Baby protein

When I first started breastfeeding/bottles, getting to feed Livi solid food sounded like a dream and the days of no bottles seemed so far ahead of us. Now, solid foods are a fun part of everyday life, and only 2 months left to go until no bottles!

Walking 3

It’s hard to believe that we’re almost at the one year mark, when Livi will join us for regular meals and snacks, with milk as a supplement instead of the main source of nutrition. I still haven’t decided what we’re going to do as far as cow’s milk goes -neither Tom nor I drink milk- but will have to talk to the pediatrician and along with our own research, make the best decision for our family. The good news is that we eat a lot of fresh produce, lean proteins and healthy fats, so hopefully cow’s milk won’t be necessary for her to get the nutrients she needs. I’ve really enjoyed reading the comments on this post, but am not quite sure what we’ll do yet (was leaning the most towards unsweetened hemp milk).

When we feed Liv solid foods, here’s how things usually go, even though this is super flexible and changes often: (she’s almost 10 months right now- this is my own little method, if you have questions about feeding your baby, definitely talk to your ped)

Eating 3

Breakfast: Oats or oat pancake, fruit (mixed in with the oats and/or pinched up), Puffs, egg yolk

Lunch: Fruit/veggie, avocado or another healthy fat, grains/Puffs

Dinner: Veggies, protein

She also still drinks 4-5 bottles each day.

What I like to keep in mind:

-Different colors. I like to make sure she has at least one green each day, and for the other fruits/veggies offering different colors with each meal.

Baby food 6

-Mix of purees and foods to pinch and eat. I’ll always give her something to snack on while I make the rest of the meal, usually a mix of organic Puffs and any of the following, cut up into tiny bites:

Soft pears (peeled and microwaved in a little water)



Blueberries (cut in half)

Grapes (peeled and cut into bites)

Sweet potato

White potato

“Little trees” (one floret of broccoli, steamed, and then tiny bites cut off)

Peas (she also likes these cold)

Steamed carrot bites (overly steamed so they’re very smushy)



Oatmeal blended with steamed pears, apples or blueberries is one of the standards over here (freezes well, too!), and Liv has also tried and enjoyed white rice, brown rice and quinoa. I’m excited to cook her some mushy brown rice pasta this week and put a little seasoning on it.



On my previous baby foods posts, I didn’t talk too much about protein, even though Liv gets a little bit with most meal. I haven’t found a way to puree them and freeze so that they’re still good -with the exception of her favorite soup- so I’ll usually just cut them into tiny bites and let her pinch them up.

Some favorites:

Organic chicken

Wild salmon


For both the chicken and the salmon, we’ll cook hers plain and then give her tiny bites along with the meal. She loves them (especially the salmon) but I just have to give her a little at a time and make sure she actually swallows the bites instead of trying to “chipmunk” them for later. 


Egg and beans

Trader Joe’s cans are BPA-free (as are the Eden’s Organic brand). I love to make my own beans (method is here) but find it to be a waste because we can ever finish off the amount I cook. I soak them overnight and cook them in the slow cooker for most of the day with herbs and an entire thing of garlic thrown in. While they’re delicious, it’s easier for Liv and myself to finish up a can of beans before they go bad than an entire homemade batch that might go to waste. If anyone has an idea of how to store larger amounts of beans, I’d love to hear your thoughts! In the meantime, canned works well for us. I’ll rinse them well, peel a bean and mush it in half to give to Liv. She also likes baby hummus, pureed with a little veggie broth, oregano, garlic and cumin.


Egg yolk- for this, I’ll make my eggs first (2 whole eggs and one white), then after my eggs have cooked, I’ll scramble her yolk in the same pan. I pop the yolk, then flip it so it’s like a little omelet and give her bites to pinch up. Bella gets very excited for this one, because whatever Liv doesn’t eat, she gets to have in her bowl.

Egg yolk


I’ve offered organic yogurt a few times to Liv, but she’s gagged each time. She’s had a few bites of cheese and seems to be a fan, but it’s not a huge part of our family’s diet.

Tips for going out to eat:

Steamed veggies, beans, baked plain or sweet potatoes, fish (she’s had tilapia and salmon), guacamole or avocado, rice and fruit bowls are usually good options. I’ll just taste it to make sure it isn’t too salty and bring a homemade puree with us, too.

So tell me friends, did you follow any specific order when introducing food to your kiddos? Our pediatrician told me that the order does not affect allergies in kiddos, but suggested avoiding the most allergenic foods (egg whites, soy, nuts/seeds, shellfish, tomatoes, strawberries) until Liv is a year old. I was allergic to strawberries when I was younger, but I just broke out in hives and got an itchy throat. The foods with the scary effects (like um, anaphylactic shock….) freak me out just a little.

Any awesome baby protein options to share??

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  1. Kate S. on October 29, 2012 at 5:51 pm

    I don’t have a little one yet but this is super helpful to start getting an idea of what to expect!

    When I make beans, I cook 1.5 pounds at a time, cool them, then divvy them up 2 c. per quart ziplock bag, then freeze them. This way I only have to remove 2 cups at a time. Beans freeze beautifully!

  2. Tiffany on October 29, 2012 at 5:54 pm

    I love to make a large pot of vegetarian Brazilian black beans. I portion out some for a couple of day’s meals and then freeze the rest in small freezer-safe containers. I pre-portion the amounts, and when I’m in a hurry or don’t feel like cooking, I pull one out and defrost it.

  3. Abby on October 29, 2012 at 5:55 pm

    Have you tried canning your own black beans? They should do fine sealed in mason jars, and the while canning process is really pretty simple, especially of you’re already cooking a large amount of the beans.

  4. Niki on October 29, 2012 at 6:00 pm

    I don’t have a baby, but for myself I cook up a huge pot of beans, strain them and let them cool. Put them into ziplocs or tupperware containers and freeze them. It works great!

  5. Laury (the fitness dish) on October 29, 2012 at 6:01 pm

    You know I’m a huge fan if hemp milk for tots!! Unsweetened tempt hemp is great or a new product I kit reviewed “simply hemp” which is raw.

    Ella eats tons of seeds. I’ve been putting together a bunch of recipes with awesome protein or her. Muffins with hemp, sun butter, and all the plant proteins you already know about. I give her Irish pastured cheese because it easier to digest. Quinoa cakes with soaked and cooked beans puréed into them. Then animal proteins. She hates eggs (only food she hates! The girl eats raw spinach and kale!) but will eat the banana an egg pancakes. My main concern is fat and she gets plenty. Coconut oil o. Everything! At Liv’s age her fav was peas with coconut oil and turmeric. Or sweet potatoes wedges with coconut oil and cinnamon. I think protein can easily met. Especially with what you’re doing! I think you said she loves hummus too right? Ella dips cheese or grilled chicken right in her hummus sometimes. Or brads raw kale chips haha

    Can’t believe its almost a year!

    • Allison on October 29, 2012 at 6:24 pm

      I just ordered my “simply hemp” bc of Laury’s post! It arrived today and I can’t wait to see if my 1 yr old likes it. He drinks the Tempt unsweetened, but even that has more ingredients than I like and (I think) has a funny taste. Livi is so cute and you are doing such a good job giving her different fruits and veggies!

    • Fitnessista on October 29, 2012 at 6:44 pm

      i wanted to ask you what you thought about stevia? i wasn’t sure if i want liv to have stevia in her milk- have you asked your ped about it? i was going to ask ours, but she’s pretty intense on the dairy train, so i’m not sure what she’ll say yet about giving liv another type of milk

      • Jess on October 30, 2012 at 10:00 am

        It is really recommended not to give baby’s food that has been sweetened, whether it by sugar or stevia, etc. They don’t need it and you don’t want to develop a taste for only sweetened foods.

      • Laury on October 31, 2012 at 10:08 am

        Hey….I know why you’re asking…the stevia in the raw hemp milk being “safe” for toddlers. Ella’s going to be 18 months and I haven’t given her anything sweetened until recently. After a year we went to the unsweetened hemp milk because I didn’t think she needed it sweetened. The brown rice syrup scares me more than stevia! I have ton a ton of research and while I would not give her stevia on “purpose” I don’t believe it’s bad. Liv is too young for any of it now but I understand you’re asking for future ref. Frankly things loaded with sugar, HFCS, brown rice syrup or the products with long frankenfood ingredient lists & GMO’s scare me more. I would do my own research as a mom (I have a friend who’s a RD who recommended The Art of Eating Healthy Kids by Maria Emmerich which every recipe uses stevia and eryithol which kind of shocked me). We can chat about it later, I texted you too if you have any other questions!

        My ped was heavy on the dairy train as well but I spoke to him in length about my concerns. I think his main concern is moms won’t supplement properly if they don’t give their kids milk. He was very against things like rice milk and soy milk which I agree with. (She needs something closer in calories and fat to whole milk) I showed him hemp and explained the benefits..and also told him about Ella’s diet. Lots of fat, lots of coconut oil. Fat for her growing brain is most important and I am kind of obsessed with loading her diet up with it. Did I mention lots of coconut oil??(lauric acid in her found in breast milk!), fatty fish when she is in the mood for it, seeds, nuts, meats, etc. She gets coconut oil as her moisturizer and sticks her fingers in the jar to eat it after her bath it’s so funny. Anyway, as long as she was getting the fat and the Vitamin D he was okay with it. I feel like it’s my job to “fatten” this baby up 😉 SO I know you will but I suggest you not be afraid to voice your concerns, do tons of research and then make a decision that you and your ped are comfortable with. I am not as “anti-cows” milk as I used to be. I just personally thing raw cows/goat milk would be best if you did it (I read a bunch of books and it makes most sense if you were to wean to cows/goat), but I PERSONALLY don’t trust raw milk so I went with hemp over something that is from another species, been homogenized, pasteurized, pus, hormones, and allergies, etc. There were even things with organic milk that made me uneasy but it’s all about what’s best for YOUR child. As a mom you need to be the advocate, Cows, sheeps, camel or hemp milk…whatever it may be 😉 I think pediatricians are looking for the child’s best interest, and want to know that you are fully informed and making the best decisions regarding LO’s health

        Side note: Allison, I hope you all like it! My second batch was good but I didn’t blend it long enough so it still had a little grittiness…so tip, make sure you blend it up for a couple minutes to make it smooth 🙂

        • Laury on October 31, 2012 at 1:03 pm

          PS…just heard back from simply hemp and they use a very small amount of actual stevia leaf, the plant. Not the processed stuff. So it’s like like any herb, which makes me feel web better about it. Just thought if share as you do your research! Sure they would answer any questions you have as well.

  6. liz on October 29, 2012 at 6:04 pm

    Count me among the happy bean freezers (funny that is what everyone is talking about so far)! I’m not due until 2013, but I’m so excited to introduce our little girl to the world of solid foods. 🙂

  7. Lisa @ Fresh Spinach on October 29, 2012 at 6:06 pm

    I’m so happy that I learned through the comments that I can freeze beans! As a vegan family, this will save us a ton of money from buying canned beans all the time. I just don’t have time to always cook dried beans, but now that I know I can freeze them, I can cook large quantities and save the rest for other days!

    By the way, that picture of Liv’s hands with the salmon… ADORABLE!

  8. Heather (heathers dish) on October 29, 2012 at 6:08 pm

    You know, I haven’t introduced Wes to protein just yet, but I was thinking we would start off with beans or wild salmon. He loooooves food but doesn’t have any teeth yet so I get a little concerned about him actually being able to chew. Did you find that y’all had any issues with Liv being able to chew chicken/salmon?

    • Fitnessista on October 29, 2012 at 6:13 pm

      chicken was more challenging for her than salmon. i’m sure he’ll love them!!

  9. char eats greens on October 29, 2012 at 6:22 pm

    Very interesting and intriguing post because my little one is due in a few weeks, but I’m also vegan, so I haven’t thought that far ahead about when we actually come to feeding him or her! I’ll obviously be doing rice, quinoa, and beans like you do, and hopefully baby’s not allergic to soy so we can eventually do tofu and such. I’ll probably do lentils, as well.

  10. jamie on October 29, 2012 at 6:22 pm

    Ditto on the freezing of the beans! I make a big patch and portion them out into 2 cup batches, put them in little sandwich bags, and they all go in one large freezer bag. Then when I need a serving of black beans or whatever beans I need, I just pull out one of the sandwich bags and thaw it out. The rest stay portioned out for another time! I just thaw and they taste just as amazing as the day they were made!

    • Fitnessista on October 29, 2012 at 6:39 pm


      • Shaina Anderson on October 29, 2012 at 6:57 pm

        This is exactly what we do! I make a huge crockpot once a month and usually just rotate black and pinto beans. I freeze them in weekly portions since we use beans a lot (I usually put them on my salads and Patrick could eat a bean and cheese burrito every day if I let him) and that’s it! Super easy and convenient.

  11. Dynamics on October 29, 2012 at 6:33 pm

    I am surprised you are not dehydrating your cooked beans. Or making the beans into flour.

    • Fitnessista on October 29, 2012 at 6:38 pm

      haha! can you even do that??

  12. natalie @ will jog for food on October 29, 2012 at 6:35 pm

    She seems like such a good eater! My mom said the only thing I liked to eat at that age was fruit. I wish cheese wasn’t such a huge part of my diet, but I LOVE it. Now that I’m pregnant I’ve been craving it all the time.

  13. laura on October 29, 2012 at 6:38 pm

    Beans were my girls fave for protein. In fact, one daughter wouldn’t touch her first birthday cake and since I REALLY wanted her first “smash the cake”pics, I ended up putting cannellini beans on top of her cake so it at least LOOKED like she was eating the frosting (she was really just picking off the beans!! :))

    • Fitnessista on October 29, 2012 at 6:38 pm

      that is an amazing idea! the rate we’re going, i’ll be putting salmon on top of livs haha

  14. Shaina Anderson on October 29, 2012 at 7:01 pm

    I’m so glad you’re a few month ahead of us – these are fantastic posts! I just started Tripp on solids. I almost lost a finger when I gave him avocado and couldn’t possibly feed him pumpkin fast enough today haha.

    I’m excited to hear what you find out about milk alternatives – we’re having that same discussion. Right now the thought is to alternate almond and hemp (assuming he likes both). I still want to offer dairy products such as yogurt and cheese though – I wouldn’t want Tripp to get sick at a friends house because they served him dairy something.

  15. Laura on October 29, 2012 at 7:40 pm

    Not trying to be disagreeable, but what is wrong with using organic milk? I can certainly understand wanting other forms of proteins well but milk has so much that growing babies need.

    • Jenn on February 11, 2013 at 2:08 pm

      Organic dairy milk is really really awesome for baby cows. It has everything they need to grow into big cows. I am not being smart I swear:) But we have been victims of a lot of years and money spent to have us believe that our little human babies need to drink milk from a cow. My three human babies drink human milk and then drink lots of green smoothies, hemp milk and rice and flax milks. Most pediatricians read literature given to them by the dairy associations and really have no idea about ideal toddler nutrition.

  16. Sarah Crowder on October 29, 2012 at 7:56 pm

    Ditto on freezing beans! Like you, mine would definitely go bad if I didn’t freeze.

    We are pretty relaxed about what we feed our almost 8 month old son and so is our ped. There is no evidence that delaying common allergens reduces the risk of allergy and even the AAP agrees with that statement. So, we give him everything except for honey due to infant botulism. (Yes, that means he’s had peanuts!)

  17. Elizabeth M. on October 29, 2012 at 8:30 pm

    You are doing such a great job with Olivia! Feeding a tot can be confusing, I did a bunch of research about it for an article I wrote for Natural Baby (a new mag) and its confusing! A lot of it is textures too. My niece did the chipmunking thing too, I babysat her once and when I was giving her a bath later that night I was like WHAT ARE YOU STILL CHEWING ON?! Haha it was pretty gross.

    For the beans, I heard that if you make them at home and freeze them in a liquid they stand up better. I’ve frozen slow cooked beans in baggies with a little water and then later used them in stews and soups and it turned out fine! I think it’s best for mashed and whatnot.

  18. Pam on October 29, 2012 at 8:31 pm

    Maybe we should all eat a little bit more like Liv! For beans, I only ever use dried, because they’re so much cheaper and you avoid the BPA issue. I always try and make a lot and freeze half. When I want to use them, I just steam them until they’re defrosted. It’s so easy!

  19. mary on October 29, 2012 at 9:46 pm

    If you do decide to give her cow’s milk, the organic ones have a long shelf life, so it’s not like you’ll have to buy a little pint every couple days or something.

    I gave my daughter milk but I hadn’t really thought about it then. She got tired of it herself fairly young and I was fine with that, since I don’t drink it. I think humans are the only animal that drink milk from another animal, aren’t we? It’s a little gross when you think about it.

    My question about things like hemp milk is why bother? It’s not an actual ‘milk’, just a beverage with that look and texture and added vitamins and protein and fat to make it similar in nutrition, isn’t it? I don’t know anything about hemp milk but it seems like whirring water with hemp (soy, rice, coconut, whatever) isn’t really going to come up with something very nutritious without fortifying it. And if you’re doing that, why not just give her water to drink and feed her the actual nutrients in food? I do know a family that only gives their four kids water.

    I hope she remains a healthy eater. Mine got super picky really quickly after those baby/toddler years. Enjoy it, just in case!

  20. Ashley on October 29, 2012 at 11:31 pm

    Just so you know– the official recommendation in the medical community is that infants receive breast milk; whole cow milk; or formula until age 2. None of the alternative milks are adequate (including soy although many pediatricians don’t even know that! Soy formula is okay though I’m wary of giving an infant soy daily anyway). My son has a milk allergy so we are in the process of weaning him to hypoallergenic formula at 12 months. I do my best to provide him with an otherwise balanced and healthy diet, but it is just SUCH a critical time in their brain development that I thought it prudent to heed the advice of his pediatric dietician and do formula for now. Honestly, I have done a lot of research and would 100% offer whole cow milk if we could. Toddlers are notoriously picky (my guy is already pickier than he was at 8-9 months) and they do need a nutritional safety net.

    • Jenn on February 11, 2013 at 2:13 pm

      I have done a lot of research too and I would never give my children cow milk. Whole milk is really awful. So in the end you do what works for your children but you should realize that most pediatricians are hugely biased in favor of dairy as they are bombarded with information from the diary association. Most other countries do not drink milk. They are healthier than Americans. After weaning human babies don’t need any milk really. But as an added nutritional bonus hemp milk or almond milk doesn’t hurt anything. I give it to mine because they like it, not because they need it.

  21. KT on October 30, 2012 at 8:00 am

    My ped also recommended 2 tsp of olive oil a day mixed into food. Mine is just about the same age and at his 9 month appointment she said more food! 3 meals and snacking 2-3 times a day and start ramping down the bottles (though the amounts might be larger). Mine has one in the AM, before afternoon nap and before bedtime. I love that he eats everything, but no surprise he also tries to eat dirt! Friends with older kids said don’t be surprised when the taste buds develop and they start to become picky!

  22. Jess on October 30, 2012 at 9:57 am

    We were really lax about how we introduced food. Though we waited until about 2 months ago to try nut butters. No allergy there and she’s a huge fan. My daughter has been eating pretty much everything we eat since she was 6 months. We skipped purees for the most part, except for what I made for her to take to daycare.

    If you don’t want to do cows milk, make sure she’s getting full fat yogurt and cheese. She needs the calcium. I have a lot of friends that use almond, soy, coconut or hemp milk instead of cows milk. Some pediatricians say it’s ok, other don’t Mine said that because I’m still nursing if we don’t want to introduce cows milk, we need to be on top of the cheese and yogurt.

    • Jenn on February 11, 2013 at 10:12 pm

      Dairy is a poor source of calcium, it creates an acidic state in the body, to counteract the body leeches minerals and calcium from the body. Consuming dairy can cause a calcium deficit. Rice and nut milks are fortified with calcium. There is no need for dairy in the diet of children. Please take nutritional information from a physician carefully with the understanding that they have very little background in nutritional studies, nor the spare time to research to the degree that you can for your child. At a top Oncology hospital my husband was told when fighting cancer to eat marshmallows and steak with sprinkled white sugar. He is recovered now, with no help from that. A holistic nutritionist and a naturalpathic doctor whose education is rooted in nature and nutrition would be far more trusted opinions. I have seen many and none have advised dairy as a staple to a child’s diet.

      • Charlotte on September 2, 2013 at 9:17 pm

        LOVE your replies Jenn! You’re absolutely correct in everything you say, especially about physicians and our kids paediatricians. It’s really scary with what information we are presented with that is deemed to be what’s best for our babies, children and ourselves. I wish there were GP’s that were supportive of parents “alternative” choices to optimize the health of our children, and as you pointed out these doctors don’t have the time or don’t make the time to read and research anything other than what they are told to read and use as reference. For us as parents of a three year old and a 6 month old we get looked at like we’re ill informed, disease spreading hippies for choosing to extend breast feeding for however long our kids want, delay solids, not including cow milk, grain or refined sugars in our diets and not vaccinating. Glad to know there are other informed mamas out there not afraid of getting lectured in the doctors office!

  23. marinka on October 30, 2012 at 11:01 am

    You must try this! Cook more of the red lentils( i cook it with garlic, olive oil,onion,carrots,parsley,spices…) and the first day we eat it as a stew and on the other day I make a thick pancake batter and put the rest of the lentils in it.Add some oats also. Then just grab with a spoon and fry! My son loves these patties!!Yesterday he didn’t want to eat the lentils but today he had so many patties!!! You could do that also with any beans.If they’re big you could puree them first.Also you can make left overs in delicious pate (adding some stuff-more spices,oil,sesame paste,anchovies,mustard—whatever…),or you can take some aside(i do it with chickpeas)and put into salads. Or you can add more water into bean leftovers and make a soup for the next day.Just add some soy sauce or miso and a lot of parsley and some olive oil… We love any beans,and my husband rarely leaves any for tomorrow:)) In my country in the south it’s traditional to eat chickpeas or brown lentils, with a lot of garlic,parsley and olive oil alongside with some salted fish,and wine…mmmm….

  24. Sarabell on October 30, 2012 at 11:04 am

    This is definitely something I’ve thought about for in the future. My husband has Celiac Disease which often comes with a lot of other allergies. He has a laundry list of allergies and if our baby has CD he or she most likely will too. His are just the don’t feel good/break out/ itchiness or downed immune system variety, but I am almost as nervous for those as I am for the anaphylactic kind! A friend of mine said she always did picnics at the park across from their hospital when trying out peanuts, shellfish, etc. because she was so worried about that too! I pretend to think that’s over the top, but really, I love that idea. =P
    I was curious since you mentioned the cheese. Is goat cheese okay for babies? Or are you eating that a lot less too?

  25. Valerie on October 30, 2012 at 12:04 pm

    Thank you for this! My son is 8 months old and I was just looking for ways to get more protein in his diet. You offered some great ideas!

  26. Nicole on October 30, 2012 at 2:31 pm

    This is so helpful, I am definitely bookmarking this for future use (our peanut is just shy of 7 weeks old now). For the beans, we eat 5-6 cups (uncooked measurements) via pressure cooker each week. My hubs eats them daily, I eat them every other day or so, and leftovers are drained, blended with brown rice or quinoa (cooked) with some dry oats ground into a flour, chili powder, cayenne, garlic/onion & fried in coconut oil as burger patties. Then I freeze them for future bean-burger meals. We love them and it is so nice to have a freezer stocked full of them! Especially because nowadays veggie burgers are becoming quite popular but the ingredient lists are outrageously and unnecessarily long.

  27. avery on October 30, 2012 at 2:42 pm

    This are such good tips! I don’t have kids yet, but I plan on using this strategy when the day comes. You are setting Liv up for a lifetime of healthy eating habbits by exposing her to a variety of real and healthy foods. If all parents feed their kids this way, instead of processed junk, we’d have a nation of heathy kids. Nice work and thanks for all the great ideas!

  28. Rachel on October 31, 2012 at 11:13 am

    Cow’s milk is for baby cows! As long as she is eating a varied diet of green veggies, whole grains, fruits and legumes, she will get all of the protein and calcium she needs (which is really the only reason cow’s milk is ever “recommended” anyway).

    • Lesley on October 31, 2012 at 11:48 pm

      Whole milk is also recommended for dietary fats needed for normal growth and brain development along with the calcium it provides. Children under the age of two need about half their calories to come from dietary fats (see American Academy of Pediatrics website along with nutrition sites for children). Our pediatrician passed this information on to us.

      I think it is extremely important to have a pediatrician that you can honestly share information about your child and his/her development, sleeping habits, diet, etc.

  29. Rebecca on November 1, 2012 at 10:49 pm

    I am pretty relaxed in the order of foods. But, I am avoiding all the high allergy foods for some a few more months – I’m not rushing. However, we are still in the ‘food under 1 is just for fun” stage and Max’s diet is still heavy on the formula

  30. JD on November 2, 2012 at 12:20 pm

    Have you ever thought to try lentils as a finger food? I know you mentioned beans, but lentils are great in that they’re smaller so you don’t need to cut them, and they can get nice and soft depending on how long you allow them to cook. I’m a nanny for a family with two children under 14 months (not twins, though… yay adoption!) who both love lentils! We cook them in water and a bit of seasoning alongside peas and carrots for added flavor. Once they’re cooked we take some of the lentils out for self-feeding, and then we use a food processor the mix the remainder which then gets portioned and frozen to spoon feed later on. We were all pretty shocked at how much the kids like lentils, but both of them seem to really enjoy the flavor and texture compared to some other foods that they get on a regular basis.

    We use brown lentils for their ability to maintain shape through cooking, but other varieties would probably work well also. Just a thought!

    • Fitnessista on November 2, 2012 at 12:54 pm

      yep liv loves lentils!

  31. Kath on November 3, 2012 at 10:24 am

    Great post Gina!

  32. Nicole on November 11, 2012 at 9:18 am

    Amelia is almost 1 and eats all sorts of beans, greens and grains for protein. We give her whole black beans, lentils, white beans and chick peas. She loves them all and we have never had any choking or gagging. She also eats spinach and quinoa. We haven’t puréed anything for months now, she prefers to feed herself! As for milk we are still breastfeeding but we have started giving her coconut milk and will also give her hemp milk. We like the coconut milk because it has the same medium chain fatty acids found in breast milk! I plan to stop pumping next week and transition to coconut milk and hemp milk during the day at daycare and breastfeeding when we are together. Wish me luck! Sounds like you are doing great feeding Liv, she is gorgeous and thriving. The only advice I would give is don’t be afraid to let her try things herself, you will be surprised at what she can handle at 10 months! For instance, Amelia prefers apple slices to little bits, she just loves holding it and biting off pieces! Keep up the great work!

    • Fitnessista on November 12, 2012 at 12:05 pm

      thank you for the awesome ideas and tips!
      i have a prob with liv biting off too much if i don’t give her small pieces… she’ll gnaw off a giant chunk and then squirrel it in her mouth :/

  33. Michelle on November 20, 2012 at 12:27 pm

    Hi! I have a 3year yo with one on the way and enjoyed your blog especially about fitness during pregnancy. The first year if I remember correctly is pretty much introducing foods and a variety to get her exposed to different kinds of foods. I did everything organic, like sweet potatoes ( he loved), frozen berries, organic avocados, Etc. I think he ate chicken too..just to taste. Just whatever you guys are eating i guess?Sorry cant remember. But around 18 mos that’s when they get their canines and can really start to chew. Now the only things hell eat are starchy foods like bread, bagels, etc. sigh. My son breasted until he was 28 months so I didn’t really need to worry about “milk” although he had wallaby organic yogurt at times or kefir. The weaning process was difficult. Is liv still nursing? Or are you pumping breast milk into a bottle? I’m curious to find out how moms weaned their infants/toddlers. U can email me?

  34. Tiffany on January 2, 2013 at 3:00 pm

    Does anyone supplement with cod liver oil and raw butter oil. Read up on it quite a bit and it seems to be a great daily supplement for babies, toddlers, children, and adults! Read a lot from people that don’t eat or drink dairy who use it. Curious if any of you use or know about it personally. I have a 10 month old that we are trying to figure out if she’ll be getting milk or other. But want to make sure she’s healthy as can be.

    • Erin Rothie on January 11, 2013 at 12:46 pm

      A friend of mine gives her toddler rice milk with cod liver oil (for omega-3) and I believe rice protein powder. Her girl has a lot of allergies, so that’s been her formula for a while. I have no idea the ratio of the supplement, but our health food store recommended it for her girl.

  35. Erin Rothie on January 11, 2013 at 12:45 pm

    I’ve really enjoyed your website, thanks! It’s hard being a parent and knowing what to give your so small child. Both my husband and I also don’t drink milk unless it’s in our morning latte, so we weren’t sure what to do as well. I cook with coconut milk mainly. I’ve read a lot that coconut milk is a great cow’s milk sub, but for us we really wanted our girl to get all the nutrients and protein that’s in cow’s milk….And yet, the idea of stealing milk from the young of an animal for our consumption kind of gags us out, you know?

    We decided for her to give her organic whole cow’s milk and she thankfully has no dairy allergies whatsoever. I was only able to nurse my girl the first 3 months then I dried up, so I was more than grateful to get away from formula as soon as she turned 1! Now she’s 15 months old and super healthy. She also loves water, smoothies, and tea but only when sick (otherwise she just doesn’t care).

    Also, have you ever considered freezing baby food purees in ice cube trays then keeping them in ziplock bags? They are super convenient that way and you can thaw easily then reheat. Also, you can freeze whole cooked beans. I buy 2lb bags of beans, cook in my slow cooker with seasonings and then freeze leftovers in 2 cup portions in ziplocks. It works great and there isn’t any waste.

  36. Max on October 15, 2013 at 1:08 pm

    Can I just say THANK YOU so much for posting pictures of the size of the bits you give Liv? I’ve read a million articles and blog posts about giving bite size pieces of food to baby but almost no one actually shows you what that looks like. Thank you!

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