How does one start talking about what they want to say? It’s sometimes the hardest thing to do. it’s like starting a conversation with someone you don’t really know. You don’t know their likes or dislikes what offends them what doesn’t. it can be a very hard thing. So let’s just jump into it. Your little one is ready to start trying solid food. Where do you go from there? What foods do you start with? Is there any food that you should avoid? All very good questions that I experienced myself when starting solid foods with my little one.
What are solid foods?
For the sake of argument, solid foods are anything that is not liquid. This includes foods that have been puréed or are watery in their own right.
Unless you are straining the pulpy bits out of the puréed food, it is still considered a solid even if you are chewing it.
How do you know it’s time?
Some of the signs that your little one is ready to start trying solid food it an interest in the food itself. This means that he is mentally ready. A note I should make is that your little one might not be physically ready to swallow anything but liquids yet even though he is showing interest.
We have this chair that we sit my son in when we eat dinner at the dining room table, and at about 4 months he started really paying attention to us eating. He would watch us put food in our mouths and chew. Then he would start mimicking us chewing and looking st the food with an almost longing look. So we started him with some mashed banana. He wasn’t ready to swallow yet, so he just rolled it around in his mouth and spit it back out again. From what his pediatrician said, we should wait another week till we tried again to give his body a chance to catch up with his interest.
Another thing that we found is that our little one is particular about the consistency of his food. He wasn’t fond of mashed bananas or puréed cucumber, but when offered a large chunk or stick of either, he would nom on it with happiness and gusto. Don’t give up if your little one doesn’t get right on board with what you give him. Keep trying and exposing him to different variations. You might find one that he loves and will want again and again.
What solid food do you start with?
I know for me one of the biggest things that I was googling like a madwoman was what I should start my baby trying as far as food was concerned. I didn’t know if I should start with vegetables because you don’t want to start with fruit. Fruit is sweeter and they might not like the vegetables after having sampled the sweet fruit.
I also read that you should maybe start with meat because by six months old their iron supply can be depleted and that can be a problem. This is something that doesn’t sound very good and definitely something to be avoided. I wasn’t sure how I was going to purée meat, and to be honest, it didn’t sound very appetizing, so I continued to research.
Then I had some friends who are older who said to start them with cereal rice cereal, cream of wheat, or oatmeal because it will help him sleep and I’ll be able to get more done and be able to sleep more at night. The only problem with this is that rice is usually grown in arsenic-rich fields and wheat has gluten and could be a problem.
So when we had our four-month wellness check-up I asked his pediatrician because I wanted to know what she thought and I trust her word. What she told me was that I could start with anything I wanted to. There are a lot of things online that say start this or start that, do this or do that, and she said it’s really up to me and how we eat. This was absolutely astonishing to me, but also gave me a sense of relief knowing that there really wasn’t any right or wrong way to start him trying solid foods.
Any foods to avoid?
The only food that his doctor did say no honey for sure until he is at least one year old. I forgot to ask her why so when I got home so I actually googled it. What I found out is honey actually contains a mild strain of botulism. This strain when ingested by someone who has a fully developed digestion tract, their body Is able to distinguish that it is something that is bad and passes it right through. The person doesn’t get sick and they go about their lives.
With an infant who is under one year old their intestinal tract does not recognize this and they actually get pretty sick from it. that’s why you’re not supposed to give an infant honey. And to be honest this has made me skeptical of all honey now because the thought of ingesting botulism whether my body can handle it, it’s just not something that I really want to think about or do.
Suggestions for which solid food for baby?
One thing that his pediatrician did tell me or I should say advise me on is to start him with banana and figs. The reason for this was to help control his poop consistency, for lack of a better term. Bananas apparently will constipate an infant and figs help loosen things up.
So this means that as he continues on his journey of trying random foods, if he gets something that either his body does not agree with at any end of the spectrum, then I can help correct it was stuff that he has already eaten and I know that he’s OK with eating.
One of the best pieces of advice that she gave me is to wait 3-6 days between trying new foods. This is so that we can watch for any adverse reactions to the food such as allergies. Once food has been declared ‘safe’ through no reactions to eating, then he can have that food at any time. The restriction is just for new foods.
To sum it up…
When starting solid foods with your little one, start slow. Try one new food every few days. It doesn’t matter what foods you start with as all have pros and cons. Take your diet into consideration; you want to set a good example with what you eat but you also want to expose your little one to foods that you normally eat.
Wholesome foods are best, not processed. Just because your little one spits the food out doesn’t mean they don’t like it. It could just be they are not ready for it’s don’t like the medium in which it was prepared. Keep trying and try to remain positive.
Remember, this is a whole new thing for your little one, and patience is going to serve you very well through this whole process.