What I wish I’d known about starting solids
When your baby reaches six months and is ready for his first foods, you’re bound to have plenty of questions. Baby-led weaning is a way of introducing solid that allows babies to feed themselves- no need for spoon-feeding or purees. The baby has an opportunity to sit and eat family feeding himself with his fingers.
So, ‘no grudges’ please and do not feel close to a boiling point when more of your baby’s food ends up on the floor than in his mouth and your baby treats that lovingly prepared meal like er- playdough!! We have tips and advice that will give you a whole new perspective on starting solids.
What if my baby’s not interested in eating?
If your baby spits out everything you give him, take a deep breath and repeat the mantra: food is for fun until you’re one. Truth is: your baby is exploring taste, texture, color, and smell. Messy eating helps to develop their hand-eye coordination and chewing skills.
Don’t make mealtimes into a battleground. Make the picky eating and mealtime fun.
What can I give my baby to eat?
You can share the most healthy family foods with the baby. For example fruit, cooked vegetables, meat, cheese, well-cooked eggs,, pasta and most fish. Start with foods that are easy to cut into sticks or strips. Infant Couscous is a brilliant food for introducing texture to your baby. It’s cheap, quick and easy to prepare. Slightly overcooked, mashed-up rice is also great!”
Avoid snacks such as crisps and biscuits for as long as possible. Your baby doesn’t need them and won’t miss them if you never give them to her.
If you haven’t got any fresh fruit in the house, tinned fruit (in fruit juice, not syrup) is absolutely fine.
Try to keep in mind that, ultimately, you’ll want your baby to eat the same as the rest of the family. So try to give your baby versions of the (healthy) foods that you’ll be eating.
Most baby cereals are full of sugar (and expensive) and the same goes for baby yogurts and fromage frais. Your baby will do fine on cereals such as porridge and wheat cereals, with plain yogurt. You can always add fruit puree to the yogurt to give it some flavor. Much cheaper, too.
Foods to avoid:
Read labels for added salt and sugar-many foods such as baked beans, sauces and gravy contain a lot of salt.
- ‘Fast foods’ and ready meals
- Honey, shellfish, shark, marlin and undercooked eggs.
Do not expect your baby to eat much at first. Most babies will only eat in small amounts in the early months. Know that for your baby these early days are about discovering and learning than eating.
What if mealtimes leave my kitchen looking like a tip?
As soon as your baby can feed himself, there will be a mess. Sit back and enjoy it!”
If your baby is a really messy eater, go for washable, waterproof bibs, with pockets and long sleeves. Or pelican plastic bibs are good. If you’re out and about and have forgotten your baby’s bib, use a muslin square tied round your baby’s shoulders.”
Keep your baby safe
Remember that, in the early days, starting solids is about getting your baby used to different flavours and textures. That’s all. Don’t be in a rush to drop your baby’s milk feeds when you start.
- Make sure your baby is sitting upright.
- Avoid nuts, whole or pieces.
- Cut small fruits such as olives and cherries in half; remove any stones.
- Never leave your baby alone with food.
Have the camera ready to capture your baby’s first ‘solid’ meal!”