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Working Mom Advice: Meal Prep for Your Baby

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Jaxon’s Diet: Meal Prep for Your Baby

Feeding your infant in the first 12 months of their life seems to be nerve wrecking. How do you know what to feed them? How much? Can they chew things if they do not have teeth? Rest assured that there is a process that we followed, and I am here to help you. I will begin by talking about how we introduced solids into Jaxon’s diet, how we balanced feedings with nursing sessions, and how we meal prep for him now that he is almost 1 all while working full-time! The question of how to meal prep for your baby won’t seem so daunting after you read this post!

meal prep for your babyIntroducing Solids

When wondering what to feed your infant when you first begin, stick to these guidelines:

1). Green Veggies

2). Orange Veggies

3). Fruit

4 ). Meat

We got the green light to introduce solids to Jaxon when he turned 4 months. Some sources suggest 6 months, especially if an infant is breastfed. We were cautious at first because we did not want Jaxon to take more of an interest in food than breastmilk and as a result, self-wean.

To combat that, we only fed him pureed food once a day and continued with his regularly scheduled nursing sessions and bottles. We began with green veggies, so he could get used to eating those important, vitamin-packed foods. At 6 months, we introduced orange veggies. It was around 9 months when we finally began offering him a full, balanced meal once a day. That meal included pureed meat, green veggies, and orange veggies. It was all store-bought, might I add.

At this time, he was also accustomed to eating finger snacks that dissolve easily in his mouth. Our poor baby still did not have teeth, but the snacks were perfect to teach him how to chew. Once we saw him chewing his snacks, we tried to introduce pureed food with chunks of meat. He found it incredibly disgusting, and after repeated attempts, we did not force it on him anymore.

Other food that was introduced in months 4-10 were rice, eggs, bread, and pasta. He has this wonderful mesh pacifier that we put fruit into. The mesh allows for him to chew on the pacifier, and get all of the juices from the fruits.

meal prep for your baby

 

Implementing Solids

Once Jaxon turned 9 months, I decided to drop a bottle. I took away one of his mid-day bottles and replaced it with food.

The way his feeding schedule went for months 4-6 were:

6:30 AM – Nursing

9:30 AM – Bottle

12:30 PM – Food (green or orange veggies, or fruit)

3:30 PM – Bottle

6:30 PM – Nursing

This schedule was tentative, and he almost always nursed later than 6:30 PM, simply because he goes to bed late. He is sleep-trained, so he does not wake up in the middle of the night/early in the morning to nurse. There have been those rare occasions where he would wake up not feeling well, and I would nurse him to put him back to sleep. They were very rare.

Once Jaxon hit 6 months, he began to eat solids on a daily basis. From months 7-10, he would eat breakfast in place of his first bottle. For example:

6:30 AM – Nursing

9:30 AM – Breakfast (eggs & fruit)

12:30 PM – Food (green or orange veggies)

3:30 PM – Bottle

6:30 PM – Nursing

Switching to Homemade Food

meal prep for your babyAt 10 months, I started the process of slow weaning Jaxon from breastmilk. There is no “right way” to wean, in my opinion. Some mother’s quit cold-turkey while others allow their baby to self-wean. I wanted the weaning process to be mutual for both Jaxon and myself. The goal was to take away one feeding a month until soon after his first birthday, where he would no longer be drinking breastmilk at all. To accomplish this, I dropped the other midday bottle.

6:30 AM – Nursing

9:30 AM – Breakfast (eggs or grits, and fruit)

12:30 PM – Food (green or orange veggies)

3:30 PM – Food (meat, veggies, starch)

6:30 PM – Nursing

Now that Jaxon is 11 months, I plan to take his nighttime nursing away and replace it with a full meal. The schedule will still be the same, but what he is eating will change. He will nurse in the morning before I go to work, eat 3 meals (breakfast, lunch, and dinner), and have 2 snacks throughout the day. As I’ve mentioned before, the timing of his feedings are tentative, and hardly ever go according to plan. They are more of a guideline of a timeframe of when he should be eating. When preparing to meal prep for your baby, keep these important food groups in mind, in order to give your baby a balanced, healthy meal. Here is a list of what he eats now:

Meats

  • Turkey (grounded) with chicken broth
  • Chicken (grounded) with chicken broth
  • Beef (grounded) with beef broth

The broth helps soften the meat, which makes it easier for him to chew. Jaxon will also not have pork in his diet.

meal prep for your baby

Veggies

  • Peas & carrots
  • Green beans
  • Creamed corn (starchy veggie)
  • Avacado
  • Spinachmeal prep for your baby

Starches

  • Mashed sweet potatoes
  • Spinach pasta
  • Mashed potatoes

We use breastmilk or almond milk when making the mashed potatoes from scratch.

meal prep for your baby

Breakfast

  • Pureed fruit
  • Grits
  • Eggs
  • Oatmeal
  • Turkey sausage

Lunch

Right now, small cups of ravioli, spaghetti o’s, and spaghetti seem to be his favorite lunch options. He also gets either almond milk or water with each meal. It took him a while to adjust to the almond milk, but he loves it now! The thing that I love most about all of the different options is that no meal is ever the same for him. We can mix and match the different food groups, so he does not get tired of eating the same thing.

Meal Prep

For all of you hard-working moms out there, whether you are a stay-at-home mom or a working mom, meal prepping is the way to go. Just like meal-prepping for yourself, it only takes a couple hours a day, one day a week. In our case, we made more meat than Jaxon could eat, so after the week was up, we froze it. Now, whenever we are prepping his plates, we can thaw out small amounts of the meat. He went through the other food groups by the end of the week. Meal prepping takes discipline, but it saves a lot of time because his plate is ready-to-go when it’s time for him to eat. It is also convenient for his babysitters because we are able to control exactly what he eats. It also saves them time during the day. When I get home from work after picking Jaxon up, it takes me less than 2 hours to have him fed, bathed, and ready for bed. Does he actually go to bed? No. But, that’s another story.

Learning how to meal prep for your baby at each age does not have to be a headache. If you are having trouble, be sure to consult your child’s pediatrician or your lactation consultant.  And always, ALWAYS follow your mommy instincts. With introducing different foods to Jaxon, we were able to get a sense of what he likes and doesn’t like. At this point, it’s everything. 😉

 

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Brittany Bright

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