Monday, February 9, 2015

Baby 101: Must-Haves for Solids (Stage 1)

Once we'd finally figured out all the tools, tips, and tricks to breastfeeding, bottle feeding, pumping, was time to start solids.  This introduced an entirely new set of equipment.  Here's what we're using for stage 1 solids (purees), to make, store, and serve:

1. A good blender or food processor

You don't need a special baby-food-making appliance to make purees; a normal blender or food processor will work just fine.  It will, however, be easier and faster if you have a high quality blender or food processor.  I have a Vitamix and it works great!

2. Steaming basket (and pot)

An inexpensive steaming basket is all you'll need to prepare fresh or frozen fruits or veggies to be pureed.  Put it in a pot over a tiny amount of simmering water, add the fruit/veggies, and cover....cook until soft!

3. Covered ice cube tray

These OXO Tot trays allow you to divide the purees into 1-ounce portions to freeze and use in the future.  The fact that they're covered (although not airtight) makes sure nothing icky falls on top of the baby food!

4. Mini rubber spatula

A tiny rubber spatula is helpful to smooth the puree into the ice cube "holes" and remove any excess (don't want to waste any of that hard work!)

5. Storage containers with lids

When we send solids to daycare, we use these OXO Tot baby blocks.  Go ahead and get the 4-ounce size right off the bat; your little one will eat more than 2 ounces before long and you'll have to upgrade to the 4-ounce size anyway, so why bother getting the small ones at all.  For cereal, I pre-measure the dry oatmeal cereal into these containers, and they simply mix with water at daycare.  For fruit/veggies, I'll pop a frozen veggie/fruit ice cube in the container the night before and leave it in the fridge to thaw.  At daycare, they'll warm it in the bottle warmer before serving.

6. Small Pyrex glass bowls

When we're at home, we use small Pyrex glass prep bowls to serve C's cereal and fruit/veggies...I don't like to bother washing the OXO Tot containers with lids when we're at home, so we only use those for daycare.  I like that these are made of glass so we can microwave the food to warm it (since we don't microwave food in plastic containers).

7. Rubber-tipped baby spoons

We love these Gerber Graduates rubber-tipped soft-bite spoons.  For reasons unknown, C chews the spoon with every. single. bite, so I'm sure a hard plastic or metal spoon would be painful on his little gums.  These are soft and don't seem to bother him when he chews on them.

8. Vinyl bibs

While cotton bibs are great for bottles and drool, they'll get stained and caked quickly with solids!  We like these JJ Cole bibs - they're waterproof, so nothing soaks through them, and they wipe off easily.  If he makes a huge mess, I throw them in the washer; the care instructions say not to machine wash them, but I do anyway.  I don't dry them, though - I just put them on our drying rack to dry flat.

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