I had no intentions of pushing my youngest child to start eating solids any time soon. I enjoyed the benefits of exclusive breastfeeding, but once he started showing signs that he was interested in trying new foods, I knew it was time.
According to WebMD, signs your baby may be ready for solid foods are that he’s doubled his birth weight (or more), can hold up his head, is between 4 and 6 months old, and is interested in watching you eat and reaching for your food. My son, at 6months old, showed all these signs so I knew it was time to experiment with foods other than breast milk.
If your baby is showing similar signs and is 4-months or older, here is what you need to know about starting solids with your baby:
What first foods should you try?
I, personally, don’t care for the rice cereal route for babies starting on solid foods and so we avoided it. My baby eats a huge range of foods and we don’t stick to the traditional “baby” foods all the time – we like to be adventurous and so does he.
Soft fruits like bananas, watermelon, and oranges are great first foods for baby. You can also give mashed up vegetables like steamed broccoli, kale, and carrots, though my youngest cringes if we even try carrots.
Whole grains are great for babies as well and you don’t have to stick to the cereal to get it. We like to feed our son quinoa and there are some baby food packages that contain organic fruits, vegetables, and purred quinoa, which are fast favourites.
What are the recommendations for starting new foods?
According to HealthyChildren.org, it’s recommended that you start new foods with your baby 3 days apart, so you can pinpoint if an allergy pops up. You need to place your baby upright in a chair and start with a spoonful at a time. If you’re practicing baby-led feeding (a practice that allows your baby to take charge of feeding himself), you should place only a few pieces of food on the plate or table at a time.
Word of warning–don’t be alarmed or surprised if more of the food ends up on and around your baby than in their belly! They’re learning and at this early age, it’s not their primary source of food yet, so it’s okay!
Mother-recommended baby food brands
One of the first baby food brands we fed our baby was Love Child Organics. As parents, we love that they’re organic and our wee one loves the many different taste combinations. Two of his absolute favourites are Apples, Bananas & Blueberries with Quinoa and Apples, Spinach, Kiwi & Broccoli with Quinoa.
Another brand that’s a favourite of ours is the Baby Gourmet brand, again because there is nothing but organic goodness inside and each flavor that we’ve tried (yes, we parents have tried them too!) have been really delicious.
What about making your own baby food?
You don’t need to only buy pre-packaged baby food because making your own is simpler than it may sound. My son, who is 9-months old, eats the same dinners that we do, just modified to be a little softer than what we eat.
We cook the pasta a little longer, mash up the vegetables a bit for him, and cut up some foods like pizza so it’s not really much more work. I like to make a little extra at dinner so he can have a bit for lunch the next day and just store it in a container in the fridge.
And if you’re on the hunt for a BPA-free, eco-friendly food storage option, Beaba has a bunch of those as well, or try the Wean Green Snack Cubes. They’re great for storing and they can double as a food dish for feeding your baby directly.
What is your baby’s favourite food to eat? Share in the comments!
Photo credit: jerrroen | Flickr
Devan McGuinness is the editor-in-chief and founder of byDevan.com. Previously blogging at AccustomedChaos.com, Devan branched out to start byDevan.com — a resource for busy people who still want time for exceptional. She has been married to her high-school sweetheart for 10 years and they are parents to 4 children, who they home school. Diagnosed with celiac disease and casein intolerance, the allergy-friendly recipes on byDevan are real meals she and her family actually eat at home.