The other day I had an article published on Dr. Cordain's The Paleo Diet all about my path to paleo-hood, post pregnancy and why I feed Weston a paleo diet. In the piece, I do discuss generally about feeding Weston, but I wanted to share some more specifics. As we're approaching the one year mark (what!), and he's been eating solids for over four months now, I've discovered some staple foods which are integral to our journey on the paleo path for babies. These are foods which work for Weston, and I do have his pediatrician's blessing for a paleo lifestyle; remember, always check with your pediatrician before starting any new food-lifestyle, and always watch for allergies with your little one. Because we tend to have a myriad of weird allergies in the family, I always watch him carefully, make sure to not start a brand new food at a time I can't reach the doctor, and am staying away from foods which I 100% know someone blood related to him as a severe allergy to (I asked his pediatrician about this and she said even if an aunt or uncle has a severe allergy to something, don't give it to him yet!). But, I've found a group of foods which I have to keep in the house, because when the boy is hungry, he can really eat!
Frozen foods: I love the convenience of frozen foods; I love the Cascadian Farms brand; they are easy to find at my local market and always fresh and ready to go. If you open my freezer at any given moment, you will definitely find a few bags of blueberries, squash, and peas. Weston adores blueberries, and I'm so glad, because they're full of anti-oxidants! With the frozen blueberries, I throw them in the food processor with coconut milk, and banana; essentially, a smoothie. I keep it thick, and spoon about two tablespoons into non-bleached cupcake liners, then freeze those in zip-top bags. This way, when it comes time for a meal, I simply defrost the cup'o'smoothie, add a little juice or more banana, and it's a meal (or part of a meal). With the squash, I also will throw in the food processor, but add some chicken broth (either homemade, or the organic Costco brand), so it becomes a thick puree. I freeze that in the same method, and when I defrost it, I add avocado, more chicken soup, or some pear juice. The peas are a staple because I mix them into everything for a little added green. He doesn't notice the flavor, and it adds some bulk to his meals.
Fruits and Veggies: As a sweet potato lover myself, I was thrilled when Weston took to them. I simply poke holes in a potato, microwave it on each side for about 4 minutes, and...dinner! He loves his with coconut milk and pumpkin pie spice mix. And...it is indeed delicious. I once was so hungry I ate an entire container of the mash I made for him. Sweet potato is what I like to call a meal "base," I tend to use it a lot and add other mix ins (peas, pears, chicken soup) to make a complete meal. Bananas are another one of his favorites; he also loves a ripe banana with coconut milk and cinnamon; often I make "banana-cado" with banana and avocado mashed together. Avocado is a staple in the house that we can't live without! I'll split an avocado with him for dinner; he gets it mashed with some garlic and chicken soup, and I'll eat mine on a salad (or uh, right out of the shell). I love that avocados have healthy fats and good calories for such an active boy. We also keep oranges, pears, plantains, carrots, and parsnips in the house, as he loves all of those (I steam the carrots and parsnips and then mash).
Protein: When it comes to protein, we haven't ventured into crazy-places yet. But, the boy does love his mama's chicken soup! I'll make a large pot of bone-broth soup, with onions, carrots, chicken, and parsnips. I blend his up for him, and he slurps it down. Bone broth has amazing benefits, so I feel really lucky that the boy loves it so much.
Juices: Coconut milk isn't a juice, but it is a staple for us! I only buy the Natural Value brand on Amazon, as it has no BPA in the can, and the only ingredients are water and coconut. We run through this like crazy. I also keep organic pear and prune juice (Knudsen's brand), and freshly squeezed orange juice. To be clear, he doesn't drink juice straight, but I use small amounts to turn his food into purees. We also keep a stock of Kirkland Brand chicken stock in the house, I love all the natural ingredients. I use this to "water down" his foods.
The trick I've found in preparing paleo food for Weston is to keep it simple, yet fun. We try all sorts of combinations, spices, and textures. He rarely eats the same thing for two meals in a row. I'm proud that my son enjoys eating fruits and vegetables, and I'm glad that I also enjoy preparing it all for him!