Recently we have gone through a major milestone that is weaning our little lady to solids. Although experts recommend that you wait until your baby’s six months old before offering them solid food, at five and a bit months I knew that baby girl was ready because I could no longer eat in peace without her wanting to take a dive into my food….literally!
I’m no experts at babies, necessarily nor the weaning process but I have read a fair deal on the subject and seeing as I’m currently going through the process, I thought it’d be helpful to to provide some insight and tips on introducing solid food.
Like me, you may find that when your baby, starts weaning, it’s easier to start with puréed food. In the beginning, she would only take a spoonful or two of the food I offered her and although I can’t say that we’ve completely settled in the solid eating process, we’ve definitely made progress in the amount of food she’s eating now and the frequency compared to before. To start, I offered puréed vegetables such as carrot and sweet potatoes (separately at first) which I steam and blend myself as well as puréed fruit like bananas, etc.
For breakfast, we’ve settled on good old porridge which she really loves. This is the one constant meal she now has every morning. I initially started with baby porridge but through research I found that some of them are actually really high in salt, as well as being super pricey. I’m now using Ready Brek which I mix with her formula and not only does she love it, it’s also cheap as heck! I’ve found some mums use god ol’ oats as well. I’d wait until baby was 6 months though because of the gluten.
One thing I’d say to mummies is that just like with anything else, it may take a while for babies to get used to all the new flavours so don’t feel discouraged or give up if they spit the food out at first. The more you try, the more they’ll get used to it. At this point their main food is still breast milk and/or formula milk anyway so don’t expect them to get the hang of it immediately. It could take a month or so of constant trying before they start having three proper meals a day.
I also found out that there was such a thing as baby-led weaning. This is where parents (I don’t intentionally leave fathers out…sorry) choose not to spoon feed their babies purée and let the babies feed themselves. I’d say we’re currently doing both because my little girl isn’t always keen on mashed food but will always want to eat when we’re eating – straight from our plates. I love baby-led weaning because it gives her more freedom and independence to pick up the foods and perfect her grip as well as hand-mouth coordination. Of course be weary when it comes to the food pieces as there could be choking. Broccoli and chip-shaped foods are recommended to overcome this.
Fortunately for me my baby is not at all a fussy or picky eater. She will at least try anything she is offered. She likes some more than others but we’ve not yet found a food she despises.
When trying to come up with food ideas, I’d suggest carrots, parsnip, sweet potatoes and cauliflower which can easily be steamed and mashed. Fruits that can also easily be mashed or puréed include mangoes, pears, bananas and so many more. I personally love avocado so I have introduced this to her diet and again she eats it with little issues.
To season her food, I use the Boots baby stock which come in tgeee different flavours: beef, chicken and vegetables. They add a little flavour to the food so it’s not bland and smell great too!
Because baby girl likes eating from our plates, we’ve also introduced her to meat, chicken, eggs and fish, but I get that not all parents may want to go ahead with this immediately in which case I’d say do what works for you. This might be gross to some but when she eats of my plate, I semi chew these foods first then give them to her so she doesn’t choke. Its my baby so mind your business ( lol joking….not!). I any case what I’m trying to highlight is that introducing a range of foods and tastes can work in your favour by reducing the chances of your baby becoming a fussy eater later on. My siblings were all fussy eaters so I knew I didn’t want to sweat from just feeding a child.
Food allergies are real and it’s important to try and detect them when introducing solids. What many people do and I’ve adopted this as well is to try each food individually for 2-3 days to see if bubba has any allergic reaction to it. It’s slightly harder when your baby is trying to feed themselves or eating off of your plate as it may be harder to know what food they are allergic to if they happen to be allergic to something buthaving said that, I believe there are creative ways around this.
I hope this post will be useful to whoever reads it. I’m all about research and trial and error so please do not take everything at face value and do not hold me to every written word as I’m not a professional nutritionist or paediatrician. I love speaking to mothers and parents in general to learn tips , experiences and practices and I the make up my own decision on what I want to keep and trash.
I’d love to hear back from parents on their experiences and additional information and tips as well so please share what works for you.