Baby food: I'm so confused!

38 Replies

I hate to admit this, but I am having such a hard time deciding which baby foods to buy. I am just now starting to give her solid foods and I don't know one from the other here! I have started her out with a product that looks and tastes like yogurt, but have no idea if this is good for her? It's called 'bledina bledi brasse'. I don't know if it has any nutritional value. This is so frustrating! Back in the US, I knew everything about this, but here, I feel so helpless in the supermarket! How embarrassing! (Also probably doesn't help having 14 years between my two children!) I tried to find cereal flakes, only found one- vegetables! Back home I would have a selection of wheat, rice, barley, etc, & with bananas, apples, etc (or without). I am going a bit mad! Suggestions, PLEASE!!! If anyone shops at Rocheville Leclerc and wouldn't mind my meeting you there for a bit of 'first aid', I would be extremely grateful!!! Thanks for any recommendations.-Kim

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Replies

orme-197181 1171534961

All the baby food products are produced to very strict norms and contain the vitamins, minerals, proteins etc necessary for healthy growth. There are the pots, powdered cereals that you mix with milk (you'll find both vegetable and fruit flavoured), and ready prepared meals to microwave (careful with the microwave, as I'm sure you know, it can get very hot). Bledina is a good make, as is Nestlé.


Aside from all the ready prepared food, you could do it yourself! Get some nice fresh fruit or veg (cook the veg) and put it in a blender. At least you know what you're giving her that way, because so much prepared food contains lots of sugar and salt even though there are restrictions for baby food. I'm not sure what you mean by cereal flakes - corn flakes and other such breakfast cereals are full of additives, fats and sugar. Maybe a good substitute is bread soaked in warm milk like granny used to do?

luckenbooth 1171535764

Orme's right - all baby food whatever the make has strict quality controls so go ahead and buy, but why not take a little of what your dinner (before you add the salt) and put it in the mixer! Babies can eat more or less everything that we can so don't make your life difficult!


luckenbooth

ameri-cannes 1171536095

Thank you, Orme. The cereal I'm referring to is baby flakes, to be added to milk. I used this for my 1st baby, at nighttime. Just put some in her bottle of milk (with her it was formula, I didn't nurse my 1st). It filled the tummy and helped her sleep thru the night. Also, I gave it to her in the am. What do I feed Keira for breakfast? Is the yogurt (?) okay? IS it yogurt?


I tend to stay away from the microwave with the baby foods. Doesn't the microwave kill the vitamins? Or is this paranoia on my part?


I had the baby to the dr on Tuesday, and she said I could discontinue giving the baby her weekly vitamin K, as long as she is eating jarred foods, which have all the necessary vitamins added. Would she be missing out on these vitamins if I gave her blended veggies, etc? I already was trying this, but was worried she'd be missing out on the benefits of the jarred foods, specially prepared for baby's needs.(?)


I looked (again) at Leclerc Tuesday and they only had vegetable cereal (in a box, which is what I'm looking for, unless it's in a different container here?). Am I shopping at the wrong store for my baby's foods? Would Carrefour have a better selection? I've only been there twice, but noticed it's got lots more stuff.



-Kim

ameri-cannes 1171536378

Luckenbooth- thanks! We were typing replies at the same time. My concern is giving the baby whatever we have for dinner would be too much for her tummy, as she has only ever had breastmilk. I thought I should start her off with the baby food because it is more mild, gentle on her tummy. (I tend to use alot of spices while cooking.) I have boiled chicken and veggies (no spices) for her and ground it up in processor, and that's okay for dinner, but what about morning time?


-Kim

SJ-190944 1171537052

Kim, I know what you mean about the cereals - the feeding here is very different to what we were used to in the States. You should be able to buy a baby yogurt that has cereal in it, but to be honest it's been 4 years since I did it and I can't remember what is available, plus the products change all the time. I can't remember what I did about the cereal issue. i think I had someone bring me some from the UK. I think there are some baby cereal biscuits that you can get which you can soak in milk... I don't think your baby will care if she's having cereal for breakfast or yogurt and fruit. All I can say is unless your baby has any specific health problems, you will be fine to steam your own vegetables and meats and fish at home and puree them for her and give her the jarred foods too, when it's convenient for you. She will be getting everything she needs. She doesn't need to be on only solids all day. Go slowly and work her up to a full solid diet. You know all this anyway - don't be intimidated by what you think you should be doing - follow your instincts, which will not have changed since 14 years ago. The baby foods at the shops (and yes, Carrefour or Geant will have lots of choice) should have the ages or stages marked on them and the Bledina range is usually good.

motherearth-207430 1171537252

Ready-made baby food sold in the shops always marks the age of the child that it is adapted to, e.g. 0-3 mois (0-3 months), 3-9 mois (3-6 months), etc. I have to say that neither of my two were keen on ready-made baby food! The only one my eldest daughter would eat was made by Bledina and came in a green, plastic plate/package.

Most of the time, I made their food myself: boiled or steamed vegetables or rice, fresh meat, chicken or fish (careful of bones!). I used to cook it and then put it in the blender. If it was too bland, I'd add a bit of tomato paste or half a teaspoon of Marmite to give it a bit more flavour.

Cooking the baby food myself was a bit tedious, but as Orme says, at least we know what our children are eating and we are avoiding hidden additives and too much salt or sugar. I used to make it in batches and put it into individual dishes so that I could freeze it and use it as necessary.

My girls used to love mashed banana, steamed and pureed apple or pear (I'd add a bit of honey if it was too sour), etc. The little 'mini-pots' of fromage frais such as 'Petit Gervais' or 'Petit Filou' were great favourites and contain essential calcium for the development of healthy bones.

If the baby has an upset tummy, rice and carrots are recommended by pediatricians. My friend used to swear by quince as being good for babies' sensitive tummies.
xxx

ameri-cannes 1171537524

Thank you, SJ. The biscuits, that's another one! Back in the states we have teething biscuits, which are very hard, allowing the baby to hold them and suck on them. They make quite a mess, but I remember how the babies loved them! I saw something similar here and bought them, but they are very weak, breakable, if you know what I mean. Naturally I watch her very closely whenever she is eating anything, but I won't give her these because they break so easily and I'm afraid she'll choke.


I almost had a heart attack the other night. I was in the kitchen cooking and went into the living room to see Daddy feeding her cheese doodles! She loved it! Was just sucking away as he held the 'doodle'. I know I am paranoid, but I can't help it.



-Kim

SJ-190944 1171537774

Be careful with the honey - well at least I was told not to give my babies honey until a certain age. There is a risk of botulism.

ameri-cannes 1171538013

Yes, Motherearth, I agree. I would much prefer to give her things I've prepared myself, for those exact reasons. But I was concerned she wouldn't be getting the necessary nutrients, which I believe are ADDED to the store-bought foods. If I give her only my foods, will it be enough, nutritionally? And would it be a good idea to have her used to the jarred foods for when I am going out and must bring food for her? I mean, if I give her my foods, then will she still eat the other if I need to use it?


I get the stages, just not what all the foods are. Still don't know if the bledina 'yogurt' things I've been feeding her are actually yogurt, or a cheesy product. I don't like yogurt, and it sure tasted like yogurt when I tried it. Is it a dessert or is it okay for her to have 2 or 3 of those each day? She really loves this stuff, but is it good for her?



-Kim

SJ-190944 1171538628

It should be fine for her to be having one or two a day. I would hesitate at letting her get too "hooked" on them as she needs to have a varied diet for it to be balanced. Yes, you are right to think about her not liking the jarred foods, so give her some of those sometimes too (or all the time if it suits you and is in your budget). Otherwise, you take the frozen food with you in a container and have it warmed up for you where you are going or warm it up yourelf at home and take it along in a small thermos. As for the bisuits that dissolve easily, that's the idea for giving them to babies - they do dissolve easily so there is not a great risk of them choking on them. My son was always able to break off chunks of the hard biscuits and I had to stop giving him those right away! He was a choker for some reason - I was always having to perform the baby heimlich on him, but my daughter was different thank goodness, I couldn't have handled the stress a second time round!


Your baby will be getting everything she needs without the additives found in the store bought baby foods, don't worry.

juliealx 1171539398


As an American, I too expected to start off with the "cereal" thing as the first food. Not so here in France, apparently. My daughter who is 7 months now is eating 2 "meals" a day, as prescribed by the pediatrician, and none of it includes the "cereal" as we know it back in the States.
I asked him at 5 months and at 6 months "what about cereal?" and his reply was "I'm not an American doctor, I can't tell you why they do that over there and we do it this way here." At any rate, I figure, when in Rome, do as the Romans, thus I'm following his orders and she's got pureed veggies with chopped fine proteins mixed in, followed by pureed fruit. Now that she's hit 7 months, I'm adding another "meal" in the evening before bed, veggies but no protein, followed by either the pureed fruit or a "baby" yogurt.
She's healthy and gaining and perfect and I've been doing it the French way for 2 months, so I'll keep going I guess. I'm making all my own food using a "Babycook".
It felt strange at first because I was wondering aboutt the "cereal" issue, but now I just let it go.

ameri-cannes 1171539432

Thanks so much, all of you! I really feel much better now.


But IS IT YOGURT?! -lol



-Kim

Nora Batty 007 1171541301


It's a long time ago, as my youngest is 15 soon, but if I didn't like the taste of something from a jar, I wouldn't buy it twice - and some of them are vile. I tried to stick to "real food" - often whatever we were having, but before the paprika and garlic went in.

There used to be a manual Mo--inex blender with a handle, that you wound round and round, and the cooked carrot went through the metal disk and came out as purée.Also you can grate a raw eating apple (peeled) on the finest part of the grater - not sure about the age to begin giving this.

Like your husband, Ameri-cannes, mine used to give our little girl flakes of parmesan off his little finger, chocolate, and peanut butter - not all at the same time - but she was only about 3 months old! I stood by waiting to burst a blood vessel, but unable to find a good enough reason to stop this naughty club.She loved it, particularly the parmesan, which she still likes today.

I think it shows how heavily we have been brainwashed, when we think that jarred food could be better than ordinary food. You are at a vulnerable time, and the big food companies cash in on that. I would say that as long as you get the baby out in the sunshine (vitamin D - good for bones) - obviously I don't mean at midday in the height of Summer, and vary her diet as much as possible, you won't go wrong. Her nappies will soon indicate if you overdid it on something, so you can cut down on the apple/carrot/yogurt
accordingly.

SJ My son was a choker too - at about 9 months old I used to watch with relief as the lump of food flew across the kitchen at high speed, after my thumping him in the back.
Those were the days...

Nora Batty 007 1171541468


That's when the baby was 9 months old - not me - it didn't read very well!

motherearth-207430 1171542607

If what you're buying says 'yaourt' then it is yoghurt. 'Brasse' refers to the texture (depending on whether or not it was fermented directly in the pots or in a large container prior to being transferred into pots).

As far as I know, no matter what texture, all types of yoghurt have the same nutritional values.
xxx

leslie-179832 1171542774

Ameri-cannes,


At the supermarket there are Danaon "My first yoghurt" in both plain and fruit and they are in small size containers, sold in 6 or 12 packs. It is real yoghurt. You can also give her Petite suisse, full fat, also sold in 6 pack containers. I give my daughter cereal in her milk every morning. Its by Nestles and it is a multi grain, sold in a metal can and has a slight vanilla flavoring. Zelda is 11 months old and eats 3 real meals a day. she eats what we eat, just broken into little pieces and she only has 2 teeth! I occassionaly give her prepared food, the bledina or nestles is good, but I doctor it up with putting some cheese or creme frais in it and other vegies and spices. Don't be afraid of spice. They like it! Mine loves corriander, basil, dill. Avacados are another great food. You use the spoon to scrape the flesh, or cut it into pices and let her feed herself if she can. Zelda has been eating them since she was 6 months old.


Good luck!

RMP-206632 1171546325

Hi Kim

I don't think bledi-brassé is yoghurt because it's not kept in the refrigerated section of the supermarket. I gave it to my two when they were around the same age as your baby but I stopped after a while because I didn't want them to get hooked on it and, like you, I wasn't sure of its nutritional value. I switched to Petit Filou fromage frais and I sometimes give them ordinary "grown-up" yoghurt.

I think homemade food is best on the whole - if you're doing veg purées you can add semolina to it for carbs. This is especially good at bedtime. You cook the semolina in a little boiling water for a couple of minutes and then just stir it.

I agree with everyone else who has mentioned Bledina - it seems to be the best brand for jars of food. My babies particularly liked spinach or asparagus jars. I have a BIG ethical problem with Nestlé but that's a whole other story.

When your baby gets a little older you can try mixing pasta in with the purées. You can get really tiny pasta shapes that are intended for soup and this is great for giving the purées a bit more texture.

motherearth-207430 1171549823

I've just been looking at the Blédina Blédi Brassé site and they don't call the product a yoghurt. They call it a 'desserte lacté' or milk/lactose-based dessert for babies/children of 4 months to 3 years:

Quote:
Blédi'Brassé est un dessert lacté spécialement élaboré pour votre bébé de 4 mois à 3 ans.
Unquote

So, it isn't yoghurt and can be stored at room temperature.

amber1-208645 1171549925

Hi There


I use the cereal flakes ( sans gluten that are supposed to be added to the bottle ) and make them into porridge with a little breast milk or water. I usually add a spoon or two of fruit ( bledina apple and prune or similar ) to give it a taste.


I have steered clear of the pudding types of jars so far as my little man already has a sweet tooth that I don't want to encourage too much. I tend to feed him nestle or bledina jars of plain fruit and veg, he loves pumpkin and spinach.


I also keep a bottle of prune juice handy in case of constipation, 5ml in the morning sorts it out quickly and naturally.


have fun


gills




amber1-208645 1171550526

Oh ja, I forgot, the cereal is ' ma 1ere Bledine' - I got it a schleker. It has added vitamins and no sugar for age 4 months.


The other option is the ready to drink milk called 'bledidej' available sans gluten and sugar suitable for 4 months and avec gluten from 6 months.


Its a bit expensive but handy to have in case of emergency, its comes ready to drink in a carton, just put it in a bottle and warm it a little. There are also flavoured ones ( vanilla, chocolate and biscuit ) but I tend to stick with the plain 2 cereals option.


steph75-182837 1171550533

I have been giving my son normal adult's Danone Veloute plain yoghurt since he was 8 months as I found the baby yoghurt much too sweet. I preferred to mix my own pureed fruit in the plain yoghurt than buy one that was already sweeteend. He's close to a yr now now likes it plain.


A tip is to buy the organic purees from Picard. They come unsalted and no fat, and there's carrots, courgettes,pumpkin and potato. I use a bit each time, mix and match or add to my other cooked stuff. Its a timesaver.


I also like giving tofu, I buy from the chinese supermarket or health shop, no need to cook just warm n mix with other veg. Easypeasy and so healthy.


orme-197181 1171551359

Wow, what a lot of great advice since this morning! I used to give my son the Petit Filous etc too when he was being weaned. I think it is that brand which has the least sugar. You can get the cereals that you add to milk, but they are in powder form, not flakes. Gerber used to do them, and Nestlé do too. If you can't find them (sometimes in tins) in the supermarket, you might be able to get them in a pharmacy.


You don't say how young your baby is, but my paediatrician told me to start giving hypoallergenic cereal in case of gluten intolerance. Turns out that there was no problem anyway, but then my boy was very young when we started on the cereal additions to his diet (he needed something solid in his stomach from around 3 months). If you want something hard for yours to chew on, a friend used to give her daughter biscottes - messy, but she loved them!

ameri-cannes 1171551901

Okay, ladies, all great advice and much appreciated. So guess what? I just got home from Keira's very 1st emergency room visit! Almost exactly 7 months from the day I brought her home from the same hosp! Yes, I'm so worried about what to feed her, right? She has a keen interest in cell phones, but we won't let her play with ours, so I dug out my old flip phone from USA (brand new 2 yrs ago) and charged it up for her. She likes the 'pretty lights'. Naturally, this, as everything else, went directly into her mouth. I took it away from her, undeterred by her screams of protest. A few minutes later I noticed there was a bit of green corrosion on the phone. PANIC TIME!!! Went to Cannes hosp, where they called CAP and checked her over, finally telling me she is fine, not to worry. It was then that I lost my composure and cried, my knees giving out. Squatting down, quietly laughing and crying simultaniously, the Dr & nurses got a big kick outa me! I'm still shaking...


Suddenly fruits, veggies, cereals & yogurts seem so trivial...



-Kim

Nora Batty 007 1171555438


That's very ungrateful of you Ameri-cannes. We gave you a ton of good advice, and what did you put on the menu? Mobile phones. Mmm,beep,#%* sorry the number you have dialled is no longer available.Burp.

ameri-cannes 1171556099

I'm a terrible mother!!!!


You have no idea how horrible I feel!!! Not fair, Nora!


I just thank God she's okay. I haven't been that scared in a very, very long time. Thanks for giving me a laugh, Nora!



-Kim

Nora Batty 007 1171556434


Any time. A merry heart maketh the mobile phood more digestible - something like that.

rverduci-186288 1171562482

Hi Ameri-cannes,


Just wanted to add my word in. I started off feeding my now 7 month old son "ma 1ère Blédine" made by Blédina. Its like rice cereal. I'd mix it with my breast milk at first until I got tired of pumping and then started to use powdered formula instead. The only problem is that it constipated him. Now he's graduated to "Céreale Infantile 5 Céreales" by Nestlé. Its got rice, oatmeal, wheat and two other grains that I can't translate and every since no more constipation. I started feeding him cereal thinking that'll it'd help him sleep through the night. Guess what? Didn't work! But he likes it so much that I continue feeding him that mixed with fruit for dinner, and for lunch he has Vegetables and fruits that I steam in large quantities and freeze in ice cube trays and when frozen put in to freezer bags. At lunch time I just pop a couple of vegetable cubes and a couple of potato cubes in the microwave and voilà! I steamed each vegetable separately so I can mix different things together when I want. My sons favourite is Zucchini and potatoes.


As for the meat, I haven't got that far yet since the doctor didn't recommend meat until the 8th or 9th month. I do remember with the other two kids it being a problem to get the meat tender enough. I've never figured out why they don't sell baby food jars with just meat here. One more thing that I've noticed between American baby food and french baby food is the size of the jar. Its bigger here. What do french babies eat more than American babies? So why is it that Americans generally end up fatter than the French? Is it because they were staved as babies? anyway, just a thought ;-)


Anyway, what ever you decide to feed your baby, I'm sure she'll be just fine (as long as there is no plastic or battery corrosive involved :-). Just take it slowly and don't introduce more than one thing over a period of three of four days so that you can detect any allergy better. And if I can give one word of advice that I wish someone would have told me with my other two. Do not stress! If you baby doesn't accept something you offer, give up for a while. Its no big deal. What's most important is the breast milk (or formula) anyway for the first year. Well, gotta go get my kids and new puppy under control! Good luck, you'll get it all figured out soon!


rverduci

motherearth-207430 1171564495

Kim - don't be silly! You are NOT a terrible mother! We've surely all had scares with our children at one time or another and sometimes whatever happened was our fault and sometimes it wasn't, but the point is, even when it's NOT our fault, us mums STILL tend to blame ourselves!!!

So take a deep breath, give your baby (and her big sister!) a big kiss and put it behind you. All is well.
xxx

kmdd-189863 1171633644

Hi Kim....


I remember looking for cereal as well... in the end I gave my soon 1/2 a weetabix all mushed up with his forumla. This is a great 'dinner' for filling them up if that is what you are looking for. To be honest... I don't remember exactly what I age I started this -- but he ate weetabix for months -- now at 2 1/2 it is an occassional breakfast mixed with fruit or yogurt. I also found he liked the My Premier Danone if you can find that at your grocery store. Good luck.... I will be starting solids with my second one in about a month's time -- so reading this thread is helping me prepare also!!


ameri-cannes 1171643263

Wow! With all of these great suggestions, I don't see how I can go wrong. Thanks so much to all of you who have been posting here and also to all who sent emails. I am trying to return them all- so many kind people sent them!


I especially like the ice-tray idea, brilliant!



-Kim

Quinny-216088 1172147162

I've just been recommended this website - there are lots of ideas for making your own baby food and I really believe that this is best for the little 'uns


http://www.annabelkarmel.com/Recipes/Recipes.aspx


enjoy



Q

kmdd-189863 1172165022

Hi Kim


The ice cube tray is a great trick. Also a babycook is nice to have. It does steaming, warming and whips it all up to puree. We received ours as a gift long after we first introduced solids... but I still use it to steam small quantities of specific veggies that my 2 year old will eat when I know he won't like the family meal.


juliealx 1172165930


re: the ice cube tray thing - I started off using this, but then switched to something made specifically for doing this - BEABA, the company that makes the BabyCook, makes a special rubber mold for freezing individual portions of pureed food in 60 ml amounts. It has a snap on cover and you just stick it in the freezer, then after it's frozen you can pop out the "cubes" and freeze them however you want - in a bag or plastic container. It costs 10 euros. I like it better than the ice cube tray now because it takes less time to fill it up and you know exactly how much you've got that way. However cubes from an ice cube tray defrost quicker.

Gary Davies-221212 1172166349


Hi

As a dad and a chef I would advise simple as being the answer, get a very good mixer, then just wizz whatever you want to make for your child or yourselves and just remember to go careful with salt or pepper, not good for kids and just be cool about food, mild non spicy to start off with and work your child up to "normal" food, I say that the baby food on sale is ok now and again but read the labels and you will see what I mean.
Bon appetit
Gary

Thanks

Forest_Gump 1172169024

Ameri_cannes......why are you even considering BUYING bebe food?


Bebe can eat all of the good, healthy, well balanced, nutritious food that you guys are also eating.


Helpful hint......buy some fruit compotes......SANS SUCRE (no sugar) also, Activia Danone Natural Yoghurt, you can mix some compote with the yoghurt. Plain Rice Cakes, BIO, let Bebe have a half of one if very hungry, whilst you are preparing the meal. Or a little crusty bread, not too much, just to bite on whilst waiting.


VERY IMPORTANT......NO EGGS OR TOMATOES BEFORE BEBE IS 12 MONTHS OLD.................


PURCHASED BEBE FOOD SHOULD ONLY....... be eaten by baby when an emergency or as a convenience certainly not regularly, something like nappies!!! Ameri_Cannes, have you tasted purchased prepared Bebe food? You only need to try one spoonful!! YUK.


All you need to do is, as suggested, a small blender, put some of each of the food which you are having, add just a little plain BOTTLED water, to allow a smooth blend. Also, as suggested, if you are making a lot of food for your bebe, use the ice trays and given time as Bebe's appetite grows, move from the ice cube trays INTO the little tuppa wear packs.


Also, for puddings, poach some fresh fruit, i.e. RIPE pears, apples etc. Once poached, they can then be mashed, and use the juice instead of the bottled water. A banana can be mashed as it is, out of its skin. ALWAYS only use ripe fruit.


If you need some help, i.e. with you, in your kitchen......please let me know.


I will happily come along to help you for a full day if you like, zero charge, it would be a pleasure. Email me. I am really wanting to help you to put you and your lovely bebe on the right track.


Take it easy, we old Mothers, have been there too.


Best wishes to you Kim.




Blossom_Fleur

SJ-190944 1172242052

I have a question about giving bottled water to babies. A lot of the bottled water is loaded with minerals that might not be great to give to babies? We were always told to use boiled and cooled tap water (or just boiled tap water if you need it hot for food anyway).

SJ-190944 1172242231

Another tip on freezing if you don't have the right containers: take a baking tray and line it with waxed paper, then put dollops of whatever it is you're freezing onto the paper and cover the whole tray before putting it in the freezer. Once the patties have frozen sufficiently, quickly slide them off into your freezable container, seal and put back into the freezer for when you need them.

ameri-cannes 1172244698

What a gold mine of information this thread has become! And to think, I was reluctant to ask...


Thanks to all of you, and please, keep 'em coming!



-Kim

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