Monday, June 25, 2012

Kellan Grizzard, Party of One

I received so many emails from people that were also researching introducing solids and making their own baby food!  It was really surprising how many people out there are looking for better ways to feed their babies.  Thank you to everyone who supports and encourages us for the hard work we're putting into making Kellan's food.   Here is a link to an interview with the authors of the book that I'm using as a resource for Kellan's diet.  I thought this may be helpful for anyone that is interested in learning more.

*All information in this post comes from the book Super Nutrition for Babies: The Right Way to Feed Your Baby for Optimal Health
Kellan has added some new foods to his menu since he is moving into the 8-10 months age group.

Dark Meat Chicken:  Dark meat has more iron and more fat than white meat...both of what a growing baby needs!  I cooked two whole chicken legs (thighs and all) in the crock pot for about 6 hours.  It was extremely moist and falling off the bone.  I picked the meat out and blended it up in the Baby Bullet adding the broth as needed.  Of course Kellan loves it!

Beef: I can't remember what piece of meat this was.  It came from some part of the leg, Michael told me, and it still had the bone which makes it even better for cooking in the crock pot.  I cooked it for approximately 6 hours too and it was so tender I could mash it with a fork!. I put it in the Baby Bullet and blended it up.  Beef is also high in iron.

Apricots:  I cooked these over low heat with a little bit of coconut oil until they were very soft and could be mashed.  Apricots are high in iron and Vitamin A but since it is from a plant it is the non heme form of iron (not as much can be absorbed by the body) so it can not replace meat in a baby's diet.  The first time Kellan tried these he was not so sure about them.  He ate almost all of them before he started blowing them everywhere so I'm not sure if he got tired of the taste or he decided that he didn't like them anymore.

Cauliflower:  I cut an organic head of cauliflower into small pieces, including stems, and boil them in water for 30 minutes until they are soft enough to mash.   You want to keep the water that you cooked them in with the cauliflower when you mash it or puree it in a blender.  Nutrients can cook out into the water when you boil foods so you want to keep those in your mixture.  Cauliflower is considered a cancer fighter and contains the B vitamin biotin.  Kellan LOVES it!

Broccoli:  Broccoli is cooked pretty much the same way as cauliflower but I cut as much of the stems off as I can when I cut the head into small pieces.  I also boil the broccoli pieces for 30 minutes in water.  Be careful to keep an eye on it when it is cooking because mine absorbed A LOT of water.  You don't want all of the water to cook out and cause it to burn.  After the broccoli is soft enough to mash I put it and the cooking water into the Baby Bullet to puree.  Broccoli is also considered to be a cancer fighter.  It contains vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and chromium which aids the action of insulin causing it to help fight diabetes.  Kellan really enjoys broccoli and I have frozen several servings of it combined with cauliflower and on its own.

Broccoli and cauliflower blended together

Yogurt:  Cultured milk is a good source of protein, vitamins, minerals, and probiotics.  It also helps the body to absorb calcium, boosts the immune system, aids in digestion, and helps prevent constipation, thrush, and some diaper rashes.  This book recommends yogurt that is made with 100% whole milk and unflavored.  Babies need the fat in whole milk and flavored yogurts usually also contain added sugar.  Yo Baby Simply Plain is the only brand that I could find that met this criteria.  Kellan absolutely loves it and I usually serve it to him along with a fruit.  He has had yogurt with mango, canteloupe, papaya, peaches, and by itself.

Zucchini:  Zucchini is loaded with antioxidants and nutrients and is so easy to prepare.  I start by peeling them, cutting them into small pieces, and boiling them in beef or chicken broth until soft.  You do not need to really add very much liquid because when they cook down they are juicy on their own.  Kellan really likes zucchini. 

Zucchini, Celery*, Parsnips:  The book suggested this combination of vegetables so I decided to try it out.  I peeled the parsnips and zucchini and cut all vegetables into small pieces.  Then I boiled them together in beef or chicken broth for 25 minutes until soft.  I then put them in the Baby Bullet to blend until smooth.  I have to say that poor little Kellan was not a fan of this combination.  It was actually strange to watch because he kept opening his mouth for more but every time we would put a spoonful in his mouth he would gag.  He didn't turn his head, spit it out, or spew it everywhere like he usually does when he doesn't like something.  We will maybe try it again later but I'm not going to push it when there are so many other good foods that he loves.

*Make sure if you are using celery you buy organic.  Celery is number one on the list of foods with high pesticide residue.

Peaches:  Peaches are another food that is high on the list of foods with pesticide residue so if at all possible buy organic.  We had a hard time finding organic peaches until recently so I'm assuming they are seasonal.  We found them at Whole Foods and at Ellwood Thompson's Local Market in Richmond.  I peeled, removed the pit, and chopped the peaches into small pieces.  Then I sauteed them in a tablespoon or two of coconut oil on low heat until soft.  And last, I blend them until smooth.  Kellan adores peaches.  When I say adores, I mean he bounces up and down in his seat with his mouth open and flaps his arms.  He goes crazy and cries when they are gone.

Finger Foods:  I mentioned in an earlier post that I had started giving Kellan finger foods so that he can work on feeding himself.  I started off with homemade pear gummies and up to now we have tried small pieces of ripe avocado, banana, and cooked carrot.  A lot still fall on the floor but more and more are making it to his mouth.  Here is a video so you can check out his newest strategies...

New Schedule

I also mentioned in his 8 month post that his feeding schedule has changed slightly.  This is approximately what his schedule looks like now, the times really depend on what time he wakes up and how his naps fall during the day:

9-9:30 Finger foods (This week he has been eating half of an avocado and a half banana)
12-12:30  Lunch (This is when I introduce a new food for 3-4 days in a row.  I do this so that if he has an upset stomach or an allergic reaction I can trace it back to the source.  This week he has been eating the new food along with a familiar food.)
5:30-6 Dinner (At this time Kellan always has a meat and we either serve it with a fruit or a vegetable.)

New Products

Since we have been adding more and more foods to Kellan's diet and all of them all are either meats or produce I have to do a lot of preparing and freezing at one time so that the food doesn't spoil before Kellan has had a chance to eat it.  Add to that we are driving an hour to get to grocery store that carries organic fruits and vegetables which causes us to stock up on everything at once.  Although I would like to say that the Food Lion here in Emporia has recently started carrying organic cauliflower, lettuce, spinach, and bananas!  Its not much but its a start and we will definitely be buying all of them! 

Preparing several different foods at one time is not the problem.   The difficult part comes in when you have to freeze all of it.  Before I only had these 2 freezer trays that came with my Baby Bullet.

They are made out of silicone and are super flexible which makes it easy to pop out each serving.  I do not like the lids because they do not secure very well to the top and sometimes come lose in the freezer.  They still work very well and I highly recommend the whole Baby Bullet system.
We founds these little freezer containers at Wal Mart and they are made by Annabel Karmel, the author of lots of baby food recipe books.  Pros:  They work really well as individual servings when you are on the go.  All you have to do is take one or two out of the freezer and carry them with you.  Now the cons: I do not like them because the lids do not secure very well and the different sizes are a little weird.  I would rather them be the same size but they are still useful as they are.  Also they are made out of plastic so you can not pop the servings out for storage in plastic bags.
These are made by Dr. Brown and can be used as either individual serving containers on the go or you can pop them out and store in freezer bags.  They are also made out of silicone for easy removal.  The set of 6 comes with a freezer tray to keep them all level while they are in the freezer.  I used a piece of tape on the lid to label the contents.  These containers have been very useful.
This freezer tray is also made by Annabel Karmel and is made out of silicone to make it easy to pop out each portion for storage in freezer bags.  I like this tray a lot because the lid fits on the tray a little better.


  1. Great post Kristen! As Avery approaches the mark to eating solids, I want to try and make her food. It may not work out due to lack of time, but given her milk protein allergy, we will have to be diligent about what we feed her. I will check out your book recommendation above. If you could only have 1 baby food book, would this be the one? Love your blog btw!!! Maybe once grad school is over, I will have time to start back on our family blog. I thought I read somewhere where you can make your blog posts from the year into a book! Hiw's that for a scrapbook!!!
    Jessica Spencer

  2. Thanks! Yes I highly reommend this book but its a little "involved." Some of the things the author's suggest are a little radical but I've loved it so far. I also recommend Annabel Karmel's Top 100 Baby Purees. It has a lot more infomation that just recipes. And that was really the whole reason I started the eventually get a book printed! Such an awesome keepsake!

  3. Thanks Kristen! BTW... I would totally buy Avery's baby food from you if you were to go into business! I just don't have the time, but will have to make the time considering her milk allergy. I will check out that other book. And yes, the great thing about blogging is that you can turn it into a book! An awesome essay keepsake. Maybe I will start fresh on ours in the new year?! Looking great girl and congratulations to making it to 9 months of nursing! That is fantastic.