Babies and solid food

These are some tips and tricks I learned when introducing babies to solid foods.

Food before one is just for fun

I found this quote on an Australian health website. I have found it to be a helpful guideline, since my daughter often refused most solids while teething. This gave me peace of mind that she wasn’t going to be malnourished if she barely ate solids for a few days, as long as she was still being breastfed as needed. However, I dont think this advice should be taken too literally, as solids are important even if they are not the babies primary source of calories. I did still offer her solids several times throughout the day, she just refused to eat them.

The baby bird method is gross but effective

The baby bird method is basically pre-chewing food then giving it to your baby. I think it is practical and effective, but I can also admit to outsiders watching it may be gross. This is really the only way to introduce foods like meat or firm fruits without having to do a lot of extra work.

The goal is exposure

Using the baby bird method, I fed my daughter whatever I was eating. This didn’t include anything spicy, but not much was off the table. She ate meat, vegetables, fruits, baked goods, etc. Since I never got into purées, she wasn’t really exposed to foods I don’t cook often, which could be a drawback. Realistically, though, I won’t be cooking foods I don’t eat, so it likely won’t matter much in the short term.

Eat what adults eat

I really don’t understand how so many parents just feed their kids snacks, purees, and grain-based cereals. If an adult ate that diet, they would certainly be unhealthy. I think babies should eat varied, whole foods, just like adults. I learned a lot of good tips about children’s eating from the book French Kids Eat Everything.

Introduce solids when baby shows interest

The normal rule is 6 months, but my baby started showing interest in the food I was eating just before. In this case, I would give her a little bit and see if she wanted it. In my experience, as long as the baby is interested in trying to eat your food and is physically capable of eating it, it won’t hurt to give them a taste and see how they react.

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