Birdie is 100% breastfed (and it is still her main source of food) but when she was around 5-5 1/2 months old she would watch us like a hawk when we were eating. Shortly after that she would try and grab my fork or spoon. In my book those were pretty strong indications that maybe we should think about solids.
Traditionally (my grandma’s and mom’s generation) would start feeding them cereals and then everything else pureed. Although both my mom and grandma were awesome cooks, I am not sure they cooked babyfood. Unfortunately, it is too late to ask them about it. Everybody knows that it is a lot healthier and cheaper to make your own baby food. You don’t have to be a good cook to do that. In general it does not even take that long to prepare. I think planning is everything.
Sounds good, right? Sounds like I am super woman. Well, I am not.
The newest thing is to let the baby experience texture of vegetables and fruits, means they chew on big chunks to ensure they are not choking. Always, ALWAYS, give them food while they are sitting up straight and never unattended. If your child is anything like mine, then she puts everything in her mouth. The other day she managed to put a piece of paper in her mouth and swallowed it before I could get it out of her mouth. Super woman? I doubt it.
Birdie playing with Brokkoli
It made sense to me to let Birdie explore food the „natural“ way. She was happy chomping away on pieces of apple and pear. She loved mushy avocado. Then we took her to a nursery to buy plants for our garden and she put a mint leaf in her mouth and started gagging. I was in panic mode. It was not serious and only lasted a couple of seconds before she was able to swallow it. But they were the longest in my life.
So I stepped back a little. I still let her chew fruit and vegetables but I decided for my own sake that I would combine the traditional and new way. In addition, the nurse in my Baby & Me course said it is a good idea to let them go through the textures from very runny to chunky. They will advance in their own time at their own speed. She said that otherwise your baby may get stuck in the „very runny stage“ and will refuse to eat anything more chunky. UGH, no thank you. I have no intentions of feeding pureed food for the rest of the year.
I discovered an organic Baby food line at the Superstore and decided I would try the jars. I made sure that the ingredient list only showed the fruit. No added sugar and no water! Some brands list water as the first ingredient and that means that it contains more water than anything else. I am not paying for that. Ok, checked it is all organic and pure fruit.
Now you are asking yourself, why the heck is she buying that stuff if she could make it at home cheaper and in no time? It is a good question. I discovered that my food processor is not mixing the food very well. I ended up with a lot of chunks. My next worry was that I will go through all the efforts only to find out that Birdie hates it.
First Stage of Birdie eating Solids included: introducing her to a lot of fruit and vegetables to ensure that she has no allergic reactions and that she likes them. Then I will start steaming/cooking/microwaving my own fruits and vegetables. My plan is to just finish the jars I bought and then cook my own baby food in a a couple of weeks.
So far, Birdie has a lot of fun with the solids. She is actually quite good with the spoon. My husband wishes I would feed her „properly“ but Birdie is having none of it. She wants to grab and hold the spoon and to put it in her mouth all by herself.
Does everything end up in her mouth? Of course not.
Is it messy? You bet!
I challenged my husband to try and feed her the way he would envision it. Let me tell you that the sweet potato went everywhere but her mouth 🙂 Sorry, honey, but this time I was right.
Birdie ;looked at Daddy who tried to reduce the mess. Haha, it was a nice try.
In addition, I want her to have fun at the table and learn about different foods. Can you imagine trying to discipline a little baby about how to eat properly, to always finish your plate, to only get what is on the plate? She is only 7 months.
I think if we try and be a good example she will pick up on it. The last thing I want for her is to fear dinner time.
Feel free to leave a comment if you think I am delusional or if you want to let me know what worked for your kids. I am all ears!
I hope I am not losing too many readers 🙂 Food is Food and Babies have to learn from their mommies and daddies. Don’t worry there will be plenty of grown up recipes! Stay tuned.