Starting solid foods with your little one can be one of the most exciting adventures in your little one’s life. Imagine eating the same thing over and over again for months, only to find out that there are different flavours and textures in the world other than breastmilk or formula. Mind blown.
If you are feeling slightly overwhelmed at the thought of now being responsible for your child’s eating habits you are not alone. BLW (Baby Led Weaning), Pureés, Combo feeding are all options for you to start experimenting with giving solid food for your child. It seems like the opportunities are endless with the choices we are presented with. Let’s break this down a little bit so you can feel confident in your choices for your little one.
Remember, your baby is still getting most of their nutrition from your breastmilk or formula.
Take some of the pressure off yourself for choosing “THE FIRST FOOD”. The goal of starting solid foods is not to provide all nutrients to your baby using this method of feeding. There are two main goals of starting solids:
- We need to start introducing foods with high iron content as their iron stores are depleted around 6 months
- We want your infant to start practicing moving food around in their mouth, and getting used to increasing textures as they age
We do not need your baby to eat a certain amount of solids every single day. It may change based on their mood or their taste preferences. Start out with very small amounts – 1-2 teaspoons once a day and slowly increase the number of times you offer solids. We don’t want to overwhelm your baby’s gastrointestinal system. It will be the first time it is digesting these types of foods, and it needs a gentle approach. If we start out by feeding our baby multiple times a day, they can become constipated very quickly. Watch your baby and figure out what their body will allow and start slow!
Last tip for starting solids can be a more difficult one to accept. I know that most people find this time very exciting, and often one parent is home with the baby and the other may be working during the week. This type of scheduling sometimes makes parents offer their baby their only solid food of the day at dinner time so both parents can enjoy and participate. Unfortunately, it is actually best to offer solid foods at the beginning of the day because it allows their tummy to digest the food better as our bowels slow at night. This also offers more opportunity for us to gauge if they are having an allergic reaction to the food. I would recommend starting with breakfast and moving to lunch and finally dinner. If one parent is home on weekends, let that one take over feeds on their days off to get the full experience as well.
If you are thinking about starting solids and want more education on how to start – check out our events page for a group class on Starting Solids!