When Harper was about 4 months or so we started solids. But here’s the thing, I already forgot the details. She’s almost a year and half and she eats just about everything now. We switch it up and she’s always trying new things. I am sure we will have battles to fight in the thick of toddler world, but we are grateful for a good eater now! If you know us, Harper always has food!
But I remember when we were about to start, I began to research everything I could get my hands on. My husband and I love food, so it was all we could do to will our love of food onto our daughter. I’ll share some of my resources and what I learned along the way.
**If your kiddo is 4 months or younger, consult your pediatrician prior to starting solids. Sometimes they may not be ready until closer to 6 months!
The biggest piece of advice I got early on when starting foods, was to not be afraid. Funny, I didn’t even understand how it related to starting solids. And then the gagging came. I read a lot about the difference between gagging and choking. And found out that many kids have a strong gag reflex on purpose, for their protection, and its totally normal and OK for them to gag. This is hard as a parent, because of the instinct to want to protect them, but I learned to sit on my hands and let her work it out, it got easier and she got better at swallowing.
I went on to my Facebook Community and asked some of our awesome mom’s to share their tips.
Here’s a few comments from the moms:
Start with vegetables first since they aren’t usually as sweet then move on to fruits.
Test out the same fruit or veggie for 5-7 days to check for allergies.
I recommend starting with veggies as well, but if they aren’t finding success with that, try the rice cereal. I know there isn’t a whole lot of nutritional value to it, but it was initially the only food Theo would eat. We mixed it with breastmilk so it was a taste Theo was familiar with and allowed him to get used to the texture of solids. After that he was much more open to veggies and fruits.
Don’t feel dumb when you have to google “how to purée baby food.”
Start with avocado. You can start with a tiny bit mixed with milk to introduce, and progress to more chunky as time goes on. We did that with our second, and she is a super healthy, adventurous eater. Also, she still asks for avocado!
For Harper, I leaned more to the “baby led” weaning method, more for selfish reasons than anything else. What I mean, was as soon as Harper could figure out how to feed herself, that was amazing. We still did a mix of puree at the beginning, we mashed and mixed and made the blends of food. After about two rounds of this, I was done. The prep that I did was worth it, but I wanted to get her eating herself as fast as possible so I could do something else (aka of freedom!). But if you go down the baby-led weaning route, prepare for messy! We ended up putting a plastic table cloth under the high chair to help with the mess. The birds outside LOVED when I would shake out the cloth after meal times — lots of leftovers. And of course, we had to have lots of dishtowel bibs, because it is messy!
Here’s a list of our favorites foods:
- Avocado (of course)
- Oranges (free at a restaurant, ask at the bar!)
- Cucumbers – (peeled and cut in half moons)
- Real oatmeal (we served it to her a day old, so she could pick it up with her hands, she still eats it daily).
- Melons (Watermelon, cantaloupe – feels soo good on their teeth!)
- Beets (canned worked fine!)
- Peas (frozen! This is still a staple)
- Canned beans (literally, open up a can, drain and serve – she loved black bean, chickpea and kidney. We tried lima and white beans too.)
- Rice or Quinoa (its sooo messy, so if you can figure out how to make it stick, good!)
- Banana – (Just in a
- Berries (careful with these as you may see a reaction based on acidity levels in poos!)
- Apples & Pears
- Bean Balls, Veggie Burgers
- Sweet potato or white potato (We do fries or roasted like for a hash for breakfast)
- Carrots (we only found Harper liked roasted)
- We don’t eat much dairy and meat at our house, so our diet consists of many veggies and fruits. Consult someone who does if you want advice on when to add those things into your childrens meals.
Don’t feel like you have to try these foods all at once! The best part about these is that some foods can last a few meals/days! And just because they don’t like them the first time, keep trying!
A fun thing I did early one, way before she could even eat, was to practice holding vegetables. When they’re little they need lots of practice gripping and holding things to prepare to eat! Plus the textures are very interesting for them. I would have her hold whatever I was cooking with that day!
My favorite gadgets and tools
- Get a good highchair – we had one that goes on top of a chair, and that worked for awhile, and then we got a bigger one that made a lot less opportunity for mess!
- A mobile highchair for parks, picnics, trips – our favorite from Amazon is here
- Plastic table cloths you don’t care about (head to the Dollar Store!)
- Silverware – We had a set of kiddo spoons, but actually now we just use regular forks and knives. We only have one bowl for her that we’ve used, everything else has just been placed in front of her.
- Pouch Topper – loved this for saving the pouches when we used them and she didn’t eat it all (especially at the beginning or when we were out and about)
What would you add? Any other advice to share?
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