Nutrition is an important part of every child’s development which makes our roles as parents that much more important. Knowing which food type to introduce to your baby first or how much of it can be overwhelming to say the least. It can be overwhelming because as mothers, we want to make sure our little ones are eating healthy, getting all their vitamins and we want to avoid a choking incident. That is by far what I’m afraid of the most – my baby choking. Just thinking about it gives me anxiety.
At 4 months, Siena was showing signs that she was ready for solids. She was above average in weight, she held her head properly and she was curious by food. When the time came to start feeding her solids, I had to decide which type of food I would introduce to her first. My pediatrician gave me the green light to introduce solids at 4 months as long as I’d make sure to view it as a treat, meaning that she would need to drink her milk first and then eat the food as a dessert. There is no longer a specific food group that parents need to introduce to their babies first. The main recommendation is to offer iron rich foods as of 6 months since that’s when iron begins to deplete from the baby’s system. The only important restriction to keep in mind is honey because it’s a risk of infant food poisoning called botulism.
My Plan To Introducing Solids
Since cereals require no cooking, it was the easiest and obvious food type to start with. I bought a box of Rice, Barley and Oatmeal cereals from 3 different brands. I was hoping that I would notice Siena preferring one brand over another but she’s such a great eater that she doesn’t really care which brand I’m buying. She definitely gets that from her Italian side.
All I did was mix one of those cereals with breast milk and voilà. As per the guidelines, I always waited 3 days before introducing a new type of food. Once I introduced all 3 cereals, I’d mix them up depending on my mood.
In terms of food consistency, I made the cereals really liquid by putting a lot of breast milk at first and then slowly decreased the amount of breast milk as she got used to it.
There’s no particular reason why I chose vegetables first but I did introduce the sweeter ones first to increase my chances of her eating them. My top 3 were sweet potatoes, carrots and squash.
Once she got used to the sweeter veggies, I went ahead and gave her the green ones and anything else I had in my fridge. I’m really lucky because she wasn’t fussy at all, even when introducing the more boring veggies such as cauliflower. Sometimes I wonder if it’s because I ate everything when I was pregnant?
The only thing to be careful about is when cooking baby spinach leaves. They become bitter if you overcook them so just keep an eye out for that. That was mt mistake the first time I attempted to cook baby spinach.
Once I introduced Siena to some veggies, I thought I’d be nice and give her a taste of the real deal, fruits. Here I started with apples, pears and bananas. It’s no surprise to say that she absolutely loves fruits!
The only fruits she enjoyed a little less are the berries because they tasted a little bitter when overcooked. I made that mistake with raspberries and blueberries the first time I cooked them for her. Since we live in Montreal and it’s almost impossible to find berries in winter (or they’re really expensive), I bought frozen ones. What I started doing now is just warming them up in the microwave instead of on the stove so I make sure not to overcook them. Then I just purée when warm.
Once I introduced the veggies and fruits, Siena was still waking up twice per night. I thought maybe it was because they weren’t filling her up enough so I thought it would be a good opportunity to start feeding her meats. I used the easiest method to cook the meats, which is just boiling and then purée the meat and water. It obviously don’t taste of much so I always mix meats with one or two vegetables.
Unfortunately, Siena still wasn’t sleeping full nights after the introduction of meat in her diet.
I began introducing lentils first just because that’s what I bought at the store. I opted for dried lentils instead of canned because there’s no sodium. The pack I bought didn’t require to soak the lentils before cooking so I basically just cooked them as per the suggested cooking method on the package and then puréed.
Lentils are very grainy by nature so I always mix with a vegetable and sometimes a fruit.
A more recent introduction is plain yogurt. I got bored of giving her cereals in the morning. As much as I would try different combinations of cereals, it’s always just cereal! At 7 months, I thought it was time to introduce her to plain yogurt mixed with whatever fruit I have at hand.
Her first reaction was really cute because until now, I’d always warm up her meals. Yogurt was the first cold serving I offered and she was caught by surprise. She made this really surprised face when I gave her the first spoonful of yogurt but then quickly got used to it.
The newest introduction is egg yolk. Although full eggs can be fed to a baby, there’s a personal story behind why I introduced the yolk first. My dad normally boils a few eggs every day and discards the yolk because he only eats the egg white. That being said, I use the eggs yolks for Siena to avoid wasting them. That’s the only reason why I began with the yolk. I do plan on introducing the full egg soon however.
Look out for my next post on how to make homemade baby food.
Which foods did you introduce to your baby first?
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