Baby’s taste horizon expands around 6 months
Having a baby doesn’t really affect the family’s food logistics in the beginning as the baby survives wonderfully with just breast milk or formula for the first six months. According to the Finnish health recommendations, the baby should start trying out solid foods earliest around four and latest around six months. The idea is to start getting the baby used to normal food step by step, and at the same time the need for breast milk decreases. So for the first six months we managed well with our food logistics optimization part one and part two.
We started introducing solid food when our kid was 5,5 months old because it fit our schedule well: Right before this we did a 2-week trip to Thailand and the child health center recommended that it’s easiest and safest to simply breastfeed the kid still during the trip. But right after the trip we were in a hurry to get started to get the kid eating enough solids to be able to sleep train him at 6 months (the Finnish recommendations state that you can stop nighttime nursing at 6 months if the child has grown well and is eating enough during the day). I was returning to work and I was definitely not going to breastfeed him during the night while working.
Pop-ping cooking for the win
Right in the beginning when the baby ate really miniature portions (like 1-4 tea spoons of mash), we still had the energy to prepare some vegetable mashes, like sweet potato and carrot (ice cube holders are great for freezing these), but pretty quickly when the portion sizes grew we moved to the wonderful world of Piltti (a famous Finnish child food brand with a wide array of healthy meal options in small glass jars) and fruit smoothie pouches. When I returned to work, the kid also started drinking formula during the day.
Managing the food logistics with a small kid is pretty easy: Just add the child food jars and formula to your e-grocery order and that’s it! These are both also extremely easy to take with you anywhere you go as they won’t spoil in room temperature and you won’t waste your valuable free time by cooking for your child, but can rather use the nap times for relaxation or social activities. Pop-ping cooking (named after opening the jar and the sound of the microwave) lowers the parents’ stress levels significantly. Don’t worry, you’ll be stressed enough just by trying to get the kid to eat, washing the kid and cleaning up the surroundings after each meal 😉
The biggest advantage of preparing food yourself would be cost-effectiveness, because obviously ready-made food costs a bit more. However there are typically online grocery services (like Fiksuruoka.fi in Finland) where you can buy bigger batches for a lower price. And this blog’s purpose is to optimize life satisfaction, so in our opinion the extra euros are well justified by the time they save us.
What about finger food?
For a long time I was convinced that finger food was another invention from hell to create even more pressure for mums. (Although in our case this pressure was eased by the fact that dad was home at this point so obviously it wasn’t my problem) As far as I’ve understood, the point of finger food is to let the kid decide what he/she wants to eat, proceed in the kid’s rhythm and develop fine motor skills. We applied this principle in the low maintenance version, meaning giving our kid “the classics” such as Moomin corn snacks and Muru balls (so things you can buy in the store). In addition we would sometimes prepare some vegetable sticks or pieces of fruit but definitely not at every meal. The only thing where we succumbed to the finger food trend was preparing porridge muffins because our kid at some point simply refused to eat porridge but happily ate the muffins (in Finland most kids eat porridge twice a day at this stage). And as one our wonderful dad friends said: “The kids will learn the motor skills automatically in everyday life – they are constantly stuffing things in their mouth (toys, stones, sand, etc.).”
Special pro tips
- The order of foods doesn’t really matter so you can make your life easier by giving e.g. a smoothie pouch when you are traveling (first one and then two once the kids starts eating more). We recommend buying a special nozzle (e.g. Choomee) so that the kid can suck them independently but won’t squirt them all over him/herself or the parent.
- Most kids learn to drink formula and eat the jar food in room temperature. So you don’t have to stress out about finding a microwave.