Rather than write about baby-led weaning week-by-week, I’m going to break this down into parts to share our progress. So here comes part two, which includes peaches, sweet potatoes (two ways) and our failed attempt at yellow squash …
Peaches! Peaches are now the favorite. Broccoli, to my dismay, is out … for now. I tried to give her broccoli again the day after we introduced peaches and she gave it a really dirty look. But we’re going to keep trying. The peaches were amazing. Isla couldn’t stop licking her lips and sucking her thumb (and making the funniest faces I’ve ever seen from her) to get every last drop of that sweet, tangy juice. She ate an entire peach the first time we introduced it.
I served the peaches uncooked but without the skin, which was coming off in tiny bits and pieces when I started to peel it so I was glad I didn’t attempt to give it to her. To make peeling easier you can boil the peach for one minute and it’ll slide right off. I found it was easier just to use my fingers or a knife though since boiling the peach makes it too slippery for Isla to pick up. I cut the peach in quarters and gave her one big chunk at a time. Mostly she just sucked that amazing juice and spit out the rest, which was a-ok by me.
In hindsight, both the peaches and sweet potatoes were a bit easier for Isla to handle and less nerve-wracking for mom and dad (no chunks to gag on), but we continue to give her avocado and banana and she is getting better every day.
That, my friends, is a sweet potato fry mustache. My girl. Such a ham. The sweet potatoes were a huge hit. I’ve been giving them to her in combination with other foods nearly every day because she loves them and they are so good for her. So far, we have prepared sweet potatoes two different ways …
The first time I introduced sweet potato was in the form of baked fries. Here’s how:
Preheat over to 400°
Peel the whole sweet potato
Cut into long, thick fries (I found the skinnier ones cooked more quickly and charred a bit so the thicker the better. Thicker is also easier to grab.)
Put the fries in a bowl, drizzle with olive oil and toss around for a light coating
Lay the fries out on a baking sheet (so there is no overlapping) and bake for 20-25 minutes (flipping after 10 minutes) or until soft enough for you to smoosh with your thumb and forefinger
Let cool and serve one at a time
The fries don’t require any additional seasoning. In fact, I loved them so much I ate more than she did. One for you, three for me.
Then we tried yellow squash. This failed for a couple of reasons, none being the taste. My preparation was all wrong. I cut it lengthwise and scooped out all the seeds, which pretty much left no meat. Then I baked the two halves in covered corningware in an inch of water at 400° for 25 minutes, until the insides were really soft. Then I spooned out the insides and tried to give it to her in small chunks (once it cooled a bit, of course). It was too stringy so I had to make the chunks pretty small, which means she couldn’t pick them up. She would get some in her fist eventually but the pieces were so small she just couldn’t get them into her mouth. I’m going to wait on summer squash and zucchini until she can eat them in strips or rounds with some seasonings. I’m unsure how she’ll handle the seeds so … pause on these.
This brings me to our second way of preparing the sweet potato. I was in a pinch without the yellow squash so I needed something quick. Here’s how I prepared it:
Wash thoroughly then poke holes in the top of the sweet potato
Heat in the microwave for 6 minutes
Poke with a fork to see if it’s nice and soft
Cut it in half and make sure the inside is soft (Mine wasn’t so I put one half in the fridge for later and put the other one back in the microwave for 2 1/5 minutes. When it came out it was really mushy all the way to the center and peeled right out of the skin.)
I was able to keep chunks in tact and give it to her almost in fry shape so she could grab each piece. As you can see in the photos above, she went to town. If you’re trying sweet potato for the first time, this is a good way to do it. The potato was incredibly soft, as you can see by all the tiny little chunks all over her tray, and there was very little fear of choking. Occasionally, I squished those little chunks together to make bigger chunks she could grab.
We give Isla about two ounces of water from a sippy cup during meals at the recommendation of our pediatrician. Water can be extremely dangerous for babies so please talk to your doctor before giving water or other fluids to an infant. If you do get approval and are in search of a solid sippy cup (I searched for what felt like weeks for the right cup), we love the NUK Learner Cup with a soft spout, which was recommended to me by several of my mom friends.
And that’s part two. At this point we’re rotating/combining avocados, peaches, broccoli, bananas and sweet potatoes but we’re not quite sure what to introduce next. Any advice? I’d love to hear what foods you are serving (or have served) to your six-month-olds.
*Please note: This post is meant to provide useful tips about baby-led weaning. This is our family’s personal journey and is not meant to replace the advice of your doctor. I am NOT a doctor. I am a stay-at-home mom with a background in public relations so taking medical advice from me would be straight up crazy. Seriously. We’re exploring baby-led weaning in consultation with our pediatrician … every step of the way. You should do the same.