up to the age of one. The iron in breast milk is highly bioavailable and is well absorbed in the body.  

You should never give your baby tea or coffee to drink. As well as containing the stimulant caffeine, which is unsuitable for babies, they contain tannins, which bind with iron and other important minerals and inhibit iron absorption from food. 

I had a mass cookathon last Sunday and came up with a couple of really successful next stage recipes, all of which are rich in iron for Lily. As usual, batch cooking works best for me and I was able to portion and freeze lots of little meals for Lily that will see us through the next few weeks.

 

Chicken, Sweet Potato, Apple and Kale Puree (suitable for 7+ months, makes six portions):

Don't be scared to mix and match flavours you wouldn't normally combine. The addition of the apple to this mix, will leave a lovely sweet tasting meal that your baby should love. 

Ingredients: 

100g Sweet Potato, peeled and diced
1 Apple, peeled and diced
Small handful of Kale (about 20g)
150g cooked chicken breast, chopped into small pieces

 

Directions:

1. Peel and chop the sweet potato and apple and place in the steamer. 

2. Chop the Kale removing any tough stalks and place in the steamer with the sweet potato and apple.

3. Steam gently for 15 mins or until the fruit and veg are soft.

4. Place your fruit, veggies and chicken into your blender and add some of the water from the steamer which contains lots of flavours and nutrients from steaming, and blend until you reach your desired consistency.  
5. Cool and portion into your ice cube trays and freeze immediately. These can be stored in your freezer for up to three months. 


Minced Beef Stew (suitable for 7+ months, makes six portions): 

Often it is the texture rather than the taste of meat that babies first object to. Cooked lean minced meat is a great iron-rich option as it can be easily blended making it easier for your baby to swallow. The addition of a little orange juice will make the taste sweeter, which your baby will enjoy, and will provide a hit of Vitamin C to aid absorption of the iron from the meat. 

Ingredients:

150g minced beef
splash of olive oil
1 tin chopped tomatoes
100g carrot, peeled and diced
100g sweet potato, peeled and diced
200ml water
1 bay leaf 
splash of 100% fruit, fresh orange juice

Directions:

1. Heat splash of olive oil in a pan and saute your carrot and sweet potato for a few minutes until well softened. 
2. Add your mince meat and brown gently.
3. Add your tomatoes, water and bay leaf and bring mixture to the boil.
4. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove the bay leaf. 

5. Mash or blend after adding a splash of orange juice until you reach desired texture.  

6. Cool and portion into ice cube trays and freeze immediately. These can be stored in your freezer for up to three months. 

 

Baby Dhal (suitable for 7+ months, makes six portions): 

Dhal or lentils are a fantastic source of iron for, especially for vegetarian/vegan babies and provide a creamy, tasty and healthy meal for your baby. Adding a little bit of herbs and mild spices to your babies meals at this age will help liven up their meals and broaden their taste palate. Red lentils cook faster and are smoother than other varieties, which makes them a great choice for baby food. 

Ingredients:

100g red lentils

splash of olive oil

500ml water

100g sweet potato, peeled and diced

1/2 tsp coriander

1/2 tsp turmeric

1/2 tsp cinnamon 

 Directions:

1. Heat splash of olive oil in a pan and saute your sweet potato for a few minutes until well softened. 

2. Add herbs and spices and cook for approximately five more minutes. 

3. Add 500ml water and stir, adding your lentils gradually.

4. Bring to the boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 20-30 minutes, until the lentils are cooked. 

5. Mash or blend in your NutriBullet to the right consistency for your baby. If your dhal looks too dry, add more water. 

6. Cool and portion into ice cube trays and freeze immediately. These can be stored in your freezer for up to three months. 

 

Do you have any tips for increasing iron content in baby meals? Has your little one ever suffered an iron deficiency? We'd love to hear from you in the comment below, or email info@heavenlytastyorganics.com with your comments. 

Shauna.X.