Need ideas for baby food…for a picky eater!

I downloaded “The Unhealthy Truth” by Robyn O’Brien onto my Kindle, and what I’ve read so far has scared the heck out of me. So now I’ve resolved to make my own baby food with organic fruits and vegetables…and I realize that I don’t know what I am doing, being a cooking idiot and all. Yes, me, the corporate ladder-climbing woman who once wore her kitchen ignorance as a badge of honor is now humbled and motivated to be a conscientious Mom.

Since my baby started solids, I have been buying her organic baby foods in jars and patting myself on the back for being an “organic Mom.” But Robyn O’Brien’s book has gotten me thinking about how long those jars have been sitting on that Whole Foods shelf and what exactly has gone into them to enable said sitting. And of course, I KNOW that the best food for my baby is whole, unprocessed, and made by moi from the original organic ingredients themselves, so that is what I am going to do as much as possible. To that end, I armed myself with a food processor and started puree-ing (is that a verb?) fresh bananas, apples, strawberries, etc., for my baby when I ran headlong into another problem: the little Apple is a picky eater!

She makes a sour pucker-face whenever I feed her fruits of any kind, almost as if I were giving her lemons. She’ll open her mouth for the first spoonful (because she trusts me and has no idea what she’s about to get), then makes a yucky face, and then just purses her lips and pushes my hand away when I try to give her the second spoonful. No matter what I do, whether it’s take a “pretend-bite” and say, “YUMMY!” or wave the spoon around like and make a noise like it’s an airplane, she won’t budge.

Okay, fine, I thought. She seems to love all vegetables, so I started puree-ing vegetables. But then I ran into another dilemma: the preparation time is enormous! I guess I was a kitchen idiot for a reason. It turns out that you can’t just puree beans or carrots or potatoes raw and feed them to the baby (haha, I am saying this like it’s a grand realization when many of you are probably shaking your heads and laughing at me, thinking, “And you just figured this out now?!”). You have to boil or cook them first, which I really don’t have time to do.

So, at the risk of opening up my kimono ALL the way and showing how truly IGNORANT I am in these matters, I am putting my questions out there. I don’t mind getting laughed at, I only mind continuing to be ignorant. Please, help this rookie organic Mom who is doing her best to get “crunchy!”

1. What foods do you prepare for your baby for breakfast? Lunch? Dinner?

2. How much of it does your baby eat? (My baby is 10 months old, has one tooth, and is still breastfed – is 2 ounces each sitting too little?)

3. How do you keep the flavors interesting? It seems bland to me to feed her boiled potatoes.

4. Any recipes you want to share (preferably vegetarian – see my post about my conflicted decision to raise the baby vegetarian)?

5. What do you do with the leftovers if the baby doesn’t finish them all in one sitting? Put them in the fridge? For how long?

6. Other than sweet potatoes/yams, carrots, peas, potatoes, avocadoes, are there any other vegetables that might be good for the baby? If so, how would you prepare them?

About Mare

is a Master Herbalist, Certified Aromatherapist, and enthusiastic natural mommy to a beautiful tot of 2, the Little Apple. She shares her parenting adventures (sometimes mis-adventures) via this blog.
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6 Responses to Need ideas for baby food…for a picky eater!

  1. I am a big fan of using chunks of organic medium tofu as baby finger food. They travel easily, cut nicely into whatever size the baby can handle and it is easy to digest. My kids are attached to tofu. They will try any new dish as long as tofu is in it. Also try giving older babies nori snacks. It’s the ultimate toddler food.

    • Mare says:

      Hi Sue, thanks for the suggestion! I love tofu, too, but I’ve been reading “The Unhealthy Truth” and the author is presenting mounting evidence that soy is not as healthy as we previously thought it to be. In particular, it is thought to mess with our natural estrogen levels. What do you think about this? Have you read or heard anything along these lines too? It’s so confusing – first it’s a “superfood,” then it’s a bad food. I swear, sometimes it’s so hard to know what is healthy at all.

  2. Kelly says:

    When my mom used to watch my daughter full-time while I worked, she often fed her “jook” (rice porridge) and sweet potatoes. She would buy whole sweet potatoes and would steam them….and you will then get a very soft consistency and no need to deal with pureeing. (just more to clean up). I do hear the baby bullet is also a good investment…I have something similiar….which has been helpful too.

  3. Cecilia Guevarra says:

    Hey Mare,
    Izzy likes the food I prepare more than the jars. Have you tried the organic babyfood that are in the pouches?…Izzy really likes the Ella’s kitchen ones like,
    1. spinach apples and rutabaga 2. carrots apples parsnips 3. broccoli, pears peas. I will mix these pouches with jar food she doesn’t like and she eats it.
    There are days when she won’t eat the things she likes. That is when I give her a spoon or some measuring cups to bang together and its like she gets distracted and doesn’t even realize she is opening her mouth…and down the food goes…lol My husband use to think it was bad to let her play in her highchair cause it was, “meal time,” but when he experienced how much easier it was to feed her, he became a big fan. I also put small pieces of food she can grab and feed herself on her tray, and every other piece she eats I try to get a spoon full of food in her mouth. Or I will put a tiny small piece of what she really likes on top of the food in the spoon so she sees the yummy food and opens her mouth. She loves all fruit I have given her, just like her mommy. lol
    She loves blueberry soup (1 cup blueberries, 1/4 cup of water, zap in microwave for 1 min. mix mash, cool down, serve.) she loves it with her oatmeal. She also loves baby yogurt (yoyo baby brand) in the morning.
    Some table food veggies I usually give her small tiny broccoli (heads) and squash/zucchini, mushroom pieces steam real good so they are soft enough for her to gum because she only has one tooth too. I steam a lot so the “adults” can eat healthy too. lol.
    I also give her small pieces of fresh mozzarella cheese, chopped up pieces of tomatoes. (she loves it when I mix the juice of the tomato in her food too.) I gave her some small soft pieces of bok choy last week and she liked it.
    When it comes to spices sometimes I add cinnamin to her oatmeal in the morning. She didn’t like it at first but I tried it again and she ate it. I also sprinkled some ginger and garlic on her veggies in the past. I use this web site for some tips:
    This week I am going try egg yolk. I read the yolk (hard boiled) is ok it give baby but not the whites. That is not a vegetarian meal huh. :(
    Just becareful and watch for any allergic reactions to any new foods. i think they say wait 4 days to introduce a new food.
    I rarely puree food now. I just refrigerate her food and use it within 1-2 days.
    An idea since you have a busy schedule…find another vegetarian mom that (purees) makes her babyfood too and swap food. Make a batch of something and swap a few trays of ice cubes with her. Can increase your variety of food in less time. :) maybe try some eggplant. Yum. :) have fun.

  4. Jess says:

    See if your library has “Real Food for Mother and Baby”. It will give you tons of advice on this topic! I found that my babies never really liked purees, so I just started giving them whatever I was eating, cooking it more or chopping it more to make it appropriate for their age/number of teeth. My babies would eat cooked rice, cooked noodles (chopped), any sort of meat or vegetable, cooked and chopped to bite sized pieces. Blueberries are a big favorite, and chopped apples with peels taken off.

    I also recommend the website. Babies that are as old as yours is can have *almost* everything you eat. See the chart halfway down this page ( for the “forbidden foods”.

    • Mare says:

      Thank you so much! I will take a look, especially at the forbidden foods. The other day, I went to give my baby whole blueberries, and my husband freaked out and said I was giving her choking hazards. At what age did you give your babies blueberries? Is 10 months too young? She has no teeth yet, but they’re definitely coming in.

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