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everything you need to know about starting solids
Starting solids on your little one is a huge step and as a first time mom it can be kind of overwhelming. You worry about food allergies, choking, picky eaters. One piece of advice I got from a fellow Chai Momma that I always remind myself of is “you know your child the best so follow your instincts”
Doctors recommend not starting any solids until 6 months of age which is a great baseline to start with. I personally started early with both my kids as they were ready earlier than six months. Moms its OK to try it if you think your kid is ready. I know as a new mom you have a ton of questions before you start so I hope this helps. Please know this is only from my experience:
How do you start and what do you start with?
I started with oatmeal. I never did rice cereal but that was just a personal preference. Here an an article that you can read to help you decide on oatmeal or rice cereal. Here are some tips to follow:
- Before you give them the solid nurse them or give them a bottle so they are not starving when you try the solids.
- Always start with mostly milk and a teaspoon of cereal/oatmeal (breast or formula)
- Try it during the middle of the day or towards the morning so in case they get a reaction you will know
- Gradually increase the consistency as they become more familiar with it. I increased it by about 1/2 tablespoon a week
- I gave my kids oatmeal everyday with breakfast for the first year. Why not…. it’s healthy and they love it!
Can I add fruit in there?
- Doctors recommend a 3 day wait rule as you try new things. Try a food for three days straight then try another. I started with a little bit of smashed banana in the oatmeal and then moved to other fruits.
- If you use add fruit, always steam and puree them first until your child is ready to eat raw fruits. Avoid frutis like berries as the seeds may be too much for them at the beginning. Ideas include
When and how do I start fruits and veggies?
- You can start fruits and veggies again when you think your child is ready but really recommend to wait till they are at least 5.5 months so their tummies can handle it. But like I said…you know your child the best so it could be different.
- Fresh or store bought? Seeing all those gross videos out there of what is in the store bought food, I would recommend going fresh as much as you can. It is convenient to use the pouches when you travel but at home try to stay fresh. There are so many options to make food at home…I just steam it all in my rice cooker and puree with the Ninja.
- Start with a simple veggie like pears, carrots, squash or green beans. Make sure you puree it very well and add milk if it’s too clumpy
- Again start in the middle of the day. Start out with 2 teaspoons and gradually move up to larger portions based on your child’s appetite. Once you know your child does not have an allergic reaction, start mixing the veggies together
- Ideas for fresh veggies include
- Green Beans
- Butter nut squash
- Sweet potatoes
- Brussels Sprouts
What can I feed them as they start moving out of plain pureed veggies?
- Here is a tip…think about what you are eating for dinner…take those ingredients and puree them together for your kid based on their age. If you are making lasagna puree up some cheese, pasta shells, sauce and veggies. Here are some other ideas:
- Pureed meats (chicken, turkey)
- Small amounts of fish
- Pureed or small cut pasta with pureed veggies and pasta sauce
- Garbonzo Beans, baked beans, black beans, pinto beans
- Lentils with rice
- Quinoa with lentils and veggies
- Quinoa veggie burgers pureed
- Avocado, mozz cheese, black beans and sour cream
- Baked Potato with pureed potatoes, broccoli, spinach, cheese and sour cream
- Mixed vegetable pilaf
- All types of soups…here are some ideas
So what kind of feeding schedules should they have?
Again this is all dependent upon your kid but I wanted to share mine as a guide.