It’s really exciting when you get told your little one is ready for solids but as you start to look into what it entails and do some research you almost wish you could just stick to the bottle/boob! There is no doubt about it…solids are hard work!
My little boy Leo is now 7 months and is FINALLY ready for solids. This is a huge milestone for us as he was 2 months prem and so we have been patiently waiting to start him on some real food and get him to sleep more at night!! (not that it helps that much!). As he has a very sensitive tummy and suffered from reflux I am very wary about what to do and where to start!
I have always heard of starting with porridge but apparently this is not done anymore and you should actually start with some veggies. Porridge is now thought to be too bland and the texture too stodgy for them to enjoy so veggies are the way to go – not sure how veggies are anymore delicious!
How much do you give them and do you mix the veggies or do 1 veggie a day? 3 meals a day? It is all very confusing but I eventually found an easy way to go about it – thank goodness for Nutripaeds and Katherine Megaw! I have used their website and also read some of the book ‘Feeding Sense’ by Meg Faure and Katherine Megaw and I have finally got some structure of going about this solids thing.
You will see that I am not introducing as many different veggies as they say you can and also when I introduce a new one I mix it with sweet potatoe. Sweet potatoe is the easiest for them to digest.
|Breakfast||Apple & Pear||Apple & Pear||Apple & Pear||Apple & Mashed Banana||Apple & Mashed Banana||Pear & Mashed Banana||Pear & Mashed Banana|
|Lunch||Sweet Potatoe & Butternut||Sweet Potatoe & Butternut||Gem Squash & Sweet Potatoe||Gem Squash & Sweet Potatoe||Sweet Potatoe & Butternut||Peas & Sweet Potatoe||Peas & Sweet Potatoe|
|Dinner||Carrot & Sweet Potatoe||Carrot & Sweet Potatoe||Carrot & Sweet Potatoe||Sweet Potatoe & Butternut||Carrot & Sweet Potatoe||Sweet Potatoe & Butternut||Carrot & Sweet Potatoe|
There are lots of ways to prepare your veggies etc but I have been doing the below and it seems to be working well so far.
Preparing (peeling and dicing) the veggies and fruit
Steaming them in a steamer (you can also boil or bake)
Blending/liquidizing them (I have been using a stick blender)
Freezing them in ice cube trays (these are great from Mambos as they have a lid)
Once frozen, empty the cubes into Ziploc bags for easier storage.
Each ice cube is about 5-15ml of puree which is what you start with daily (see guideline above).
So the meal prep is quite a bit of work but Feeding Sense recommends two great veggie mixes that you can use – once you have introduced all the veggies separately. The great thing with this is you can make bulk and then add protein to these mixes. It can get quite tiring preparing all the veggies separately and mixing them after.
Here are the exact quantities and recipes for the Green and Orange Veggies mixes – from ‘Feeding Sense’.
First Veggie Mix: Green Veggie Mix
4 medium gem squash
3 medium sweet potatoes
8 medium baby marrows
Orange Veggie Mix
1 medium butternut
2 medium parsnips/orange sweet potatoes
6 medium carrots
Your pureed food can be frozen immediately or left in the fridge but only for 1-2 days
Freeze food containing dairy for up to 6 weeks
Freeze fruit and veg for up to 8 weeks
Freeze food containing meat, chicken and fish for up to 3 months
Water – You can introduce 10-15ml of water after each solid meal time.
One last thing to mention – Messy Play! Great for baby not so much for mom! There are a number of reasons why you should let them get messy:
Sensory Play – The tactile stimulation you get from playing in messy textures provides loads of information for them. When babies aren’t exposed to different textures, they can become sensitive to new or different textures over time. If you keep your baby very clean during meals, they may reach a point when getting messy feels uncomfortable.
Learning how to self feed – When babies get their hands messy in the baby food, it will eventually dawn on them that when they put their fingers in their mouth they get some food.
Leo is loving his solids and so far his tummy has tolerated it besides some slight constipation – be careful of banana! It has been really fun watching him get messy and enjoying the process so I hope your little ones enjoy it too!