Why can’t feeding your baby solids be as straight forward as feeding your baby milk? When they are a baby it’s as simple as feed them breast or bottle and then feed them when they are hungry. Obviously, if you are breastfeeding you have to watch what you eat or drink, but the concept is simple enough.
However when your baby hits four months (or thereabouts) and you first start them on solids it can be a nightmare with that much different information being available on the internet that you don’t know where to start.
For example – in many places it suggests not to feed chicken to your baby until they are six months old and yet I seem to see a fair amount of baby food jars that include chicken in them. I suppose it is down to whom you listen to and at what stage you want to introduce your baby to certain foods.
I have made the decision to just introduce Sofia to the foods that are recommended by everyone and those that are borderline (as to what age you should give them out at) I will wait to a more appropriate age for her.
Here are a few rules I have followed so far with Sofia and her weaning:
One food at a time
It is very logical that you do this, but many parents don’t. Babies dislike foods and often have food allergies, so start by introducing one food at a time until you have fulfilled all the main food types that they generally have in the 4-6 month weaning stage.
Start with three days on a new food and then introduce another. Then if you are out and don’t want to start with a new food in public (especially if they hate the food) then you can leave it another day until you introduce a new one.
Then once they like another food you can tick it off the list and move onto the new one and before you know it you have introduced them to everything that they need.
Things don’t have to be difficult
I always think of weaning and think it’s the hardest thing in the world to do with a baby. They have spent the last four months just learning to suck milk via a teat and nothing else, so to attempt to get them to swallow something seems like something really difficult.
But if it is done a bit at a time with small portions they soon get really used to it. I have found with Sofia that for her solids that she loves the most (apple and pear is her favourite) end up getting eaten really fast and the things she is not that fussed for (such as carrot) last a lot longer.
Foods to start with
Here is a list of the foods that we have started Sofia off with and are very good introduction foods to your baby.
Preparing the foods
As I am sure you are aware it is all about having pureed food that is suitable for your baby to digest. The best way about doing so is by steaming and then blending making sure there are no big bits in it and it’s totally smooth for the baby to digest.
The only exception to this rule is avocado and its also considered a good fat and its perfect for your baby. You can just scoop out the mixture and then blend it with a hand mixer and then you are all done!
Avocado is also very good for using it to bulk up meals for your baby thanks to the thickness of the produce it can make a runny food much thicker and it’s also very good for them at the same time.
I call avocado the lazy food as you can just quickly blend it and you have food!
The new meal plan
Everyone is different for how they want to present their baby with new foods. I have found that we eat out a lot at lunch time and I don’t want to be in the position where I am covering myself in baby food that she has spat out and leave all the messy weaning until we are at home.
Therefore Sofia currently has:
- Breakfast = Baby cereal followed by a 4oz bottle
- Lunch = 8oz bottle
- Dinner = Vegetables (usually broccoli, carrot and avocado) and fruit (usually apple and pear)
- Supper = 8oz bottle
I am planning over the next month to introduce her to sweet potatoes and to butternut squash and these will be added to her dinner and in her first month on this plan she gained a kilo so her weight is coming along nicely. She was on five feeds a day, so she has lost two of them to the solid foods but now no longer wants anything between meals and loves her food intake.
When I look back though, I can’t believe how many new things she has tried and how easy it has been.
But remember – they are no rules. You have ten foods that you can give to your baby and it’s completely up to you when you introduce them to your baby. I started with baby cereal but you could easily start with fruit or vegetables first.