Today’s baby-led weaning update features watermelon, steamed carrots, hummus and mango! For those just tuning in, Isla turns seven months old this week and we’ve been at this for one month. Get ready for a ton of photos. This girl and her funny faces. She absolutely loves all this food and I literally take hundreds of photos of her at every meal. You’re lucky I was able to narrow them down at all!
I was a bit nervous about introducing carrots since they tend to be harder than other veggies. I’m glad I waited until Isla had gotten the hang of eating because even though I steamed them until they smushed between my forefinger and thumb they still broke off in chunks. I was still nervous, but Isla had no trouble at all. She’s gotten really good at moving food around in her mouth and spitting out the chunks that are too big to swallow.
I used whole carrots (apparently they have more nutrients than the baby ones), peeled them, sliced them down the middle lengthwise and then in half and steamed them on the stove for 25 minutes (or more depending on how big the chunks were). The key is to make sure you and baby can mush the carrots with your fingers.
After a few days, when I was sure Isla was comfortable and not allergic to carrots, I introduced hummus. I know a lot of people make their own hummus, but Wegmans makes one that we love and the ingredients are listed on its website so I went with that one. I did talk to our pediatrician first though because the recipe includes tahini, which is sesame paste, and sesame is a very common allergen. For those allergic to peanuts or with a history of family allergies, I read that it’s advised to hold off on sesame so please talk to your doctor first. Or find a hummus recipe made without it. There are a ton of good ones out there.
I sound like a broken record, but the hummus was a hit! She loved sucking it off the carrots and her fingers and even the tray and her bib, too. Also, apparently chickpeas make her tired. She was practically asleep by the end of her meal. It was pretty funny.
The hummus was, understandably, very messy so by the end she was covered. There was hummus in her armpits, her hair and the rolls of her neck! When we washed her face she had a bit of redness where the hummus was smeared so I panicked, of course, and asked our pediatrician. She said it was likely just a contact reaction, not an allergy since there were no signs of GI or respiratory issues. I kept a close eye on her for a few days before trying again.
A few days later I served the hummus again with steamed carrots and broccoli and she didn’t have any redness afterward so I’m hopeful it was just her skin reacting to the garlic, cayenne pepper or other ingredients. But now I know she can handle a little spice!
Watermelon! Love love love. She sucks the juice right out. This is another one that’s a bit chunky though so make sure your little one can handle the chunks before introducing watermelon. I think more than anything she was very curious about the texture as she dug her fingers into it. She kept making this funny face and ripping the pieces apart before she would put them in her mouth. It was too funny. I love watching her explore new foods.
I first gave her a big triangle chunk with the rind on. That ended up being way too hard to pick up though so I cut them into more narrow, triangular pieces without the rind. Watermelon is a bit tough in terms of texture, as I mentioned, so it was easy for her to pick up (not slippery).
This picture sums up our experience with mango. I don’t buy mango normally so I don’t think it was quite ripe enough when I served it. Even I didn’t really like it. She devoured an avocado instead. (I always have avocado on hand. It’s a trusty back-up.)
Prune juice! Isla was having some diaper trouble since the introduction of solids so we started giving her a little prune juice with her meals. First of all, she loved it! And second, it worked! We tried pear juice first for a few days and that didn’t help, plus, to my surprise, she prefers the prune juice.
So what’s next, mom?! Isla is turning seven months old this weekend and since she’s getting really good at managing a variety of textures and tastes, I’m feeling brave and want to try some actual recipes. Simple, basic things with pasta, then maybe add an avocado or pesto sauce (I’m waiting a little while to introduce tomato sauce and other acidic foods). I’m also contemplating meatballs and chicken, though I’m not quite sure how to go about the latter, plus cauliflower and another fruit. Any favorite recipes for a seventh-month-old? Any chicken suggestions?