There has been some technical glitches and hence this repost WITH some photos to jazz it up a little. It has been an exciting journey for our C and I when I started her on solids 1.5 years ago and I certainly can’t wait for J to be able to. It is one of the most exciting stages! We had so much fun eating and I am pretty proud to say that she has quite an extensive palette.
Before you continue, I need to make a disclaimer that THIS IS NOT A PRESCRIPTION TO INTRODUCING SOLIDS TO YOUR BABY. I am sharing with you my experiences and principles that I followed. It is meant as a reference. Each baby is different so you need to adjust accordingly to your baby. I am also not affiliated to any of the brands mentioned and opinions are solely from my own experiences.
Before I started introducing this whole new world of solids to our little friend, here are some guidelines on starting solids that I have learned:
1. Introduction of solid food from 6months, as recommended by WHO
2. Feed the same food for 4 days and look out for any possible allergy reaction to the food.
3. Babies receive the majority of their nutritional intake from (breast)milk below 1yo.
4. Solids do not replace their milk feed. It is meant to introduce them to different textures, tastes and so on.
So I began this journey with these mentality:
1. I shall observe my baby and see how she takes to solid. If she wants, I will give.
2. If my baby doesn’t take to solids that well, it is okay! (Refer to #3 and #4 of the above pointers).
Truth to be told, the only book I read about parenting was French Children Don’t Throw Food by Pamela Drunkerman and in the book is a chapter on eating. I must say that, it framed the majority of the idea of how I would like to go about introducing solids and feeding my baby. Here are some of my takeaways:
1. Begin with fruits and vegetables
2. She eats what we eat
3. French place emphasis on taste development, and introducing colours in food
4. French are better eaters
So I went to read up a little more on French weaning, which foods are suitable and which are not for different age groups, and eating a rainbow. The husband and I love our food and we would like our little humans to share the same enjoyment.
We started her on solids when she was 6.5 months (4.5 months corrected). Let me provide some context here: our little friend is 8 weeks (2 months) premature. So her developmental milestones, height and weight progression are based on her adjusted age. Meaning, when she is 6 months, we count it as 4 months. Adjusted age would be not necessary when she turns 2. It does get confusing at times, but we are not very bothered by it as long as she is healthy, happy and growing well.
So why did we introduce solids at 4.5 months (corrected)?
When we say introduce at this point, it means letting C lick and suck on apples, pears, and grapes. We decided so because she expressed interest in food, especially when we are eating. She would look at us intently and follow the motion of our hands as we feed ourselves. After a month or so of random licking and sucking, we decided to start her on tasting the real deal at 8 months (6 months corrected). Very importantly, C could support her neck well and is able to sit upright when supported.
To prepare ourselves for the real deal, we bought a Beaba. Why did we get ourselves one? I must admit that it’s a vanity product. We could have settled for a cheaper brand, but I simply can’t resist it. The main reason behind getting a baby food processor is so that I don’t need to watch over the stove when I’m steaming/reheating her food. We also wanted a separate blender to blend her food. So Beaba it is! It’s one of the best baby product that we have bought as I can steam, reheat, defrost and blend with the Beaba. Even the husband says so and recommends to his friends and colleagues!
How to feed? When to feed?
It’s important that your little human can support his/her neck well and is able to sit upright. There is really no rush to start. He/she will be eating for the rest of their lives so a little delay here might be a little helpful in making the entire learning-to-eat process a little more enjoyable, for both the little humans and us!
We started off with 1 meal a day, at about an hour after her morning (breakfast) or noon (lunch) milk feed. We offer solids AFTER her milk feed because milk is still her main source of food. Solids is supplementary. It is important to test out any new foods during the day, so that you have time to get some medical help in case of any possible allergies. Then we progressed to 2 solids a day after about 1.5 months. When C was on 2 meals a day, I try to give her a savoury and sweet meal each day. I also make an effort to introduce her to both western and asian palette. I really enjoy preparing her meals and introducing her to a variety of food.
It is important to offer water when your baby takes solid. This is to prevent constipation and to ensure sufficient water intake. It was previously unnecessary as milk consists of mostly water. Breastmilk is made up of 90% water. C doesn’t like to take plain water in bottles so we offered her water with a spoon while getting her used to drinking from a sippy cup.
Are you ready to begin this exciting journey of weaning? Check out the baby recipes that Sylvia (mainly her) and I have whipped up so far. Yes baby food can be tantalizing too! There are also few websites that I refer to whenever I need ideas. These websites offer recipes which caters to the Western palette.
I hope this post provides some insights on introducing solids. Now that J is 5mo, we have started with solids upon the advice from his PD, to help with his reflux. We have tried pear purée and mashed avocado so far and I hope to be sharing with you other pointers in feeding solids such as preparation and storage, and some basic recipes as we go along. Stay tuned!