Feeding Art has been quite the adventure. Since he has expressed interest in food, we have tried a wide variety of foods ranging from avocado to quinoa. I have to keep reminding myself that “food before one is for fun” and that it isn’t personal when he doesn’t like avocado or carrots. I wanted to try incorporate ethically raised meat into his diet, so I chose ground beef. It cooks a lot faster. This recipe also makes a lot of baby food, so you can store the cooked beef in ice cube trays in a Ziploc bag to thaw later. Make sure to label them! It’s always difficult to guess what you’ve previously made frozen.
Ground Beef Baby Food
(Added on Jun 6 2020) Ground beef is an excellent first choice if you choose to wean between 4 to 6 months, once your paediatrician gives the green light to start. Ground beef has iron. Art was introduced to food at 4.5 months while Chip was introduced to food at 4 months. With Chip (my second kid), I introduced him to peas and ground beef (and added breastmilk to bind the puree together). Boiled water is fine too if you do not want to use formula or breastmilk. Chip turned out to be a better eater since I introduced him to pureed peas first before fruit. I fussed less with purees with Chip once he was able to sit up. I did more baby-led weaning with Chip than I did with Art. Our paediatrician told us to puree whatever we were eating, which is 10 times easier than finding recipes to make.
(The rest of the article is as written when weaning my first)
Food before One is for Fun
Art’s ultimate favourite? He absolutely loves applesauce. I don’t even add any sugar to it; just cinnamon. So, maybe I cheated a bit by adding applesauce to beef. However, if you are unsure how a new food would affect a baby’s tummy, there’s always BRAT: bananas, rice, apples and toast.* I hope he will grow to be a healthy omnivore. I know I will be that mommy who enjoys sneaking in vegetables.
*Reference: The Pediatrician’s Guide to Feeding Babies and Toddlers: Practical Answers To Your Questions on Nutrition, Starting Solids, Allergies, Picky Eating, and More (For Parents, By Parents) (Note: Amazon affiliate link. Clicking on it does not cost you any money. It will help me make a tiny referral commission if you were to buy the book.)
Know your baby for getting the perfect beef pureé
The trick with pureéd baby foods is getting the right consistency. Art makes this face, with the baby spoonful pureé on or under his tongue when it is too thick to swallow. I have thinned it with breastmilk, but you can also use formula or boiled water. It is more palatable than it looks — that is the thing with pureé; the colour looks like mashed black beans.
Number of servings can be tricky to gauge since feeding time involves following babies’ cues. We stop feeding when he expresses disinterest or lets us know in his own way that he is full. I had given about 3 tablespoons of pureéd beef for his first serving, which is a lot. Generally 1 to 2 tablespoons is a good place to start.
Spices is preferred for seasoning and salt is never added for baby food. You don’t need to break out the tiny teaspoon though. Just a tiny dash is more than enough! It is like the most micro pinch. Dill weed and ginger helps with baby’s digestion. Lighter cooking oils are also preferred, such as grapeseed oil or sunflower oil, as I have learnt from an infant baby massage session.
Babies’ new food face is quite amusing. So, enjoy experimenting! Oh, cooking this during your baby’s nap time might or might not wake up the baby. Good luck.