Foodie Babies {feeding your child from 0-12 months}

posted on: Friday, June 25, 2010

I know that the only people in the world who find food encrusted babies cute are parents.
In particular parents of their own food encrusted baby.

Just give me a second

so I can get this cuteness overdose out of my system.

baby Maria was born in September, about the same time when I started neglecting this blog. Before her arrival I posted a lot about cooking with kids, in particular cooking with my son Enzo. Baby Maria is 9 months old and this is the first post dedicated to babies and food. Sorry it took me so long.

Alas, here are my 2 cents about feeding little tiny humans.

My fave (I wish). I was able to breast feed Enzo no problem for over a year. Baby Maria has been much harder. Early on it was difficult and awkward. Lactation consultants are so great and I highly recommend seeing one or two or three. They helped and they soothed. In Santa Cruz I was able to get help from Sutter Hospital. You can find help by calling your local hospital, they will be able to direct you to a lactation center. Better yet, ask a friend or a mother that you trust for advice. I wish I had done this sooner. If your next door neighbor has kids, chances are that she's had trouble breast feeding. If she hasn't then the next door down from her guaranteed has had trouble. Breast feeding can be really hard and it's good to find a support system. 

Enzo never had formula and I'll openly admit that I thought the stuff was made out of poison. I was such a breast milk snob. For the last month I've had crazy nipple infections. It bleeds and cracks and bleeds and cracks and makes it impossible to breast feed. The worst part was the guilt. At first I felt guilty about supplementing with formula and then I felt guiltier for enjoying bottle feeding. Feeding my baby without having blood come out of my nipples is magic called bonding! So, if you're a new mom or a second time mom like me and you need to supplement with formula, oh well, it's o.k. On Monday I went to the doctor again and I am now on 3 different medications to try and heal my nipples. If it happens great if not, oh well, she'll just bottle feed, bottle feed formula not breast milk. I tried pumping but it's impossible. I can't pump and parent two children simultaneously. I started her off with soy-formula  but my doctor recommended not giving her soy so I switched to milk based formula. I buy which ever organic brand is on sale. Do you have a favorite formula brand? I'm new to the formula world.

Solid Foods:
With Enzo I made all of his baby food, daily. It was seriously all I did. I was paranoid about what he ate (still slightly am) and was anal to the core about it. I don't miss that at all. Baby Maria has had store bought baby food. I like Earths Best. However, mostly I just make food for the family and use KidCo Baby Steps Food Mill, with Carrying Case , 1 food mill. If I was planning ahead I would make large batches of puree using the food processor, but no. The Food Mill is cheap, no more than $15, and works great. If you want to go fancy I've heard nothing but good things about Beaba Babycook Baby Food Maker. However be prepared to spend close to $150. It's a big investment.

Sippy Cups:
Baby maria can use a sippy cup all by herself. She's been able to for a couple months now. There is only one sippy cup I recommend it's called Tilty and it's genius. I've looked for it at toys R us and Taget but I've only been able to find it online. You can get it on Amazon Tilty Ergonomic 2 Pack Sippy Cups - Makes Drinking Easier for $11.00. Even my 4 year old loves the Tilty. There is really no better sippy cup. 

Snack Food:
There is more to baby snacks than Cheerios. Don't get me wrong, Cheerios is classic but they get sick of it. If I can sit down and help her eat and If I'm not worried about her making a mess I give her fresh fruit or frozen berries. If we're at church or out and about I like giving her freeze dried yogurt and other easy snacks. Here are a couple of her faves (click on individual pictures for more info).
HAPPYMETLS Organic Yogurt Snacks for Babies & Toddlers, Mixed Berry, 1-Ounce Pouch (Pack of 8) Yogurt Melts, Banana Mango 8 X 1 Oz From Happy BabyHAPPYBABY Organic Puffs, Greens Puffs, 2.1-Ounce Containers (Pack of 6)Hot Kid Baby Mum-Mum Vegetable Rice Rusk, 24-Count Rusks (Pack of 6) Earth's Best Organic Teething Biscuits, Barley, 4.6-Ounce Boxes (Pack of 12)

Final Word of Advice:
  • If you eat it they will eat it. I tried to shield Enzo from eating sugar and I was successfully able to do it for a while. However, Christian loves to bake (yes blame him) and is always making cookies and pies and other deserts. Enzo wanted in, not only on the cooking part but also on the eating part. I haven't given Maria a brownie, yet, but I know that inevitably she will eat sugar. However, kids can be a good motivator to change your diet.
  • Ask for help. Ask moms for recipes, look online, go to the library and check out baby recipe books, ask me for recipes I have tons. There are a million (probably more actually) resources for easy ways to make and store baby purees, rescources for places to buy local baby food, rescources such as WIC to help you purchase organic baby food and charts that help you figure out when it's safe to introduce certain foods. Keep in mind that these charts are very American centered. I say this because I know I have Brazilian readers who give their babies cheese before they turn one or introduce other foods earlier. It's good to be informed, is a good place to start, but don't be too uptight about it.
  •  Relax and trust yourself. Feeding another human is nerve wrecking. If you are breast feeding you need to trust your body and your baby. Babies will not starve themselves. Sometimes babies eat like a truck driver and sometimes they refuse to eat. Take a deep breath. 
  • Bleach=fun. Clorox is my best friend. It removes all stains, even those naughty blueberry stains. Eating is an experience like no other. Let them get dirty, it's so fun.


  1. This is really good advice, Damaris. I'm about to have a little boy of my own and it's very nice to get some good ideas but also realize that things don't always go as planned. Guilt is not good! I love your blog by the way. It's truly fabulous!

  2. She is so cute!

    Dah, you know i'm on my third! each baby is different...and we are diferent also! when we think we learned... rsss

  3. Maria isn't my baby, but I think she looks adorable covered with food. But you're right... I may not pick her up looking like that, whereas I'd probably pick up Gigi looking like that! ;-)

    Thanks for the low-down on feeding. I will be referring back to this post many times down the line as Gigi works her way through the categories. I liked how you mentioned that breastfeeding Enzo worked well and that it was harder with Maria: it makes me realize that I should be grateful every day that it's working well now, because in the future, who knows what it will bring!


  4. shes so beautiful!! covered in food and w/out. thank you so much for posting this! been thinking about this a lot lately :-) could you have a day on either this blog or your other one where we get to ask you questions about being a new mom? Although you have covered everything haha

  5. I do not have babies, but I think that Maria is gorgeous covered in food!!

    Also, I cannot wait to have babies and come to you for all my scared-mama advice needs! You are so helpful!

    Remember back at MHC when we were trying to convince you to wait to have Enzo? I am so glad you had him - now you can give all of us your sage maternal wisdom!

  6. Great post, Damaris!

    Thank you for the formula insights. Both my boys are formula fed only, and A LOT of people roll their eyes at me because of thet.
    Breastfed or formula fed, you'll love your children just the same.
    My boys are super healthy and smart.
    I remember at the hospital, the nurses kept saying how bad it would be if I didn't breastfed my children.
    Truth is, your child will be just fine.
    With my oldest I was super picky, and he only had the expensive formula. With Danny, Parent's Joice is great.
    About solid food.
    Only store bought for both Danny and Chris. And also, the cheapest (beech nut).
    And about snack foods... thanks for the tips!

  7. good overview of topics most moms are wondering about.

    My question is...does the sippy cup leak? That's the number one question most mom's wonder about when it comes to a sippy...

  8. Wow, great advice. I'm sending my daughter over here who is also having trouble breast-feeding and feels extreme guilt over formula.

    Love your blog!

  9. great post.

    i am so glad that we've been lucky with all 3 in the food department, they like all veggies (minus lettuce) and all fruit!

    with my 1st i was psycho organic lady. then i realized she wouldn't die if she ate non organic things, so i simmered down when she was 2 ha ha...#2 and #3 got the raw end of the deal and only ate organic for the 1st year.

    Have you tried the MumMum organic Strawberry crackers? YUM.

  10. Erica - the sippy cup does leak. However because it doesn't have any of those plastic stoppers (is that what it's called?) it doesn't create mold. I don't mind it leaking, most of the time. It helps them use a real cup sooner. I also only give her water so it doesn't matter if it leaks. If it were juice it would be a different story.

    Thanks everyone for your comments. so super sweet.
    oh and yes I would love to do a Q&A about parenting. Send me your questions.

  11. You asked about formula. My favorite it the WalMart brand. It comes in either soy or milk based. You get almost twice the amount for less money. I figured, how many formula making factories ARE there? I know that there cannot be a bazillion of them. When you look at each brand side by side to compare ingredients and nutrients....Walmart is exactly the same. So, if a parent is on WIC and can get it free...Super, then buy name brand...if they are not, then why pay more for the same exact formula? Just my opinion though. Since I own a daycare, parents often come to me with their formula questions and I always guide them to the Walmart selection and give them the same info I just told you. The only exception to that is if the child has special dietary needs, then follow the direction of your health care provider. Never skimp if it comes to your child's health. As far as other foods and feeding little people, I try to make new foods as fun as possible. I will have the older daycare children go with me to the store to help choose which fruits to try. Sometimes we make smoothies with them picking out the fruits to put inside. Other times with veggies that they "insist" that they don't like...I blend them them in a puree and sneak them into other portions of their meal. Soups are great at hiding some things they don't like. So are sauces. I mean, that is why God invented spaghetti sauce, right. To hide certain ingredients that are good for people, but that they might not like. Just my two cents worth though.

  12. She is SO cute! Do you have a good stain spray? :)

  13. WOW! What a cutie - watch out. She's gonna be stopping traffic when she grows up :)

  14. Andrea- thank you so much for sharing. It's great information from more experienced mothers and care providers.

    Jen- I use BIZ and Clorox. I mix the tow in a bucket and then put the white clothes in it. Otherwise O just use BIZ.

  15. Seriously. Food-encrusted or not...that baby is GORGEOUS!!!!

  16. I love this baby loove her!! I recommend goats milk. It comes in the powder. Soy makes your body over produce estrogen right? Cow 's milk was too hard for my kids to digest. Goats milk was the best for us. It's expensive though.

  17. She is so gorgeous! I love the blueberry. I think you should leave it. :)
    Whether you breast feed or formula feed, at the end of the day, if your kids are:
    1) happy
    2) fed
    3) bathed
    4) loved
    (not neccesarily in that order)

    You have done your job as MOM.
    Formula: Parent's Choice has an organic formula. I've never used the organic (shame on me?) but I really like the brand. Also Kirtland (costco brand) is good (if you aren't worried about the organic part).
    It's made by the same company that manufactures Enfamil.

    Miss you guys. LOVE to the babes!

  18. Despite my best efforts, breastfeeding didn't work for us, so Costco formula is what my doctor told me to get. On the label it compares the ingredients with Infamil and Similac and it's pretty identical, but half the price. My baby is turning 1 next week, so I'm excited to switch her over to milk and planning on going organic for sure.
    I also puree a lot of veggies for her and I have found that just using a hand blender (not to be confused with a hand mixer) is really all you need. I was tempted to buy the fancy baby food blenders, but it's just more money and stuff to wash every time. I have Baby Cubes - little storage containers that I put the food in and it has worked really well for us so far.
    Recently I checked out the books The Sneaky Chef and Better Baby Food (2nd Edition) and I have found a handful of useful recipes in both of them.
    A few weeks ago I overheard someone say that that day they were giving the kids in nursery at church marshmallows for snacktime, and I cringed. I guess my question is at what point do you let it go or should you try to change it? I don't want to be one of those overbearing moms, but, really? Marshmallows?

  19. I would have to say that marshmallows is over the top, as in I would freak out if they fed my 1 and a half year old marshmallows.

    I just bought the costco brand. It is cheaper. I had no idea it was the same as Similac. Good to know.

  20. Great blog. My son Gabriel was also born in september on the 11th and I love the pics too with him covered in food. Now when you feed your daughter blueberries are they frozen do you cut or smush them up at all? Gabriel has been all formula fed since he would never latch on. But I would love some recipes for stuff for babies to eat. Gabriel eats mostly jar food but I do give him some small pieces of chicken when I bake some breasts. Do you give her lunch meat at all like the prepackaged stuff?

  21. Heather, Maria should have been born on the 11th, that was her due date. I give her frozen blueberries that i let thaw out a bit. I just put it in the microwave for 10 seconds. I also give her fresh blueberries.

    She only has two tiny teeth so I haven't given her much meat except when i puree it. I haven't given her any lunch meat even though she totally tried to grab my salami sandwich today.

    I'll work on some recipes and post them soon.

  22. i read tilty as titty. thought it was an awesome-ly funny name for a sippy. then i re-read. dang. it was awesome.

  23. titty cup would be a total hit. you should patent it. quick!

  24. I love love love this post! Beautiful Maria;) Yes, breastfeeding can be so tricky and it's such a releave when it works!!!

    Cooked blueberries and pears yesterday to top rice-porridge and it was a big hit! (Elsa was only wearing a diaper...)

  25. Now Maria eats her blueberries in the nude. It goes well with the hot weather.

  26. I follow Dana on Made and when I saw this picture, I had to come find the post it came from. She is adorable and I'm glad I came to see. This post is filled with great advice.

    I also went through a phase of breastfeeding snobbery. I'm now realize that I'm one of the lucky few to have had no issues with either child; although my son weaned himself fairly early at 10 months. I used formula after that, and some before to supplement.

    I'm thinking my little girl needs a blueberry snack!

  27. Thanks Damaris for writing this post.


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