Here's an overview of how I handled the 6-8 months mark. If you have questions, feel free to leave a comment or contact me. (A reminder that I am not a pediatrician or nutritionist, and you should always consult with your pediatrician if you're not sure about an ingredient for baby.)
I started on proteins around 6 months, after Pablo was well exposed to vegetables. My main strategy was a lot of variety in meats and fish, as well as tofu and lentils/beans for protein. My research in French baby nutritional guides and online suggested to start progressively, giving a few protein meals a week, slowing working your way up. I gave protein at lunch time, and vegetables purees at dinner from 6-8 months period (at 9 months, my pediatrician told me I could do protein at lunch and dinner.)
Once he tried all the ingredients separately, I also started introducing herbs (mostly basil, Italian parsley, thyme, oregano, chives, tarragon, rosemary, mint), as well as onion and garlic.
[As I explained in my page on the first purees, I buy organic vegetables as much as possible, and locally grown as much as possible, as vegetables lose a lot of nutrients if not consumed fairly quickly after being picked. When I can't find locally grown, I try to find organic frozen. Green beans flash frozen right after being picked will retain more nutrients than fresh green beans traveling and sitting on shelves for over a week after being harvested.]
Quantity-wise, I started with 15 g (0.5 oz) of meat or fish per 2oz serving of puree, then worked my
way up to 20 and 25 grams (about 3/4 oz) between 9-12 months.
I would cook this in batches, usually of about 8-10 oz, i.e. 4 or 5 x 2 oz portions (he ate one 2 oz puree, in addition to the finger foods, cheese and yogurt), which I would freeze and use in the following weeks.
Recipes below are for 5 x 2 oz portions, i.e. 10 oz of pureed food, with 0.5 oz of protein per portion.
Also, at that stage, I did mostly steaming. All recipes below are the same: steam for about 12-15 mn, and mix into a smooth puree, adding a bit of milk, water or cooking juice to obtain desired consistency.
Fish & veggie purees
- I use Dover sole as it is very mild, the filets are bone-free.
- Sole and cod are interchangeable in these recipes, though cod has a stronger taste.
- For all fish, I try to buy wild caught when possible.
- Tilapia is a good substitute for cod or sole.
Sole & cucumber - 2.5 oz sole, 1 small cucumber, 1 potato
Cod & zucchnini - 2.5 oz black cod, 2 medium zucchinis, 1 potato
Salmon & sorrel - 2.5 oz salmon, 1 big handful of sorrel, 1 potato
Salmon & kale - 2.5 oz salmon, 1/2 bunch kale, 1 potato
Cod & chards (see also brandade) - 2.5 oz black cod, 1/2 bunch chards, 1 potato
Cod & cauliflower - 2.5 oz black cod, 1/2 cauliflower
Sole & microgreens - 2.5 oz sole, handful of pea shoots, handful of microgreens of choice (try different ones for variety), 1 potato
Meat & veggie purees
You can make any combination of meats and vegetables, of course. And the meats in the recipes below are interchangeable if you want to experiment a bit. These combinations are the ones I made for Pablo.
With 2.5 oz of either ground chicken or ground turkey:
Jardinière - 2 cups of chopped carrot, turnip, green geans + Italian parsley
Eggplant - Half a medium size eggplant
Green beans & onion - 2 cups of cut up green beans, 1/4 onion
Green beans, parsley & garlic - 2 cups of cut up green beans, 1 clove garlic (minced), Italian parsley
Leeks - 2 leek whites, 2 potatoes
Butter lettuce, carrot, turnip, zucchini - 1/2 butter lettuce, 1.5 cups of chopped carrot, turnip & zucchini
Baby bok choy - 3 baby bok choys, 1 potato
Sweet potato, onion - 2 medium sweet potatoes, 1/4 onion
Pea shoots & microgreens - a large handful of each, 1 potato
Beef / Veal / Lamb / Duck:
Beef & eggplant - 2.5 oz ground beef, 1 medium eggplant
Lamb & eggplant, with rosemary - 2.5 oz ground lamb, 1 medium eggplant, 1 sprig rosemary
Lamb & cauliflower - 2.5 oz ground lamb, 1/2 cauliflower head
Lamb, zucchini, leeks - 2.5 oz ground lamb, 2 zucchinis, 2 leek whites
Lamb & broccoli - 2.5 oz ground lamb, 1/2 broccoli head
Lamb, rutabaga - 2.5 oz ground lamb, 2 rutabagas
Veal zucchini, parsley - 2.5 oz ground veal, 3 zucchinis, 1 potato, Italian parsley
Veal & green asparagus - 2.5 oz ground veal, 1 bunch of green asparagus (tips only), 1 potato
Duck & turnip - 2.5 oz piece of duck, 2 small turnips, 1/4 onion, 1 sprig of fresh thyme
Mixed vegetable purees
Obviously, you can do whatever combination of vegetables known to baby, or add one new veggie to known ones. Also, if your child seems to dislike one vegetable, mixing it with another is a way to reintroduce it.
Proportions are flexible on these. To obtain 8-10 oz, I usually need about 2.5 cups of veggies, chopped fairly small. Leafy greens steam down to almost nothing, so you can use a lot.
Green beans & artichoke bottom
Carrot & chives
Carrot, turnip, potato
Leeks & carrots
Butter lettuce, watercress & potato
Eggplant, garlic & rosemary
Turnip, celery root, carrot
Tomato & potato
Fennel & carrot
Fennel, shallot & potato
Cauliflower & onion
Cauliflower & green beans
Broccoli & spinach
Spinach & peas