Breastfed to Finger fed – transitioning to solid foods and supporting your child in this whole new world of taste buds!
I am so eager to get this post out that I write to you from the car! My husband is driving us to our second-in-laws for a BBQ and some pool time. This post has been on my mind for about six months now and I’ve finally buckled down and put in the ground work to bring it to you, so I hope you get lots out of it!
Over the past few weeks we’ve been discovering new recipes and recreating old ones to adapt to Ezra’s little taste buds. (Nothing too high class – ex: Ez loves bananas, so when we discovered she wasn’t allergic to PB, we made her PB & banana sandwiches!) The transition from breastfed to finger fed hasn’t been a struggle and Ez LOVES food, but she does have her moments where we just need to revisit a few foods after her first encounter. Example: banana at 6 months; not a fan. Banana at 8 months; has eaten it everyday since.
Friends and family have both shared with me that babies take up to 5 times to actually like something. If you are trying to transition your babe to solids or even just purees, keep trying, it may just be the texture or even the sweetness/tartness. This is one thing that I’ve kept in mind when trying out new and different tastes/textures with Ez. At first when we started to give Ezra solids, we started with banana and rice cereal (I know, not so much a solid as it is a puree). As I wrote above, she was not a fan of banana and frankly, I was terrified to give her anything that wasn’t smooth sailin’ like water or milk.
Slowly we moved forward in the solids department and have now made our way to fully finger-fed, no more boobie for baby. I’ve gathered up some of our tried & true favourites, both in my opinion and Ezra’s. Most of these are easy to make and can be put together with the ingredients you already have!
1. Raspberry, Coconut & Rolled Oats (NO BAKE)
Don’t worry my dears, these delicious looking treats come with a recipe and take less than 15 minutes to muster up! All you need are four ingredients, but make sure to keep these puppies refrigerated or in the freezer until you want to eat them!
Raspberry, Coconut & Oat Balls (&& a little flour)
1Cup Rolled Oats
1/2Cup Flour (add more as needed if they’re too moist!)
1/3Cup Unsweetened Shredded Coconut
1/2Cup defrosted and crushed frozen raspberries
Directions: Add all ingredients into bowl, mix with spoon or hands & roll into loonie sized balls, place on baking sheet or plate to store in fridge/freezer.
That’s it! You’re done!
2. PB & Banana rice cakes
One of Ez’s, and many babies, favourite foods is banana. It’s easy to hold on to, you can chop it up or slice it down the middle. squishy, but holds shape, that is, if it’s not too ripe! I usually just buy the plain rice cakes, don’t really need to add any extra taste to these delicious snacks. (Sometimes when I am at restaurants I sneak a couple PB’s into my diaper bag – the perfect extra little protein on the go! shhhhh!)
These little guys have a texture of somewhere in-between a banana and a noodle. Perfect sizing for the fist of a little one who’s just started discovering how to eat! Prep time? Boil the water, throw them in the pot, 2 minutes later, take em’ out and serve. Super simple and your little one will love being able to have independence in feeding themselves one teeny bite of potato at a time. (If you’re not making them from scratch, I am not this ambitious, I would suggest the Oliveri brand. I bought mine at Save on Foods in the deli section)
4. Fruit, Fruit, & More Fruit!
My little bean just loves fruit. Any kind and all the time. I have been giving her everything under the sun and she just makes it disappear! Some fun ones to cut in to sticks/slices are the ones pictures below. Grapefruit not so much a stick but the pieces are small and squishy, kind of makes them work for the sweetness of the fruit! Just make sure you are checking your fruits for seeds/rinds.
5. PIZZA – the remix.
As much fun as pizza is to give to a toddler, I find the dough to be a bit too much for them and they more than often dont get enough of the good stuff on the top! I opted out for doing a ham and cheese pizza for Ez with flat bread and some left overs in my fridge. I took some left over pasta sauce, deli ham and shredded cheese from a pizza soup hubby had made earlier in the week (YUM! – check that out here, super yummy!). I prepared the oven at 350, put my toppings on and placed the flat breaded pizza straight on to the rack, let cook for 10 minutes and then sit for 5 minutes on the counter to let it cool. I made it a little bit easier for Ez to eat by cutting the pizza into strips so she could hold on to it and munch away.
6. EGG – just egg.
Holy guacamole does this little girl love egg! Scrambled, hard boiled, fried, she’ll take it all. My most recent and creative way to give her egg is on an individual cast iron skillet. This is GENIOUS. We went out for sushi a couple months ago and we had ordered a huge variation and assortment of dishes. One of which showed up and was a huge hunk of egg on rice. I wasn’t about to eat it but I knew someone who may just love it; lil’ Ez. It took her awhile but after about 20 minutes, the egg and rice underneath was gone. So when I found a cast iron skillet to re create the style and texture of egg, you know I was on board right away. And so was she!
For the eggs on the skillet, I usually will scramble two in a small bowl with a fork and then pour hem in the skillet. Wait a couple minutes until the top of the egg starts to firm. I then place the whole skillet into the over at 350 degrees for about 5 minutes. This ensures the egg is cooked fully, but also the perfect texture to cut in to strips for easy finger feeding!
I would also like to add here that if you’re having a tough time getting your little to try eggs, let alone even like them, one of my girlfriend’s, Sam, mashes banana and egg together to create pancakes. You may also find you can use sweet potato as well and her little one just eats it up!!
7. Pizza Pretzel. That is it. One love baby.
8. Pancakes & Berries
Last weekend I had the utmost pleasure of helping host a bridal shower for my beautiful friend Dianne. She makes my heart sing, she is such a beautiful soul, so naturally when she asked for a PANCAKES&PANTIES BRIDAL SHOWER (how stinkin’ cute is that? This will definitely be up on the blog) I couldn’t say no. Naturally, after the day had passed, there was some mini pancakes left over. Hmm I wonder who would love these mini pancakes? EZ. Finger fed, hand held, teeny tiny pancakes. This little miss was on cloud nine that morning! I put the pancakes on her tray with an assortment of berries, she loved it!
9. Steamed Veggies
Part of your little ones teething experience and being introduced to solids is the sensation of teeth taring through their gums. Not a very nice feeling AMIRIGHT? Hot and cold foods help with soothing this sensation. Brocolli and carrots have been a go to for these past few weeks. Here are my the two time frames I find work best for self-fed babies. Leaving the vegetables firm enough that they dont squish right in to their fingers as soon as they pick them up! (&& maybe a little bit of cheese is delicious too!)
Broccoli – Boil 4min
Carrots – Boil 7 min
Adorable Mountain Dinner Plate by Timber Child
What better meal prep than leftovers? Not only are you keeping your sanity, but baby is fed and enjoy their cold macaroni, pasta or even tuna helper! I just noticed all of those are pastas… Baby loves pasta! Ez also loves to eat whole tiny pickles, here’s a photo below of an average snack time at our house hold!
Some of the ones I haven’t posted above are:
- Grilled Cheese (cut in to slices)
- Dill Pickles
- Veggieballs – IKEA (seriously!)
- Tomato pasta
- Cheese stick
Let me know what you’ve found easiest/hardest in your own adventure going through the transition of breastfed to finger fed. I would love to hear your own ideas and answer any questions you may have for me!
Take care && Happy feeding!