Feeding our babies healthy and balanced takes time, especially if you follow my chart: 3 meals a day AND 5 nutrient groups each meal, it's time consuming! That's why finding tips and tricks on how to plan to speed up the process makes it easier!
Here are my top tips:
1. Plan the week in advanced. Know what foods you will feed your baby in advanced. That way you'll be able to purchase everything you need at once, and you'll have everything you need for the week. I online grocery shop through Milk & Eggs because I trust their quality and they have all organic options too, plus, it is farm fresh direct and has free shipping so it is much more comfortable for busy bees! You can use my code "lauragimbert" for extra money to spend!
2. I try to plan meal combos that don't require to puree or steam everything. For example, you can do one cereal (easily blended with hot water), one or two groups as raw BLW (like a mango piece or cucumber), one or two food groups easily smashed (like beans or avocado), and one or two food group that need to be pureed or steamed (like carrots or yams) soyou can steam them at the same time, and puree individually. You can also select olive or coconut oil as a fat when you have a fish or meat protein, so they work well together. And choose nut butters as a healthy fat when you have baby cereals to blend as well (remember, these two exceptions are the only times when two foods will be mixed and not introduced individually). So each time I have to pick new food, I strategically think about all this too.
3. I puree the food that needs to be pureed the night prior, and have everything ready to serve quickly during my busy day! I try to do it the night prior because the day starts a bit crazier, but if I don't have the chance I can always do it in the morning.
4. I don't freeze/unfreeze, and never let something cooked in the fridge for more than 24h so it does not loose nutrients. With my busy life I would forget about unfreezing and I'd have nothing to feed her quick!
5. Get a baby cook. Although you may have a steamer and blender yourself, getting a machine that does it all in one, specialized for babies, is SO practical to cook the night before, and you can even travel with them easy.
6. Buy small containers, reusable pouches & a mini cooling bag to put the food in when I have an outing during Sofia's meal. I try scheduling only one outing during a meal (like the midday meal only - unless we are on vacation or a big day out) and those days are out, then I am okay to feed her from the pouch directly, as it is less messy. I just make sure she 90% of the times eats at home, properly sitting and with a spoon or her fingers if its peaces of food.
7. There are specific foods that are more difficult to cook, require more time to cook, or are just harder to shop for. I try to buy those specific items fresh through companies such as Yumi which they deliver fresh baby food in individual jars (single ingredients) you can choose exactly what food you get, and they last a week in the fridge (because they are fresh with no preservatives, so they last 24h once opened), with no added sugars of course. Just as if you had cooked it yourself! So if I see there's a week that I have a tighter schedule, we are traveling and I want to take with pre-packed, or I just need a few more ready-to-eat options to combine with the ones I cook myself, this is a great option! For example, with them I have fed Sodia: Dragon Fruit, Spinach, Bell Pepper, Split Peas, Chia, Yellow Lentils, Chart... You can use my code MOMBOSSLIFE35 for a discount!
8. Get ready for occasional constipation, it happens so often with the minis. Depending on what they eat or how much water they drink. So having mango & prunes handy is a MUST. You want to be prepared and have that handy, but, planning a balanced meal helps avoid this: If you are going to be feeding rice as the cereal or carrot as the veggie, then add mango or prunes as the fruit!
9. Anything in puree form that she does not eat: I make popsicles of. This way I don't throw away food and it's also an easy quick ready to eat snack. Also good for teething.
* All my baby products (containers, baby cook, cooling bag, empty pouches, etc) are linked on my Amazon list.