Starting on solids

first tastes of solids,
with Grandma watching on skype!
My philosophy about solid food is this:

At first, solids ought to be for exploration, not sustenance.

So I didn't start with the rice cereal and pureed mush. I started Smooch out on avocado.  The first week or so, I gave it to her on the tip of a spoon, just tiny little bits, to help her master the swallowing mechanism.  Once she got that (which for her, took no time at all!), I cut the avocado into chunks about the size of the tip of my pinky finger, and let her explore them with her hands.  It took time, and it was a mess, but very quickly she started getting pieces into her fists.  Of course, she didn't immediately figure out how to get it from her closed fist to her mouth, but with practice, she started figuring it out.  In the meantime, I would put little pieces into her mouth to help her out, so that she was actually getting something. 
Within a week or so, we progressed to sweet potato & banana, and before too long, we were even trying nicely ripe pears (without the skin), peaches, and other soft fleshed fruits and veggies. I started making my own applesauce, which she really liked (I fed it to her with a spoon...) and used it in my Oatmeal Sweet Potato Muffins, and Smooch let me know how much she liked those too!  I ought to have started introducing meats at this point too, like chicken and ground beef, but I got some bum information from a Pediatrician who told me not to introduce meats until 9 months!  I will not follow this advice with Baby #2, whenever that one comes along!

By the time she was 7 months old, Smooch was pretty much eating what we were eating, just cut into smaller portions.  I guess the long and short of it is, since I started her on chunks, she didn't have issues with chunks.  I've talked to so many moms who say their baby won't eat anything with any amount of texture.  I didn't have this problem.  I actually had the opposite problem...  my mother-in-law, meaning well, bought her a jar of pureed fruit while we were travelling, and Smooch actually spit it out, and refused a second bite.  It was the first time I'd ever seen her actually refuse food!  Granted, she wasn't thrilled when I first offered her spinach, but then again, I know adults who don't eat spinach, so that's not saying much.  And she still ate it, she just scrunched up her nose with every bite.  And now, she gobbles up spinach, Swiss chard, asparagus, and beet greens as fast as I can get them on her plate!

By 10 months, I'd also introduced Greek yogurt, cheese and scrambled eggs.  The diet & nutrition people will tell you not to start kids out on dairy or eggs until 1 year, because of the potential for allergies, particularly with eggs.  But my logic was, there is no one in my family with an egg allergy, so the chances of her getting something are pretty slim.  It was a good call.  She's a bit of an "eggie monster" as I like to call her.  We have scrambled eggs or a cheese and veggie omelet almost every morning these days, and she gobbles them up!

I once overheard someone making an observation (that I think they thought I couldn't hear) about how letting my daughter eat with her hands meant that it would be really hard to teach her how to use utensils.  I didn't appreciate it then, and now (only a month later), I wish they could see a mealtime in our house.  Smooch is crazy about using her fork and spoon -- and HER doing it, not me.  I will 'charge' the spoon or fork with a proper amount of food, then she will practically grab it from me and shove it into her mouth.  Today, she wouldn't let go of the spoon, but wanted more yogurt, so I just helped her scoop it out herself.  She's taken an interest in the bowl of food lately too, and I'm starting to let her have it at the end (when there's not much left).  She is curious, so usually turns it over to look at all sides (hence when we're done, not at the beginning), and then will try and take out any leftover scraps, or put it up to her face like a cup.  I suspect its only a matter of time before she figures out how to use a bowl properly too. 

I've always made a point, even from the very beginning, of modeling good eating habits.  I make sure that when Smooch is eating, I'm eating with her, as often as possible.  And dinnertime is a family meal, as often as we are all home -- Daddy, Mommy, and Smooch, all eating dinner together. 
pretty much sums it up!

That's our food adventure so far, in a nutshell.  What kind of challenges have you faced with your little one?  Or what have you done that you find works well? 

No comments:

Post a Comment