Menu Planning

A glimpse into what happens on some Friday nights – intense/messy menu editing for Nat… just because we’re still testing new food items while also trying to give him some variety within a routine. This practice only became a bit more complicated after he started having 4x meals a day (with milk inbetween). Now as he is approaching 8 months, the rate of trying new food items have also somewhat slowed down. That’s not much of an issue really since his list of foods is quite extensive already so now it’s mostly about tweaking his menu based on what foods go well with each other.

So here’s some tried and tested porridge recipes that seems to be tasty for Nat between 6-8 months.

  • FISH 
  1. Salmon belly + seaweed (wakame) + tofu
  2. Salmon belly + spinach + winter melon
  3. Threadfin/cod + butternut squash + carrots
  4. Threadfin/cod + spinach + sweet potato
  5. Any of the above fish + broccoli + butternut squash
  • MEAT
  1. Minced chicken/pork + butternut squash + carrots
  2. Minced chicken/pork + butternut squash + peas
  3. Minced chicken/pork + sweet potato + spinach
  4. Minced chicken/pork + broccoli + carrots/winter melon

* Those underlined have been known to cause some wind if given too much so each time, only one such ingredient is added into the porridge and not in large amounts.

Usually, any ‘heavy’ flavours are balanced out with 1-2 vegetables. Butternut squash features quite a lot in Nat’s meals because it’s his favourite so whenever there is a stronger and not so nice-smelling flavour such as peas or cauliflower, butternut squash is featured in the meal.

For non-porridge recipes involving meat, I found these to be quite delicious but we stopped after 2 weeks and switched his dinners to porridge after discovering that he is still not full whenever he has a non-porridge meal in the evenings.

  • Non-porridge MEAT combinations
  1. Chicken/pork + butternut squash or carrots + peas + peach or apricot or apples –> the perk of a non-porridge meat meal is that it can be combined with a fruit for added taste/sweetness and balance vis-a-vis the vegetables.

Actually, most of the time, I plan his meals according to what I think I would feel like eating if I were him haha and I guess I’m the kind of person who likes some variety within a standard menu. 

As such, one meal combination for lunch/dinner is repeated over 2 days before I mix up the fish/vegetable combinations for variety.

Then I realize it’s pretty much like adult meals i.e. pork goes well with apple, sweet potato or pumpkin/squash while chicken goes well with peach and nectarines. So I figured that if it would taste pleasant for me, the same may apply to Nat.

Some useful guiding questions I found myself thinking about include:

a. Are there too many days that a ‘gassy’ food item is being given? i.e. sweet potato, broccoli. It can then be given on alternate days or at most, two days in a row. 

b. Are strong flavours balanced out with a lighter flavour? Like fish generally has a strong smell so the vegetables chosen should not clash with it but instead, compliment it.

c. Is the ingredient more suited for breakfast/lunch or dinner? i.e. bananas also cause wind so it is advisable to feed in the AM, before 3pm to prevent any indigestion issues. Nat’s PD also advised against giving sweet potatoes + broccoli + yam (typically ‘gassy’ foods for dinner. 

Can’t wait for the next stage of 8-10 month foods that he can try. It just gets more exciting as they grow older.

– CK

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