Introducing Solids – Tips from a mom

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Introducing Solids – Tips from a mom

January 23, 2013

The introduction of solids to your baby’s diet is exciting and yet a bit scary, especially with your first child. Not knowing what to expect and sorting through the volumes of conflicting information, you may be hesitant to disrupt the current breastfeeding or bottle feeding routines. As a mom of two, I have been there! Twice.

Based on my experiences here are some of tips to help prepare for this stage in your child’s development and to make new tastes and textures enjoyable for your baby.

Keep track of what you introduce

I still remember the day my doctor gave me the talk about introducing solids. He provided guidelines (which incidentally, were different from the two books I had read on the subject) and indicated I should introduce grains, and insure three successful days with the first grain before introducing another. After two weeks on grain I was to move to the next food group and continue this pattern until all major food groups had been introduced. At the time this felt like a daunting task and I was certainly nervous. Keeping track of what and when foods had been introduced would be hard to manage, but also very important. As a result of this experience, when I launched Glow Baby, I created “Baby’s First Foods”, a tool which allows parents to write down each new food as its introduced and record details about texture, temperature, whether their child likes the food and most importantly, if there is a negative reaction to the food. Baby’s First Foods enables parents to share this information with anyone who might be looking after your child in an organized manner. It helps take the pressure off trying to remember when you gave what, and if there is a reaction, it will help you and your doctor pin point what is causing it. This journal also allows for you to plan your child’s meals which helps ensure he/she is getting variety in their diet which is important for their health as well as their future willingness to try new things. Unfortunately with my first child , I did not have such a tool, but still realized the importance of noting the information and it certainly helped relieve some of the stress.

Making your Own Food

I have both made my own food for the girls and I purchased jarred foods. When it came to the introduction of fruit and veggies my children seemed to accept both happily. However, as we went along with introducing new food groups like meats, making it was where it was at! I am a huge proponent of flavour in baby food. Babies “eat” what you eat when you breastfeed. That means if you eat something heavy on garlic, or spicy, they will get a muted version through your breast milk. I found with my girls that they were open to eating foods with garlic or onion in them. I even made a stilton soup that Ainsley devoured. When it comes to flavour and variety you just can’t beat home cooked foods. A great thing to do is get a baby food cookbook. I have two Annabel Karmel books that have great recipes in them. I would typically double up each recipe, pureeing a portion for the baby and serving the other half to my husband and myself for supper. They were that delicious! I would also freeze some of the pureed food for a future night’s meal. The more recipes you find that both you and your baby can both eat, the better!

 Don’t Give Up

Some babies don’t take to solids right away. When we started Ainsley on solids she would eat maybe a tablespoon and more food ended up on her face or in her hair than in her mouth. We kept at it and one day she started eating more and more. Juliet on the other hand, ate 4 tablespoons of cereal the first time we tried it and she wanted more. Both Ainsley and Juliet are good eaters now and will try new things. It is important to keep offering the food to your baby even if they initially don’t like it. They may eventually find it’s their favourite!

 Variety is the Spice of Life

As I’ve mentioned before variety is key. You want to keep introducing new foods to your child’s palate as when they are a baby they are very open to new tastes. Having your baby as they get older introduced to a wider variety of foods helps to set the stage for their later life. Besides, would you only want to eat stewed carrots all the time? Having your child accustomed to a variety of foods will be helpful later on when you are taking your child to restaurants or other houses to eat. It will save you from having to ask for a specially made meal for your child as they will be open to a food they may not have tried before. I’ve seen toddlers eating sushi at a Japanese restaurant we frequent and Juliet herself is a big fan!

Don’t fret the mess

Feeding your baby is messy. There is no way to get around that. It is a fact of life and the sooner you can accept it, the more fun you and your baby can have at mealtime. The mess did get to me at first. Cleaning the high chair was a nightmare! I had visions of feeding my girls in the bathtub for every meal so that I would only have to clean them and not the floor, table, chair, etc… I had to let it go. I accepted that after most meals Juliet would need a shower (she liked to run her food through her hair) and bought a Shark Steam mop as lugging my mop and bucket up the stairs multiple times a day was ridiculous. Eventually they will get the hang of eating and the mess will get less and less. One day you will have a civilized meal with your kids, or so I’ve been told.

Editorial provided by Lindsay Harris. Lindsay is the Owner of Glow Baby – For the Organized Family www.glowbaby.ca. Glow Baby products are designed to help parents stay organized through all stages of parenthood to help make life easier after baby. She is also the proud mom of two beautiful daughters ages 5 1/2 and 3 1/2.

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