Starting Solids Foods
We started giving Caleb solid food about three weeks ago and are slowly introducing him to different foods. Eating solid food is both an exciting milestone and a very terrifying one at the same time. So far, he has been doing pretty well and hasn’t choked on anything (though we have only done purees, so they are easier for him to swallow). I worry about coming across food allergies as we continue to introduce new foods, but I hope he will not have any. He loves to grab on to the spoons and try to feed himself, though he also likes to spit his food right back out too. So far, we have introduced oatmeal, rice, apples, carrots, green beans, and sweet potatoes. He seems to like most everything except for the green beans. We will keep offering green beans to try and get him to like those a bit more.
I enjoy making baby food purees and find that they are simple to make. Most pureed food is just steaming whatever you are going to give to them and then adding a bit of water and blending it until it is smooth (you can also do this with meat, such as chicken). I try and make enough to have for a few days in the refrigerator, and then I put the rest in ice cube trays and freeze it. When I am ready to offer a puree to Caleb, I pull it out of the freezer, let it defrost, or defrost it in the microwave and give it to him. This allows me to blend different foods together as he is introduced to more foods and mix things up. Plus, it is convenient, and purees will keep in the freezer for several months. By making my own purees, I know Caleb’s food is fresh and healthy and exactly what is in it. It also makes me feel better because I know it hasn’t been sitting on a shelf for a long time. I also realize making your own baby food can be challenging because it takes time and is not as convenient, especially if you are juggling multiple kiddos or have a hectic life. Of course, there is nothing wrong with buying pureed food from the store. I do that too, especially when we are traveling, or it’s been a long week, and I just need some quick food for Caleb. I just purchased some recently because we will be going on a vacation, and store-bought baby foods are much easier and more convenient to travel with.
As Caleb gets older, we will slowly start to give him finger foods that he can learn to pick up and chew. Right now, I am not ready for him to do that yet, but maybe in a few weeks to a month. We will probably start with soft foods like bananas, avocados, steamed fruits, and veggies. We will add meat chunks later when several teeth come through.
When we started solid foods with Carson, he took to eating right off the bat and loved everything. When we started, I was a nervous wreck because I thought he would choke or have an allergic reaction to everything. The good news is that he doesn’t have any allergies and hasn’t choked on his food. We had plenty of times where he would gag on food when he was learning to swallow bigger chunks. He also teethed at six months old, so we introduced him to things he could chew on fairly early. We thought he would be the best eater as he got older and would love everything! Unfortunately, we were wrong. He is much pickier as a toddler, and it is much more challenging for us to even get him to sit down at dinner and eat his meal. We aren’t giving him any snacks after daycare to help him be ready to eat dinner. This has helped a lot! We probably should have known that too many snacks would make him less interested in dinner, but now we know. There are also a lot of times that he will look at something that we have cooked and turn his nose up right away without even giving it a try. We have started telling him that it’s okay if he does not like it. We ask him to take at least one bite and give it a try. He does not have to eat it. Most of the time, he ends up liking something on the plate. We try not to make something different for him if we can help it so that he learns he does need to eat what we are having or at least give it a try.
Here is some information from the American Academy of Pediatrics about Starting Solid Foods.