Our 8 Best Tips For Starting Solids!
The one thing I was anxious about when I became a mom was the idea of transitioning him into eating solids. What do they eat? When do they eat? Can they have certain things? What if he chokes? What if he has an allergic reaction? In my pregnancy groups we had discussed the pros and cons of BLW (babyled weaning) and just feeding purée. We ended up going with a hybrid approach. We do both babyled weaning and purées because, well, because we can. Ha! With help from public health nurses and our Pediatrician, these are the best 8 tips we have for starting solids!
1. Make eating fun!
We make a habit of having fun with it all. Which means we do a weekly, MESSY pasta night where we let me really get into it. Babies love exploring and feeling new textures!
2. Always experiment with different foods and purée concoctions.
I’d be lying if I said that Charles hasn’t rejected my meals more than 4 times. It honestly took me about 5 or 6 times to get some recipes right. We ended up purchasing (after hearing rave reviews) this book called “It All Begins With Food, by Leah Garrard-Cole”. Now, this book has AMAZING RECIPES and not everything was just for babies - she includes a lot of family breakfast/lunch/dinner recipes! Everything I’ve made Kevin has devoured and begged me to make again. Not only did Charles, Kevin and I love the meals and snacks, but they were extremely healthy which is a total win. She also has some great purée and kid friendly smoothies recipes along with GREAT tips for making your own baby food, which I needed! Clearly ;) Charles is quite the food critic.
3. Stay away from Honey.
I remember always being told not to give my baby honey and I kind of just went along with it. It wasn’t until one day that I really started wondering, why can’t babies actually have honey?? Well, honey contains a bacteria called “Clostridium Botulinum” which can give an infant botulism poisoning. This is rare and not common but definitely a risk I wouldn’t want to take!
4. Make sure your baby is actually ready to eat solids!
Unless your doctor has given you different instructions and criteria to meet, making sure that your baby has met all of these guidelines is very important. Your baby should be able to:
Sit up unassisted.
Show an interest in food, like opening his/her mouth when food is presented to them.
She/he should be able to move the food from mouth to throat. If they are pushing the food back out of his mouth, it might be a good idea to wait a couple more weeks and try again!
5. The waiting game...
We always introduced foods separately for the first couple months. We would introduce a food and wait about 2 days to make sure there were no allergy’s. Thankflly we haven’t run into any scares with allergic reactions yet!
6. Sign up for an infant CPR class!
One of my biggest anxieties is choking! Kevin has his infant CPR ticket so he always knew the signs of choking and what to do. But for piece of mind I decided to sign up for the course as well, especially now that we are starting to experiment with different meats and chunkier purées.
7. Focus on iron and zinc filled foods!
We started with green veggies and slowly added others. We then started adding chicken and tofu. Then lastly we began feeding him fruit purées mixed in with iron fortified cereal, like Love Child Organics Oats and Chia. We added fruits last because we were worried he would end up favouring the sweet fruits over the healthy greens like peas and avocado. We also do BLW and allowed him to snack on whole raspberries, strawberries and carrot sticks.
8. Don’t give up!
Try foods multiple times. The first couple times we offered him eggs, he HATED it and would throw them onto the ground. The third time he tried them he ate it ALL within 10 mins. Give it a few tries and of course don't force it on them, but you'd be surprised the kinds of meal that Charles refused in the beginning and LOVES now!
Starting solids can be such a fun time, but I also had so many questions! There are probably many other tips out there, what’s your best advise to moms starting solids with their little ones??