Starting Baby on Solid Foods -- "Old Thinking" vs. "New Thinking"

As a mom to a new baby, there are so many things to know.  Right about the time you think you have everything figured out, things change again.

Believe me, things continue to change right up until the moment they leave the house!  With advice coming from everywhere, all of the info can be overwhelming.  If you have a baby who is getting close to the age when they can start solid food, it can seem like a daunting process.  How do you even know if they're ready for solid food?





Usually your pediatrician will suggest which type of food you should begin with.
Once upon a time, you were more than likely guided to offer a small amount of a cereal when you first introduce your baby to solid food, sometimes as early as four months old.  Solid food is considered anything that’s not breast milk or formula.  That is the old way of thinking.  Another “old way of thinking” was that you should start with vegetables first and then introduce fruits, so that baby wouldn’t fall in love with the sweetness of fruit and then not eat the veggies.  This advice has changed now, also.

The new thinking is that learning to eat solid food is exactly that ~~ a learning process.  Baby should be learning to accept different textures and be learning how to eat off a spoon.  If they enjoy eating fruits better than vegetables, this will make the learning process easier.  Once they get the hang of it, then they can move on to vegetables.  And it’s okay if they reject a vegetable the first time they try it.  Don’t get frustrated.  Just try again another time.  You might have to try several times before baby will eat it. 

Baby should be started with only one type of food per week (or several days) so that you can monitor for allergies or reactions.  You can find out the usual signs of a food allergy HERE.  This advice is still the same.  Once you’ve tried each food individually, then you can move on to blended foods~~ Potato & Kale Mash?  Oats ‘n Berries?  So, whether you are choosing an organic food for babies or blending up your own homemade version, stick with one type of fruit or veggie in the beginning.

One thing that hasn't changed is that breastfeeding or bottle feeding is still recommended for the first 12 months, as that is where the majority of their nutrition should be coming from.

Remember that feeding baby should be fun and part of the social interaction with the family.  This is the beginning of family meal time!  It is important to eat meals as a family.

Family meal time has been shown to have these benefits:  Less risk of obesity, substance abuse and eating disorders, increased communication abilities,  increased values and self-esteem, and better grades.  

Hard to believe it can all begin with that first messy spoonful of mashed bananas, but it can.    And before you know it, your kids will be in the kitchen cooking with you.  But, let’s not rush it! Enjoy this time getting to know your baby's food likes and dislikes and introducing them to new solid baby foods.



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