Last week Palmer started eating three solid meals a day. Ironically, it coincided with the COVID-19 super market sweep so finding meats and produce has been a bit more challenging but we’ve made it work. Coronavirus craziness aside, I don’t think Kevin or I were quite prepared for this new stage or the amount of time it would take to prep, administer and clean up each meal.
Since Palmer was about five months, we’ve practiced our own version of Baby Led Weaning, feeding her only whole fruits or vegetables that she is able to easily gum or mush in her hands – think bananas, sweet potatoes, avocados, etc. Now that she’s nine months, pretty much anything is free game (except honey and large, hard chunks of food).
Our Pediatrician provided the following sample menu for a 9 to 12 month old to use as a guide. Note, this is strictly for solid foods as babies this age still require 16-24 oz. of milk per day.
- 1/4 – 1/2 cup cereal or mashed egg
- 1/4 – 1/2 cup fruit
- 1/4 cup cheese or cooked vegetables
- 1/4 – 1/2 cup yogurt or cottage cheese or meat
- 1/4 – 1/2 cup yellow or orange vegetables
- 1 teething biscuit or cracker
- 1/4 cup yogurt or fruit
- 1/4 cup meat or tofu
- 1/4 – 1/2 cup green vegetables
- 1/4 cup noodles or rice or potato
- 1/4 cup fruit
It may not seem like a lot but it was for us and required a fairly significant amount of proactive food prep. I don’t know about you all but we do not keep extra soft orange vegetables at the ready for a casual lunch.
We also hadn’t really introduced meat into Palmer’s diet quite yet and it felt strange to give her 1/4 cup of cooked, plain ground turkey, for example. This meant we had to get creative with ways to incorporate meat into her meals so I looked for inspiration in the foods Kevin and I enjoy frequently – Italian! A new recipe that I tried this week which Palmer LOVED is Baby Bolognese. It is super simple, chock full of vegetables, no added salt or spices and still delicious.
Baby Bolognese Recipe
- 2 tbsp Olive Oil
- 1 tbsp Garlic, crushed
- 1 Celery Stalk, finely chopped
- 1/2 of a Medium Yellow Onion, finely chopped
- 1 Large Carrot, grated (I used a cheese grater)
- 4 White Mushrooms, finely chopped
- 2 tbsp Parsley, finely chopped (optional)
- 1lb Ground Beef, browned (can sub ground turkey if preferred)
- 15oz. Tomato Sauce (I prefer to use crushed)
- Sauté olive oil, garlic, celery and onion until vegetables are soft (cook ~5 mins)
- Add carrots, mushrooms and parsley (cook ~2 mins)
- Add browned ground beef
- Add tomato sauce and simmer for ~20 mins, stirring regularly
- Top on your favorite pasta & enjoy! (we used rigatoni, cooked it extra long to soften it and cut it into small pieces)
It’s that simple and it makes a pretty large batch so I used these silicone ice cube trays to freeze some for future use. The other great thing about this recipe is that you can really use whatever vegetables you have on hand (other’s I’ve heard used in bolognese before include: pumpkin, zucchini, spinach, tomato, cauliflower).
It honestly was so delicious that Kevin and I kept stealing bites from Palmer’s bowl so I’m actually planning to make a second batch for Kevin and myself to eat this week.
Kara & Kevin