Working Variety into a Baby’s Diet

Banana Again??

Banana Again??

Now that Frances is down to nursing three times a day, the amount of solid food she can consume at one sitting is quite impressive. I don’t know how her stomach can hold so much food!

I’ve been worrying, as only a mother can, about the variety in her diet. Since she’ll eat just about anything, I’ve been pureeing every vegetable I can think of into a thick paste with some sort of meat. I keep a fish version, a lamb version and a chicken version in the freezer and alternate which one she eats each day.

Although she is not picky in general, she is particular about what she eats at which time of day. For example, her afternoon meal has to be fruit, and she won’t eat savory food at dinner. So I can’t feed her a vegetable-meat puree at any other meal but lunch. She has a strong preference for oatmeal at dinner, to which I add pumpkin or squash, yogurt and a little fruit all pureed together.

She’s been eating probably two dozen bananas a month, and after a couple months of this I’m thinking it’s time to switch things up. The problem is, it is so cheap and easy! I buy a bunch, and by the time we run out, it’s time to go grocery shopping again any way. It takes less effort to mush a banana than anything else I’ve found (with avocados close behind, which is the one food she will not eat).

How do you mix things up? It’s hard to get out of the habit of making a big batch of oatmeal, since I know she likes it. Maybe it’s time to switch to another grain? Maybe buckwheat or quinoa or farro? Maybe all three at once? Do I add in lentils or legumes? It seems like making my own baby food is a slippery slope since there is an endless combination of ingredients to use. It can drive a mom crazy!

How do you keep your sanity while providing a variety of fruits and vegetables? How do you decide what “super-foods” to include versus “convenience foods”?


  1. Have you tried just giving her whatever you are eating and not pureeing it? This might be a good way to change it up for her. By the time my kids were 1 they were not eating much if any purees. I would often feed them whatever we were eating for a given meal, either chopped to finger-food size or large enough for them to pick up and take bites of. Even though I worried about pretty much everything else, variety in my kids’ diet was not a concern to me since I have a varied diet myself.

  2. She loses interest pretty quickly with finger food, and most of what we eat doesn’t translate easily to finger food. She can’t really chew anything yet, so I see a lot of what goes in coming out the same way, and I figure she absorbs more nutrients from a puree.

    Not to mention, Franci’s purees are so healthy, I’d rather her keep eating them than anything else. We don’t even like half the veggies she enjoys, like beets or winter squash!

    Maybe I should stop worrying about what she’s eating and think more about what I’m eating!

  3. I’m sure they weren’t getting large amounts of nutrients from their food by eating it that way. Now that I think about it, both of them were nursing significantly more often than 3 times per day at 1 so I guess they could afford to eat less solid food.

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