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    Emily Malone

    culinary arts grad. nutrition facts lover. vegetarian chef. marathon runner. country music maniac. failed dog trainer. barre fanatic. loving mama.

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    A Look Back.



Foodie Baby: Take Two.

I tend to shy away from writing advice posts, because really the only things I am an expert at are parallel parking, reading maps, and making perfectly crispy tofu.  Beyond that, I’m just figuring it out with the rest of you guys.  So this is definitely not advice – it’s more of a recap of me blubbering my way through baby’s first foods.

One of the trickiest things about writing about parenting is that as soon as I write something, it will change.  Back in May, I told you how we had just gotten started with solid food.  Cullen kept choking on bigger pieces, and so I was giving him some store-bought organic jarred food as a simple way to dip my toe in the rough waters of first foods. 

And as soon as I wrote that, it was over.

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Purees?  Don’t even think about it.  The spoon?  I’ll take that, thank you.

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After just 2-3 weeks of trying a mixture of purees and soft solids, Cullen completely rejected the purees and insisted on doing everything himself.  Despite his early hesitation to eat the solids, I kept offering them and continued to encourage him to try more textured food. 

Eventually he took interest in making a mess and attempting to navigate the pieces into his mouth.  He quickly learned how to chew and swallow, and the rest was history.

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I’m totally amazed at how much his eating has changed in just a few short months.  He eats large pieces of fruit and veggies like they are nothing, and his appetite is insatiable.  Like…literally.  I have to cut him off or I think he’d sit and eat all day!

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When he first got started, he had trouble figuring out how to get food from his grasp into his mouth.  Everything was jammed into that tight little fist, and he’d get frustrated with how little he was actually eating (although he also didn’t want any help!).  Frustration turned into determination, and bit by bit his pincer grasp developed.  Now he can pick up things as small as lentils!

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Breakfast and dinner are often some of the highlights of our day.

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Cullen and I have a breakfast date each morning.  He plays while I prep both our meals – cereal, fruit, and coffee for mom, diced fruit for baby.

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Everything he eats is finger foods, since he insists on only feeding himself.  It has actually been a little challenging to figure out what to feed him since I can’t do anything mixed or pureed.  It has also been a learning experience to figure out how MUCH to feed him.  This kid can really eat!

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The dogs are thrilled with this new development, and they fight for the coveted spot under the high chair at every meal.

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Breakfast is usually an assortment of diced fruits.  It has been really convenient to be exploring his first foods during the summer when so much is in peak season (and it’s one of the reasons I love having a fall baby!).  So far he loves cantaloupe, watermelon, cherries, peaches, plus, blueberries, kiwi, banana, and figs.  I have yet to find a fruit he doesn’t like!

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Dinner is usually a combination of veggies and a few proteins.  Current favorites include sweet potatoes, carrots, avocado, peas, and black beans.  Greens have taken a bit more convincing. 

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Broccoli was not a hit.

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Months ago Cullen had a bad reaction to oatmeal cereal, so I’ve avoided most grain and gluten products up until this point.  We’re going to talk about when to reintroduce those at his nine month appointment.  He also hasn’t had any dairy yet, as we’re still deciding exactly how we want to approach that going forward.  I’m looking forward to bombarding his pediatrician with questions next week!

One of the biggest recent changes is Cullen’s unwillingness to watch US eat if he’s not participating.  Meals out now require a separate packed snack for him.  He gobbles down Happy Baby Puffs by the fist-full, so I can only give him a few at a time.  They have been our saving grace at restaurants!

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And when he needs something more substantial than a few handfuls of cereal, I carry around a few organic baby food pouches of pureed fruits and veggies.  Mr. Independent likes to hold them himself, and he can eat one in an alarmingly short amount of time.

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Right now we’re just doing breakfast and dinner for meals (with an occasional afternoon snack, but I think we’ll be adding lunch in very soon.  He’s also still breastfeeding 5 times a day, which remains his primary source of nutrition. 

I started solids feeling nervous and confused – deciding what and how to feed your child feels like a huge responsibility.  These days I feel relaxed and excited about it.  I love seeing him react to new foods, and I have fun finding and offering new combos and ways to eat things.  Tonight we’re trying spinach…

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Wish us luck!

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59 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Catherine @ Rabbit Food For My Bunny Teeth     at 5:53 pm

Omg Cullen’s broccoli face is priceless!

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Emily S     at 5:56 pm

awesome! Go Cullen!

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Tiff     at 6:02 pm

I get that face with broccoli too. ;) That’s really great he’s doing so well… except for the oats of course. A foodie in the making!

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Jolene (Homespun Heritage)     at 6:14 pm

Your experience with Cullen is similar to my firstborn…she only ate pureed foods for a few weeks before she moved on to regular food. My 2nd child was the child who would not even consider solids until really about 18 months…turned out she had horrific food allergies. She still has food aversions, difficulty eating certain textures, etc…and she’ll eat when she’s good and ready and not a minute sooner. She’s 2.5 now and despite not gaining weight for 6+ months she’s much better now.

Praying this next one of ours is much easier and without the severe food allergies!

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Erica     at 6:22 pm

I love how much the parent-child relationship starts to revolve around food/feeding at this point. I can’t imagine having to be prepared for every outing with special food and snacks, and not knowing how much to feed my child and what type of food. You seem to be doing an incredible job!

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Sarah     at 6:26 pm

All of the faces he makes while eating are adorable. You should make a photo collage of all his first food faces. ;-)

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Rachael     at 6:28 pm

I think those puffs have oats and wheat in them so if Cullen is tolerating those you probably don’t have anything to worry about with those foods.

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Heather Disarro     at 6:35 pm

We just started doing puréed foods with our little guy and it’s seriously a blast to watch him figure out new flavors. When it’s time to move to more solid foods I think I may just explode from excitement!

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Megan     at 6:48 pm

I love these updates! Thanks for sharing so much of what you learn with us all. I’m expecting my first born in December and I have loved reading about your experiences, gives me a glimpse of what’s to come :)

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Meagan     at 6:57 pm

Good progress!!

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Ashley @ My Food 'N' Fitness Diaries     at 7:00 pm

oh my gosh, i just can’t get over him! that is great he is such a big eater!

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Sana     at 7:24 pm

I love the pictures of Cullen eating, he LOVES food!!!

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Christina     at 7:25 pm

What a doll baby!! That smile is so contagious. When I was a baby I Had allergic reactions to dairy. As I grew it developed into intolerance, but nothing unbearable.

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Jaclyn @ JustJac     at 9:20 pm

This is so cute. Even though I’m not a mom – and not trying to be for a WHILE, ha! – I love reading these posts about you and Cullen and your little family. I remember last fall (I was studying abroad in Paris) when I read the first few posts of you as a new mom, and bringing him home from the hospital. It’s really crazy/cool to see him grow up so much …just on the blog!

…and of course, being a Seattleite myself, I love all the Seattle references! :]

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Nikki     at 9:31 pm

Im forever trying to find a yummy cereal that isn’t a sugar bomb-what kind of cereal do you and Casey eat?

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Michelle@PeachyPalate     at 11:50 pm

Ah he’s super cute! Surprised he found something he doesn’t like since he likes such an array of fruit! Hope the spinach went well! You should try him with buckwheat, quinoa and millet, or you could make an amaranth and millet breakfast bowl, lovely and creamy I’d say it would go a treat! I wouldn’t worry too much about the dairy, you could even use breastmilk to make up the amaranth bowl.

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Courtney@Translating Nutrition     at 12:20 am

Such cute faces! And way to go introducing all of those different healthy flavors and textures! As a dietitian I’ve heard so many parents get frustrated with introducing veg and fruit, but it seems like you’re enjoying the ride and doing really great job. And you never know, he may like broccoli by the 12th time hes tried it:)

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Amanda     at 4:05 am

Every kid is different too! I went in thinking my second would be just as excited about solids as my first was since she drinks so much but no, she is not about purees at all. We’ve tried several different kinds and she varies in her reactions to the same flavors every day. My first ate everything, even veggies no problem. So its still a learning experience even with the second :)

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Ali @ Peaches and Football     at 4:49 am

For some reason I just love the picture of him drinking the fruit/veggie pouch. He just looks so focused, has the double grip down perfectly – tackling it like a pro. Don’t they grow up ridiculously fast!?

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Gabby (Quest for Delicious)     at 4:54 am

Such a happy little baby. :) Good luck with the spinach!

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Lizzie     at 6:22 am

He is growing up fast! So adorable.

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Kaci Blake     at 6:25 am

I feel the same way. My baby is almost 6 months and it’s scary figuring out what is best. I do have a 8 year old and I swear back then I was so naive I just did plain ol jar food. I’m determined to make better choices for this little one. =)

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Julie     at 6:54 am

What a fun post to read! He is absolutely adorable! :)

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Sara     at 7:03 am

I love ALL of his faces in these photos–especially the broccoli one! Love reading about your adventures w/ Cullen.

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Danielle     at 7:25 am

Wishing you much luck (though it seems like you are doing great so far!) My son is 17 months now and without a doubt figuring out what, how much and when to feed him solids was the most difficult. I still don’t know if I’m doing a good job. All I know is, he seems to enjoy eating and he is growing as he should be. Cullen seems to fit that bill so I’m sure you are doing just what you should. But take comfort in that there are many of us who struggle with it!

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Kathy     at 7:37 am

We were always told to start babies on Rice cereal and that is what we did. they loved it and we didn’t have any type of reaction. However, if Cullen doesn’t like pureed stuff, he may not like the rice cereals as they are very creamy. Maybe do like a rice pudding type thing and he might go for that.

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Alex @ Raw Recovery     at 8:15 am

Gosh he’s adorable. I admire the fact that you are giving him so many fruit options! When I read that he likes figs I thought, “He’s going to have such a sophisticated palate!” I think that’s really great. I know a lot of kids don’t like broccoli but I loved it when I was little. It’s funny how the color of a food can really turn a little one off from it…and taste as well I guess :)

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Erin     at 8:32 am

My daughter is two months younger than Cullen and we’re going a similar route with food after she rejected almost all purées. It’s been a lot more fun over the last couple weeks and she literally grabbed the lettuce off my plate and shoved it in her mouth the other day. She’s still figuring out chewing (with no teeth in site) and swallowing but i know she’s enjoying the experience now. One thing she particularly enjoyed were a few bites of your sweet potato zucchini muffin :)

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Nana Phyllis     at 8:52 am

If you do dairy, grilled cheese is always a hit with little ones. Other sandwiches cut in small pieces are usually enjoyed.

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Erin @ Girl Gone Veggie     at 8:56 am

Cullen is so cute! And a baby with a healthy appetite is a very good thing!

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Amanda Perry @ Sistas of Strength     at 9:12 am

My son eats eggs with spinach almost every morning for breakfast. Loves it!

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Jessica @ New Girl, New City     at 10:04 am

How exciting! Cullen DEFINITELY has a stubborn and independent streak!

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Angela @ Happy Fit Mama     at 10:15 am

I felt the same way when starting solids. So scary about how they are going to react, allergic reations, choking, etc. Once they are comfortable you feel more relaxed and enjoy trying new things. I actually found a few foods that I didn’t think I liked while introducing them to my twins. Have fun!

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Ashley Austrew     at 10:41 am

I’m so glad someone else is going through this. I have a 9 month old girl (Sonia) and she now refuses to eat purees. She only wants finger foods, and she throws them EVERYWHERE. It’s fun, but holy crap is it a mess! She’s also figured out how to feed the dog. She looks down to see where the dog is, and then leans over and purposely throws food on the floor. And Cullen with those pouches! Wow! These kids are too smart for their own good.

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Lexi @ You, Me, & A World to See     at 10:44 am

Hahaha love the reaction to broccoli. Even as a broccoli lover now, I don’t think I liked it at all when I was little!

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Amber K     at 11:25 am

It looks like you’re doing a great job! I love that you are exposing him to so many different foods. Too bad he doesn’t like broccoli yet, it’s my favorite veggie and has been since I was little!

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Diana @ frontyardfoodie     at 11:25 am

Aww he’s SO cute! My so is the same way about eating everything himself. He’s almost two now and loves nearly every food he’s tried!

You’re doing an awesome job!

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Louise     at 11:28 am

I’m encouraged by this post! My seventh month old is having trouble with finger foods. He hasn’t figured out the pincer grasp yet, and he tries to steal the spoon from me. I still put puffs on his tray at every meal, even though they all end up on the floor. I’m looking forward to no longer just feeding him purees.

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Suzanne     at 11:55 am

Wow, it sounds like he’s doing amazing! And he’s SO cute. For the grains, have you considering doing a traditional preparation method, like sprouting, soaking, or fermenting? I’m not sure what sort of reaction he had, but traditionally prepared grains are easier to digest, so he might be able to handle them better.

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Maya     at 12:14 pm

So cute!! I’m getting better at sharing restaurant food with my baby… today we split a serving of edamame at a coffee shop (and I had to hide my iced coffee behind her so she wouldn’t grab it, but that’s another story). I love sharing breakfast with her, too!

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Megan     at 4:16 pm

Totally random, but what brand of high chair is that and do you like it?! We’re due at the end of September and I’m leaning towards a Keekaroo, but I love the colors of yours together with the dark wood!

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Kat     at 5:38 pm

loooove peter rabbit organic. and happy baby puffs!

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maribel     at 6:09 pm

I wish I had your persistence or patience…I gave up so easy those first months when my son would refuse foods…no wonder my son is such a picky eater

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Leah     at 9:35 pm

He’s adorable! Love the pictures!

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Tiffany     at 10:26 pm

How adorable is Cullen! And I so remember all of this with my 2 kids. My son is 3 and can still eat like no one else! He is insatiable! Thanks for sharing these great photos! We love being a part of your first year in parenting.

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Laura (Blogging Over Thyme)     at 7:21 am

Chopping up all those fruits and veggies seems like a perfect way to practice knife skills ;)

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dynamics     at 4:53 pm

I am super curious. We all know the talk about Protein, carbs and fats and how important eating protein is for breakfast. Why are we feeding babies only fruits for breakfast? Have you ever researched this? Just wondering why we do that. Does fruit have a lot of sugar and is this a good thing? Hmm, so many questions. Cullen is so cute and so independent and that smile can turn a bad day into a good day.

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Emily Malone Reply:

He really only eats fruit and veggies right now – more for experience and taste than nutrition. That will change as he gets older and food becomes a more substantial part of his diet.

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Noelle     at 6:56 pm

So question, was Cullen drinking breast milk from his sippy cup? What are the names of those cloth bibs? I only have the sort ones but I totally need long ones.thanks!

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Emily Malone Reply:

Yep, breastmilk! And the big bibs are from Carter’s. I love them, and they are super cheap sold in three packs.

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Presley (@runpretty)     at 9:02 am

I’m so excited for these days! I have a WHILE before he’ll be eating solids, but I can’t wait to see him experiment.

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Erica     at 5:44 pm

oh my gosh! I thought I was the only one…I seriously think Kaylin would sit and eat all day sometimes! Its so much fun to watch them eat. Cullen is ADORABLE

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Melissa     at 2:56 pm

Is this an OXO highchair? We’re in the market for new chair — do you like this one? Would love to hear what you think of it….

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Emily Malone Reply:

Yep! OXO tot sprout – we love it! So glad I splurged and got this one.

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MommyPage     at 4:05 pm

Yummy baby food!! It looks like your son is enjoying your cooking.

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Daily Garnish » Blog Archive » Foodie Baby: One Year.     at 4:11 pm

[...] Foodie Baby: Take Two [...]

Daily Garnish » Blog Archive » Foodie Baby: Gear & Goods     at 2:36 pm

[...] Foodie Baby: Take Two [...]

Lara     at 7:27 pm

I’m really enjoying these posts, and pinning away on your many great posts lately! We are hoping to do BLW with G, but I’ve heard it can be tricky. We’ll see, I guess!

[Reply]

Daily Garnish » Blog Archive » Foodie Baby: The Toddler Years.     at 3:30 pm

[...] Foodie Baby: Take Two [...]

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