Baby's First Solids - what to know ahead of time

September 23, 2021

We along with many mamas are always so excited to see how our littles will react to their first solids! Will they love the taste of lemons, or make a hilarious cringe face!? Will avocados be their favorite, or pears?

These questions also can come with some anxiety... How will I know when my baby is ready to try solids? Which foods should I start with? While every child is different, we have a few tips on baby's first solids and how to go about the process.

Along with these tips, we highly recommend visiting FARE's website (FoodAllergy Research & Education) to learn more about introducing common allergens to littles like peanuts, etc.

 

HOW DO I KNOW IF MY BABY IS READY TO START SOLID FOODS?

Every child is different, but most babies are ready for solids between 4 and 6 months. And, as with anything related to your baby’s health, it is best to consult with your child’s pediatrician. Your baby’s 4 or 6-month doctor's visit is a great opportunity to have a conversation with your pediatrician about introducing solids!

Some signs that your little is getting ready for solids include:

  1. Sitting up alone or with minimal support
  2. Having control of their head and neck
  3. Trying to grasp at smaller objects (toys, food, etc.)
  4. Bringing items to their mouth
  5. Swallowing food instead of pushing it back out onto their chin

 

WHAT KIND OF SOLID FOODS SHOULD I START WITH?

The best way to go about introducing solids is one at a time. Trying out nutrient-dense foods one by one a great way to identify any allergens your little may have and expand on their taste!

Whichever foods you decide on, the key is texture and consistency. Mashing, puréeing, or even blending solids make sure that all new foods are in a form that your baby can handle without choking. 

Some of our favorite "firsts" include:

  • carrots
  • pears
  • bananas
  • avocados
  • squash
  • green vegetables
  • cauliflower
  • peas

Babys First Fruits 

Baby's First Vegetables

Protein for Babies

HOW DO I PREPARE MY BABY'S FIRST SOLIDS

Many fruits and vegetables can be great starters for baby as long as they are prepared correctly!

We recommend mashing or puréeing to make sure that the texture is one that your little can handle without choking. Our MASH bowl and spoon kit is a great start for this as you can mash and feed from the same bowl (and we're not here to clean out a blender each meal, right??)

For foods that are harder, steaming is a great solution to make sure that they mash easily. For example, cauliflower, squash, and even blueberries can be steamed in advance for easy mashing. These harder foods should be mashed completely before feeding to avoid any chunks.  You can also use a little bit of formula or breastmilk to thin out the foods to get the right consistency for your little one.

PREPARATION HACK: We love prepping baby food ahead of time when we have the chance! When you have a free minute, puree or mash up your little's favorite solid. Transfer the mashed food to an ice cube mold and allow to freeze. When you're ready for an outing, put as many cubes as you need in a baggie or an OTG along with your MASH. When you're ready to eat, take out your defrosted cubes and easily mash up in your bowl with a spoon and you're ready to feed! 

        MASH food ice cubes hack

        ARE THERE ANY "RULES" I SHOULD FOLLOW?

        We couldn't have said it better ourselves! Here is a list of guidelines that Baby's First website outlines to make sure you are feeding your baby safely:

        1. Start with one food first. Introducing one food over a 3-day period is a common recommendation. Talk to your doctor about an introduction schedule that is safe and practical for your baby.  
        2. Introduce potentially allergenic foods. Once your baby has been introduced to a few solid foods like pureed fruits and vegetables, you can offer a food that commonly causes allergies, like peanut-containing products or eggs.   
        3. Keep it small. Feed small portions and encourage your baby to eat slowly. Start with half a spoonful or less and talk to your baby through the process. Always watch your child while he or she is eating. 
        4. Softer the better. Prepare foods that can be easily dissolved with saliva and do not require chewing. Some foods are potential choking hazards, so it is important to feed your baby foods that are age-appropriate and the right texture.  
        5. Location matters. When it comes to potentially allergy-causing foods, introduce those at home or in a doctor’s office, not at other locations outside the home like a daycare center or restaurant.  
        6. Optimal health. Pick a time when your baby is healthy and can have your full attention for at least two hours so that you can watch for an allergic reaction. 
        7. Stick to it. If your baby doesn’t like a food on the first try, keep offering the food. Remember, your baby has never had anything thicker than breast milk or formula, so it may take 10 to 15 tastes of a food before they start to eat it readily.
        8. Variety is important. A more diverse diet plays a major role in proper nutrition and development. Encourage infants to consume a variety of foods from all food groups. Include foods rich in iron (such as fortified cereal, green vegetables, and meats) and zinc, particularly for infants fed human milk.   

         

        HAVE FUN ON YOUR FEEDING ADVENTURES!

        We hope that these tips were helpful in your feeding journey and that you can confidently start enjoying solids with your little. We would like to reiterate that every baby is different and that you should consult your pediatrician before beginning solids or if you have any questions about specific foods. 

        Have fun trying out some new solids and happy mashing!




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