I have been accused of being a little too cautious when it comes to introducing solids to my son.
My response? Well, I’ll let you guess.
I care...really care…about the relationship my son has with food, so yes, I’m pretty careful. The way I see it, that’s my job as his mother, so he doesn’t get a bite of french fry or a lick of an ice cream cone just to elicit a cute reaction. He’s 8 months old now, and so far his diet has consisted of:
- Water, as long as it doesn’t interfere with nursing
- Oatmeal (at 5 1/2 months), organic
- Veggies (at 6 months), organic
- Fruits (at 6 months), organic
- A total of 4 organic maple oat teether cookies
- I’ve not yet introduced wheat, dairy, eggs, meats, soy, citrus, juice, sugar, salt …well, you get the idea.
But, I’m not a big meanie, either, and lately I’ve noticed my son noticing my plate. He always has, but it’s getting more obvious and he’s definitely getting more vocal about it. This tells me two things: I have to be super aware of the example I’m setting, and I need to start letting him try some new things.
So, a few days ago, while eating hummus on pita chips, I caved in and gave him a little taste.
How did he like it? Well, I think we may have a little hummus monster on our hands.
It was fun to share my food with my boy. Exploring healthy new foods together is one of the things I’ve been looking most forward to. But, as soon as I gave him a few smidges of my hummus, I immediately regretted it when I remembered that sesame, which is in most hummus, is a common allergen and should be avoided until about 12 months. ACK!
When I snapped back into reality and realized that one taste wasn’t going to hurt him, I set my mind to making some baby-friendly hummus that we could enjoy together, and that I could feel good about.
- 1 1/2 cups cooked organic chickpeas
- scant 1/4 tsp cumin
- 1 small clove garlic
- 1 drizzle olive oil
- 1 squeeze fresh lemon
Add all ingredients into food processor and process until well blended and smooth. Add water to thin if needed.
There seem to be different schools of thought about citrus fruits and babies under one year in age. The acid in oranges, lemons, etc. can cause reactions and rashes, but I am not freaking out over a small squeeze in a bowl of hummus. I think WholesomeBabyFood.com put it best:
There is a big difference in using a drop or 2 of lemon juice as a preservative in a fruit purée, as the drop or 2 is spread throughout the purée and your infant will not be consuming the drops with each bite of fruit purée that is taken. It is entirely different than offering your baby a few slices of oranges or chopped tomatoes for example.
Little did I know when I started making this that my husband had already unearthed our garden garlic and had it drying in the sun. This bulb was so warm and fragrant, it felt like it had been in the oven! Heaven!
Looks pretty bland, huh? Well, it is. But that’s OK…it’s supposed to be, at least for now. Just a hint of garlic, and the cumin is barely detectable. I believe in introducing herbs and spices early, but little tummies are sensitive so they have to be introduced slowly and carefully. Besides, what seems bland to me is a whole new taste exploration for my little guy.
Since Mommy likes a little kick, we discovered a fun way to share our little pot of hummus so that we’re both happy…he eats his plain and unadulterated, and I keep a bottle of hot sauce nearby and drip a drop each time I pop a chip! Perfect!
The new hummus won rave reviews (or big smiles, at least.) He’ll never go through this whole bowl, but it was a good practice run. Next time, I’ll remove his portion and add some peppadews or sun-dried tomatoes to the rest, to be enjoyed by Mommy and Daddy (with some wine, after he nods off at night. )
The best thing about this recipe (besides the fact that it’s cheap, easy and healthy, of course) is that it can grow right along with your baby! Veggies, spices and any other flavors you want to introduce can be added as his palate develops, and for toddlers, it’s right at home spread on whole wheat toast or nestled in a heated quesadilla, served with salsa.
What’s your favorite “Past Purees” baby or toddler recipe?
How do you respond when/if others challenge the way you feed your child? Would you ever challenge the way someone else fed their child?