We're starting to introduce baby food now that Trey is 6 months old. So far he's had avocado, banana, green smoothies, and sweet potato. I know that "food before one is mostly for fun" so at this point my goals are primarily exploration, play, and variety. I don't stress if he doesn't like something or isn't interested. Starting foods can be daunting with all the ideas and products out there, so I'm highlighting a few things I've gathered as we start.
Again: my caveat with all things baby related, these may or may not work for you. Totally fine. You try things and you find out what works best for you and your baby and you forget the rest. If you buy baby food great, if you make it, great. Anything goes in raising babies; there is no one right way or one size fits all method of parenting. Best wishes to you as your start your own feeding journeys!
Baby Led Weaning. Recommended by a few friends, I like many aspects of this "approach" if there is such a thing when it comes to feeding babies. This method is basically encouraging babies to be in charge of the feedings, by handing them soft pieces they can navigate themselves. I'm not following this idea 100% as I'm still doing some purees, but there are aspects of this method make sense to me.
Oogaa. Silicone over plastic everything, please! Silicone is my ideal material for food related items for kids. No worries about scary chemicals (even with BPA free plastic I still wonder what else we don't know about yet), plus it's nonbreakable, freezer safe, dishwasher safe, even oven safe. We have this divided plate, bowl, plate, lid (genius for storage), placemat, plus the cutest spoons with trucks and trains on them, and everything is made of silicone.
Planetbox Lunch Box. I know Trey won't be packing a lunch to take to school for a while, but these boxes are built to last, and in the meantime I'll use it as a plate and for travel and picnics. What I love specifically about this box is it's perfectly compartmentalized for tiny hands and tummies, giving lots of options instead of just one main item to eat. There are tons of ideas out there for filling the compartments, some pictured here on their website, more on Pinterest here and on Instagram here.
Kizingo Spoon. Ergonomically designed for little hands learning to use a spoon. I like that this spoon is easy to hold and encourages self-feeding. One cool piece of research: kids who are successful self-feeders are more likely to be adventurous eaters. Just one small way to encourage independence with eating.
Silicone Spoons. These long-handled ones are easy to use and they are designed with a flat edge to keep them from rolling, and an elevated spoon tip to keep them off the counter when laid flat.
Nature's Little Squeeze Pouches. I read reviews on so many reusable pouches, and these are by far the favorited item (check out the nearly 2,000 reviews on amazon and the 5 star rating) The ease of use (it opens along the bottom edge vs. the more common and messier side), the double zipper, and the quality are all raved about. I like that these are great for travel or out and about, no need to bring a spoon!
Kiinde Bottle Warmer. Because even though we're introducing solids, my goal is for Trey to get breast milk for one year, so I went for a warmer to make it easier when I have someone watching him and giving him a bottle. I like this one but there is a bit of a learning curve to this one, sharing what I've learned so far: The "full" line is actually near the bottom (counter intuitive, I know), but there's a reservoir that holds water so you can't see all of it. Once it's turned on, the water rises to the very top, and it looks like it's overflowing but it goes out a ledge, like an infinity pool effect, to recirculate the water. This method of recirculating water is the safest for heating breast milk which is why I choose this warmer over others. The time takes slightly longer but preserving the nutrients was important to me. (If you're formula feeding this isn't as important.) Other features I liked: it fits any bottle, you can reheat frozen baby food as well, and it has an audible "click click click" sound while warming, so you know for sure when it's done without having to look right at it. Do remember to take it out when finished though, and the bottles have to have at least a few ounces to remain in the warmer instead of float on top of the circulating water. (Longest bottle warmer review ever, but lots to say on that one!)
Innobaby Glass Storage Containers. I love glass over plastic for food storage, and the lids on these open and close easily, unlike others I've tried. They hold perfectly baby-sized 5 oz portions, they seal tight, and are freezer safe.
Stasher. They finally invented it: the reusable plastic bag! (Made of silicone, of course.) So many uses for these, just like regular plastic bags, but a million times better for you and the planet. Pro tip: I hear these are an easy way to make baby food: by boiling vegetables in the bag, and then mashing them up right in the bag as well. How brilliant is that? The same company that makes those cool silicone bibs also makes a smaller Stasher, the Tiny-tote for kids. Same code works at both sites (Modern Twist and Stasher) use ALLIE15 for 15% off here as well.
Remember this rug by Lorena Canals from last summer? We're still loving that it's machine washable since the baby food stage is just so messy. I like that I don't have to worry about ruining it or paying for dry cleaning.
Note: food items pictured are for styling use only and are not recommended baby food items for your littles, ie choking hazards, etc. Please confirm with your pediatrician before starting any new foods.