Hands-down BEST New Year’s Resolution

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We’re mid-way through January now, but that doesn’t mean it’s too late to start a New Year’s resolution, especially this one.  It’s easy enough for nutrition professionals to talk about the best and worst diets, but true health and wellness comes from a multitude of different sources.You could be following an ideal diet and exercising regularly, but are still miserable because of stress at work. True wellness exists when health, happiness and mental state are all in a good condition. The problem is, it’s a rare occasion for all aspects of your life to align at once, and if they do, it’s only for a fleeting moment. Our job is to improve what we can, when we can to enjoy better quality of life.  There is one important tool to add to your arsenal in 2017 that will help improve your life across the board, regardless of your resolutions.

Mindfulness

the quality or state of being conscious or aware of something.

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Building mindfulness skills will put you in touch with what’s really going on in your life. It’s so easy to set your brain on auto-pilot and just get through day to day. That’s not a great existence for anyone.  But once you can identify a problem by paying more attention to it, you can find a way to fix it. Here are some pointers for building mindfulness in all aspects of life.

In Diet and Fitness

Begin with self-evaluation. What are the positives and negatives about your current health state?   If you are finding more negatives than positives, it is time to change something. Really think about goals that have been in the back of your mind for awhile. Is there something you have always wanted to do, but your health has gotten in the way? Use this as a motivateorange-mindfulnessr to change.

Be mindful of your daily habits. Give yourself about a week to make a list of things that could be easy to change. Be more aware of stress triggers that lead to things like eating junk food, overeating or other negative behaviors. Do you eat mindfully or mindlessly? As you point them out to yourself, you will become more critical of the habit. This is a crucial step to change.

Don’t just dwell on the negatives. Take time to appreciate good health and positive behaviors like exercise. Be present as you eat, enjoying flavors, appreciating that you have food on your table. Pay attention to how exercise makes you feel. Notice how stress is released and the body gets energized. Use this feeling as motivation to continue your good habits.

In Social Circles

Your social life may be tricky. While socializing has proven to have positive benefits when it comes to mental health, not all relationships are positive. Take time to evaluate the relationships you are in, and the habits you have built with friends. You will begin to find that some people in your social circle are very supportive and others seem to only bring you down. While it isn’t always necessary to cut negative people out completely, make extra time to spend with people who truly care about you and go out of their way to make plans with you. Don’t forget to reciprocate. Be mindful and present when you are with others. Put the phone down, and really focus on what you are talking about with someone. Give them your full attention.

Consider the habits you have built your friendships on. For example, lots of people make friends in college, when all they really did was fool around and go to parties. If you still keep in touch, but your priorities have changed, it may be a detrimental relationship. Try mindfulvmindfullyour best to do different activities with that friend, and if they choose not to participate, it may be time to move on.

Go through your social media accounts. Eliminate news feeds that drain your energy, like constant bad news updates or people who have only combative things to say. Remind yourself that social media usually depicts snapshots of great times in life. If you find that seeing what fun other people are having makes you feel bad about your own life, remember that a picture is only one moment in their life, theirs is likely just as mundane as yours. You may find that limiting your time on these sites altogether will brighten your outlook on life.

At Work

The big question people should ask, yet are afraid to ask is, “Do I really want to be doing what I’m doing?” I bet most people would say no, but unfortunately, the desire to eat and keep a roof over our heads often overshadows the desire to leave a job. Don’t despair, there are waDCF 1.0ys to brighten your spirit by being more mindful of the things that drew you to your job in the first place.

There must be something about the field you are in that you like, otherwise you would have chosen to be somewhere else entirely. Think back to the things you originally liked about your job, and try to focus on those. Also, stop and appreciate the people you work with. Each person is special, and although you may not always see eye to eye, most likely, there is something about them you can appreciate.

If there is still unfinished business or dreams that never developed, try to figure out how to make accomplishing them a reality. Whether it is in your current job and field or a completely new venture, work toward your goals a little bit at a time. We are only able to get the life we want by striving for it.

Remember that mindfulness can be used as a tool in all aspects of your life. Make your New Year’s Resolution a simple one. Promise to be more mindful in all of the things you do, and the changes necessary to get where you want to be will come more easily after.

Cheers to a Happy New Year!

 

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Prepare now to start your New Year right

Best Deals in Fitness this New Year

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2017 is ripe with resolutions! With about 80% of Americans vowing to lose that holiday weight this year, gym membership numbers are on the rise. Joining a gym, fitness club, or making a home gym can get expensive. Here are a few tips for getting what you want for less.

Gym Memberships: These can be tricky. The best times to commit to a gym membership are in late December, in time for New Year’s, and in the summer, when membership numbers fall and gyms are struggling. Find a good deal by doing your homework. Go to all of the local gym websites to look for rates and promotions. Look for hidden costs like startup fees.  Price is important, but the gym you choose must be convenient enough to go to on a regular basis, and have the equipment and classes that you want. canceled-gym-membership

Take advantage of orientation offers, like a 1-week free pass to decide if the gym you chose is right for you. A lot of places offer free personal training sessions, too. Get a chance to become familiar with the equipment and how to use it for free. Be a good business person.

Also look for deals on sites like Groupon.com, to find discounted memberships and class prices to local gyms. Find anything from yoga and Pilates to rock climbing classes or ninja training all offered at a discount by local providers. You can try new things for a steal and decide what you want to invest in (if anything).

Home Gym Equipment: Yoga mats, kettle bells, free weights (oh my!). If you plan to fully stock a home gym, prepare to spend a bit of money. Buy things that you know have multiple purposes, like the weights and floor mats. Avoid getting things that work out exercise-800only one set of muscles and take up space in your basement/home gym. Remember that our parents and grandparents managed to get a workout before the Bowflex and Treadclimber were ever introduced. You can too.

If you plan to invest in large equipment, like a treadmill or elliptical, look for quality products with good reviews. Make sure it has a warranty as well. The Consumer Reports website is a great resource for reviews and guides on how to buy. The only downfall is you need to create an account with them to get their highest rated products.

Once you have all of your equipment, you need to know what to do with it all. Guided videos found online can give you a routine to follow, and keep you interested in the activity. Sites like Dailyburn.com give you access to live classes, and a large variety of workouts to keep you engaged. If another monthly membership isn’t in the budget, there are plenty of YouTube videos to choose from for free.

No-cost exercise equipment: If you have NO budget for a gym membership, don’t worry. There is plenty to be done at home, without expensive equipment. It does require you to be a bit creative sometim161ed352afd765a23f34b4c04125649ces. Here are some ideas:

Try empty milk jugs for weights (I think this counts as up-cycling!). Fill them with sand until they are as heavy as you want them. They’re perfect because they already have a handle. Duct tape the top to keep the sand from leaking. Fill with more sand as you get stronger.

Stairs and hallways for cardio. Climbing your stairs at home surely is less expensive than buying a treadmill! Use stairs or long hallways to get your cardio in. As weather improves, move your workout outside.

Remember that exercise is only about 20% of the weight loss equation. Most of your focus should really go to your diet in order to see results. To make the most of your eating plan, set up an appointment with Bordeaux Nutrition. Appointments are available now!

Click here for more info on diet counseling!

 

4 Reasons Your Weight Loss Resolution Always Fails (and what to do instead)

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You, along with millions of Americans, may set a New Year’s Resolution in a couple of weeks. According to Forbes magazine, about 40% of the population resolves to lose weight in the coming year. In theory, the epidemic of obesity that has plagued us for decades will be over by the end of 2017 if everyone sticks to their resolution. The reality is, only about 10% of people actually meet their intended goals. If you are one of the other 90%, it’s time to figure out what’s going wrong. Here are the 4 most common problems we see.

You’re not doing it for the right reasons.

Everybody’s reasons to lose weight will be a little different and that’s okay. What’s similar though, is the variety of reasons given usually aren’t compelling enough to boost motivation, at least not for very long. Common answers like, “I want to look good in a bathing suit” or “I want to make my classmates jealous at our reunion” don’t drive the motivation train very far. 89727c55b688ee61ccb2113f21a25032

If you want to take that train cross country, meeting and exceeding your goals, you will need better fuel for motivation. Dig deep and find out the underlying motivation for change. Do you want to be healthier? More active with family and friends? Feel better? When you frame your goals this way, it is more meaningful and long lasting. Usually the idea behind the goal is the perception that you will be living a better life if you achieve your goal. What does the picture of that goal look like?

It’s not enough to think of your goals, you have to write them down. Write a list and keep it somewhere within arms reach so you can pick it up, look it over and keep going, just when you feel like quitting. Some find putting copies of it on the refrigerator or snack cabinet is a nice deterrent for when a snack craving is likely to get out of control.

Your goal is too vague.

Saying you are going to lose weight this year is a good start. However, there should really be a second part of that sentence. “I will lose weight by doing….xyz”.  The XYZ can be just about anything, but it must be a reasonable, measurable goal.

Replace goals like, “I will lose 20 pounds” with goals like “I will start going for a 30-minute walk every day”. That’s something you can tangibly do every single day, and will eventually lead to your bigger goal. You can measure your success on a daily basis, and that immediate reward gives us the instant gratification we want and thrive on. You cannot measure your overall success of a 20 pound goal on a daily basis, and if you do, aaeaaqaaaaaaaagqaaaajgfjmjezn2q0lte0yzgtngriys05njg0lwe5ymu5mmu3odlmnwyou’re likely doing this for the wrong reasons. Go back to reason 1!

Pursue your goals in a step-wise fashion. Pick something small, like not eating sweets, and commit to that for 4-6 weeks. After that becomes a good habit, pick something else to add and built upon your success. If you feel like cutting sugar was too much, keep at it a little longer or modify the goal to become something more manageable. It’s fine to modify a goal as long as you are moving in the right direction. Remember, lasting success is about improving upon your lifestyle, not creating a new one that is out of line with your life.

Write your mini-goals in your calendar. Plan for the entire year.There are always improvements to be made. Don’t forget to carve out time for evaluation and refining your goals. Do this about once a month. Figure out what’s working, what’s not and the plan of action, just as you should do running a business.

You’re not prepared.

Take the time to set yourself up for success. If you want to add 30-minutes of activity to your daily routine, figure out the logistics.

What are you going to do? Is there a standby exercise, like walking that you wouldn’t mind doing? Are you bored of the same old thing? Plan to experiment with some new exercise videos at home or classes at the gym to figure out what you really like. Also consider what extra equipment, if any, you would need to get going. Don’t invest in too much if you’re not sure you will like the activity you have chosen. business-plan

When will you will do it? Look at your routine and find a reasonably easy time to add something. Most people find that getting exercise out of the way before their day really begins is their key to success. Others simply aren’t morning people, and do just fine hitting the gym after work. Either way, experiment and figure out what works best for you, even if that time varies on your day to day schedule. Just make it a priority to fit it in somewhere.

No accountability.

Most people, me included, don’t have the willpower to remain accountable only to ourselves. Internalizing your goals really just gives you permission to slack off when things get hard. You didn’t tell anybody about your plans, therefore, nobody can be disappointed (accountable-quote-molierebut you still will be).

Externalize those goals. Tell your spouse, your best friend, or all of Facebook your goal, and you will instantly feel the good pressure to keep on and meet your goals. Although your friends and family likely won’t be disappointed by your shortcomings, you are a man or woman of your word, and that means a lot.

Take the accountability one step further and have your support system become part of the plan. Maybe everyone in the family could stand to make some changes. Do it together, get a little friendly competition going. There’s a reason work and family weight loss challenges work. We are inherently drawn to the positive pressure of a win or lose situations.

Where do I start?

Having someone help you set your goals, make plan, and be there for accountability can be the key to your success. The professionals at Bordeaux Nutrition help patients with goal setting and accountability every day. Let us help you too!  The good news is, most commercial insurance policies cover nutrition counseling for little to no cost, even with high-deductible plans.

Click here to get started!

Think your friends or family could benefit from this article? Don’t forget to share!

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The #1 Food We DON’T Eat

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As nutrition professionals, we always recommend a well-balanced diet sourced from whole foods as opposed to a processed or fast food diet. The problem with that is the lack of convenience that comes with food planning and preparation. Busy schedules make it difficult to make a nutritious, home-cooked meal three times a day, seven days a week. Sometimes convenience foods are the only option. In moderation, these foods aren’t all bad, but as nutrition professionals, we do our best to avoid one thing: FAKE FOOD.  I know, we got ya with the one food thing, when really it’s a whole class of foods, but we really do recommend avoiding the following things at all costs.

Artificial Sweetenersartificial_sweetner_a

The idea behind artificial sweeteners is to provide a substitute for the sweet taste of sugar without the added calories. They have also been heavily marketed to the diabetic population, stating that they are better for your blood sugar regulation. In recent years, several sweeteners have been linked to cancer and they may also be detrimental to diabetics as they induce more cravings than they curb. Find more information on that here. Plus, you may find yourself eating more just to compensate, leading to weight gain.

As nutritionists, we take a cautious stance, assuming that all sweeteners will be deemed unsafe at some point. Since 1 teaspoonful of sugar only has 16 calories, our recommendation is to use natural sugar (go for raw/turbinado for an even less processed option), just use less than normal. Also avoid processed baked goods loaded with added sugar. Opt instead for naturally sweet foods like fruit to get your fix.  Honey is another good option. It has 20 calories per teaspoon, but is sweeter, so you can use a little less.

Good  pre-made products to try: Kind bars or Larabars for snacks. Also try unsweetened drinks like Pure Leaf  or Honest Tea  unsweetened iced teas to replace sodas.

Artificial dyes and food coloringezsquirt

There’s something very exciting about brightly colored food..unless you’re a nutritionist. Then you know the difference between natural colors and unnaturally bright, bold color. I’m thinking about all of the colors in funfetti frosting…it’s just not right. If you’ve ever eaten a brightly colored food and had your teeth and tongue stained for several hours after, most likely, it contained food coloring. The issues with artificial colors goes way beyond an oddly colored mouth.

Lots of claims exist against artificial dyes, including links to cancer and ADHD symptoms. Several have banned already and the number of FDA approved dyes decreases on a yearly basis. Since safety cannot be guaranteed long term, it’s probably a good idea to just avoid foods with colors you haven’t seen in nature. Your ingredient list should not include any numbers, no Red#40 or Yellow #5.

It’s safe to eat foods dyed with beet juice (red), annatto seed (yellow), red cabbage (blue, surprisingly. Check out how here!). The good news is, manufacturers including General Mills, are starting to address the fact that people want more natural products. Artificial dyes are slowly (very) being phased out.

Artificial Preservatives

Remember when you heard that a Twinkie could survive a nuclear blast? While that ended up being a wild rumor, the amount of preservatives in Twinkies, and lots of other processed foods, is unsettling. If chemicals can be used to prolong the shelf life of a food product, we can only imagine that they could also be pickling us from the inside out. Gross. The truth is much worse. Several preservatives have links to stomach cancer and other GI issues.

There a number of products used to increase shelf life, maintain color and consistency. They all do a splendid job, at least from the point of view of the scientists that created them. In fact, they work so well that the food supply has become overrun with their use. Now that their safety is call for concern, we need to take a step back. Artificial preservatives are generally recognized as safe (GRAS), an official rating, but that status can change at any time as new research is presented.

Due to lack of data, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) rates potassium sorbate as a moderate hazard preservative, but by the looks of the muffin we’ve had in our office for ~10 years we’d say it’s probably best to avoid it if you can.

There are too many preservatives to list, but the EWG has done a great job of reviewing them. Your best bet is to look for products with the label “contains no preservatives”.

Moral of the story…there is no one food we avoid, but rather foods that require packaging with lots of words. Yes, we all cave and have packaged, processed food once in a while, but we do try to avoid artificial foods at all costs, stick to REAL food, and recommend our clients do the same.

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3 Reasons Why Your Low Carb Diet Isn’t Working

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Written by Jacqui Campbell MS, RD, CDN

Low carbohydrate diets have been popular on and off for decades now.  We, at Bordeaux Nutrition, agree that low carb diets are best for weight loss and management of many chronic health problems.  However, we see our fair share of people coming in who are already following a low carb diet and struggling. Why? There’s a lot of possible reasons.

1. You’ve cut your carbs, but not replaced them with anything else. small-portion

This is the most common problem we see. In cutting back on carbs, people are cutting their calories too much.  Not eating enough leads to a slower metabolism and thus slowed weight loss.  When drastically reducing your carbohydrate intake, you want to replace them with protein AND fat. Which leads me to the next problem you may be having…

2. You’re not eating ENOUGH fat. 

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We see a lot of people cut down on carbs and replace it with only protein and you end up with a low-carb and low-fat diet.  Replacing carbohydrates with foods rich in fat keeps you satisfied and avoids spikes in blood sugar and insulin.  Improved blood sugar control is not only important for those with diabetes or pre-diabetes, but it aids in weight loss by directing your body to burn fat storage for energy. Studies have shown that people eating a higher-fat diet have faster metabolisms than those eating a lower fat diet with the same number of calories.  Healthy fats include avocado, nuts, seeds, coconut, olives, and oils from these foods.

3. You’ve cut down on grains/starches only.

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Source: The Greatist.com

Many people reduce their intake of breads, pastas, rice, and sweets, but neglect to pay attention to the amount of starchy vegetables and fruit they are consuming.  Starchy vegetables like sweet potatoes, squashes, corn, peas, beans and fruits are all sources of carbohydrates.  These are healthy carb options that we want to make sure to include in our diets, but excessive quantities can impair your ability to lose weight and actually contribute to high blood sugar and triglycerides.

To figure out the best diet for you, it is important to meet with a dietitian to assess your individual needs and help you form a personalized plan.

7 Eating Tips for Holiday Parties

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The time period between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day is generally regarded as a time where diet doesn’t matter. It’s an opportunity to indulge in all sorts of goodies, both savory and sweet. It’s common to hear people complain that their clothes are fitting a little tighter once the season is over. If you’re looking to maintain your weight (and wardrobe) this holiday season, these tips are for you!

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Lots of people think simply avoiding situations where they are likely to overeat is their best bet. Don’t avoid holiday parties! Why miss out on fun with friends and family for fear of overeating? The point of this season is to reconnect with loved ones, not to worry about food. Here are some tips to help keep your cravings in check and eat in moderation.

1. Follow your normal eating pattern, don’t show up starving: 

A common tactic is ded0bc_c26a47416a3f4b7d87d73981508e3afcto ‘save’ all of your calories for the party, giving you permission to overeat when you get there. Treat party day like any other, following a normal meal and snack pattern to avoid getting too hungry. If the party time comes between your normal meals, eat in moderation, and go for a lighter meal later on if you feel you overindulged, don’t just skip it altogether.

2. Avoid socializing around the buffet table:

Lingering at the buffet table is a killer for mindful eating. You mingle, talk and mindlessly grab another appetizer, until you’ve had way too much. Instead, grab a small plate, take what looks good and walk away. Mingle with your friends somewhere else.

 3. Skip the foods you can have any time:

If there are store-bought baked goods, dinner rolls or dime-a-dozen dishes, skip them. You’ve had them before, you’ll have them again, save room for something else. Choose the dish that grandma only makes once a year, or something that looks new and exciting.

4. Stop eaMan Eating Pepperoni Pizzating foods that don’t taste good:

Socialize while paying attention to what you are tasting. If a dish isn’t everything you hoped and dreamed, don’t finish it. In fact, don’t take a large portion in the first place. Take enough for a taste and go back for more if it truly is delicious.

5. Bring a healthy option:

This is good for two reasons. One, you know you will have something to fall back on if your host only makes pigs in a blanket. Two, you will avoid “leftover syndrome” — a situation in which you take home whatever is left of what you made, and eat it twice a day until its gone. At least if it’s somewhat healthy, you won’t get too off track.

6. Watch your liquid calorie intake:

‘Tis the season for cocktail connoisseurs to test their skills with eggnog, candy cane flavored mixers and other overly-sweet drinks. While a new mix may be fun, extra calories from sugar, especially when mixed with alcohol, can lead to indigestion, immediate headache and the ever dreaded hangover the next day. Your best bet is to sample a small amount of the drink and make sure to hydrate (with water!).

7. Get out for some extra activity:benefits-of-walking

Most likely, you will eat a bit more than normal. Add a few extra minutes or bursts of intensity to your daily routine to burn a little bit more. This can help offset those extra calories you may have consumed.  Don’t work out for hours on end to compensate for that extra slice of pie. Remember not to think of exercise as a punishment for overindulging, just a tool to maintain balance in your body!

It happens to everyone at some point. There will be occasions, even with all of these tips, that you over do it and indulge a bit too much. No need to worry. Tomorrow is another day, plan to get back on track. Holiday parties do not last 24/7, every day for the next month, so don’t give yourself permission to stay off track every day. Most likely, you won’t feel too good, and you may pack on a few pounds you weren’t planning on.

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What are your party tricks to keep from overdoing it?

 

 

Fun With Baby’s First Foods

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Written by Jacqui Campbell MS, RD, CDN

I want to start out by saying there are lots of opinions and mixed recommendations for when to start solids with babies. This blog post is not intended to provide recommendations as to when and how much to feed your baby, only to share my experiences. As with everything, it is important to talk to your pediatrician, do your own research, and trust you gut when determining if you and your baby are ready to start introducing solids. Every baby and every situation is different so just do you, boo boo!

Being not only a dietitian, but a foodie also, you can imagine how excited I was when we got the green light from our pediatrician to start feeding our little guy solid foods. As someone who loves to cook and play around in the kitchen I knew I wanted to try to make my own baby food.  Not only that, but homemade baby food:

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Jackson enjoyed organic sweet potatoes as his first food

  1. Saves money, even if using organic produce.  Organic baby food goes for at least 99cents for a 4oz jar.  I found a deal on organic pears, a 2lb bag for $1.99 at Aldi! Plus, I had lots of organic sweet potatoes and squash from our Oxen Hill Farm CSA.
  2. It’s fairly simple, and you can use the same foods you’re preparing for yourself.
  3. Avoids additives and preservatives. You know exactly what goes into it.

As I went through the list of “first foods” I googled “how to make whatever fruit/vegetable baby food” and found it to be fairly simple and straight forward.  If you think about it, you don’t really need a recipe for a one-ingredient food. The important thing when making baby food puree is to ensure you can get a smooth, soft consistency.

Making baby food purees

I start by first looking at the food and asking “would I cook this to eat it?”img_20161202_093917

  • If yes, obviously I cook it.  I make sure it’s pretty soft and easily stabbed with a fork.  Examples include sweet potatoes, butternut squash, peas, and green beans. So far I’ve used a mixture of fresh sweet potatoes and squash, and frozen peas and green beans.
  • If no, ask “is this food soft enough to mash with a fork?”.
    • Bananas and avocados can be mashed with a fork and fed like that. I personally felt a little nervous about getting it mashed up enough, so I still used the food processor to ensure an even consistency.
    • Fruits like ripe peaches and pears do not need to be cooked, but do require a little more processing.
    • If the food is too tough to mash raw — i.e. apples, less ripe pears, carrots — I either steam or boil until fork tender.

You don’t need to invest in a fancy “Baby Bullet” or other costly appliance. A decent quality blender or food processor will work fine. Just blend until food is smooth and not too thick.  With any food, liquids like water, breast milk or formula can be added to achieve a smoother consistency if needed.

I used a small food processor for most foods so far, but found that my Vitamix did a better job at getting the pea puree smooth, it was just a pain to clean out.

Storing

Homemade purees can be stored in the refrigerator for 3 days. I use little 2 oz baby food blocks to save individual portions, but you could also just store in a larger container and take out one portion at a time. It is important to discard any leftover food that has been eaten from since bacteria can grow, so don’t spoon out more than your baby will eat.

Purees can easily be frozen for longer storage, since even just 2 apples made more than enough for 3 days. I have frozen some food in the 2oz containers, but have also frozen the purees in ice cube trays.  This allows for you to thaw out individual ~1oz portions easily. In the case of the butternut squash I just made an entire squash and froze most of it in 2 ice cube trays.  For optimal nutrient retention it’s best to use within 3 months, so don’t go too crazy. Plus, in 3 months your little one will likely be moving on from purees anyway.

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Frozen puree cubes

We’re still working our way through the first foods, so stay tuned for more as we advance to mixing foods and trying more.  So far Jackson has liked everything we’ve tried, but seems to especially like the apples and pears.

We’d love to hear others experience with first foods!

What were your little one’s first and favorite foods? Did you make your own baby foods? Did you skip purees all together?

Think a friend or family member would benefit from this article? Don’t forget to share!