Introducing Food to Baby

As a first time mom, I was so excited to begin to care for my baby culinarily.  I made a vast array of pureed baby foods for Madeline.  By the time Anson came around, I skipped the pureed foods and went straight to smooshy finger foods. I did the same with Kieryn, except that instead of a separate, special menu, she mostly got whatever smooshy, soft thing the rest of the family happened to be eating.

Theory

So, with each kid I’ve gotten progressively more casual. At this point in motherhood, I view introduction of solids as a time of exploration.  I don’t puree anything, and I rarely use a spoon.  I just give my babies a soft chunk of fruit or vegetable and let them feel, mush, and taste it themselves.

How

Because it’s such an uncivilized – uh, I mean casual – approach, I usually prefer to remove baby’s clothes. And I try to keep her confined to the high chair.

When

We start offering finger foods whenever they seem interested, usually around 6 or 7 months.  It usually takes another month or two after introducing solids for our kiddos to really start getting into eating.

 What

Here are some first foods I like to start with:

banana
avocado
beans of all kinds
cooked egg yolk
cooked carrots
steamed broccoli
baked sweet potato
blueberries
pears
mangoes
peeled grapes
ground beef
yogurt (with a spoon)
hummus (with a spoon)

. . .really almost anything soft is fair game. 🙂

Side note about the picture: It’s remarkable how few good pictures I have of Kieryn.  Baby number three gets enjoyed a TON by all the members of the family, but doesn’t get her picture taken nearly as often as the other two did.  This picture may be poorly composed and slightly blurry, but at least it gives you an idea of what her early feeding times looked like.

Multiple Exposures

One other important point on introducing foods:  Keep offering healthy foods even if it seems your baby doesn’t like them at first.  It can take multiple exposures to a food before baby embraces it.  So, if it seems baby doesn’t like broccoli, don’t fear. Acquiring a taste for it may take some time. Just keep encouraging her to try it.  One day she may decide she loves it. I’ve seen this happen again and again with my kids. 

If the sheer number of exposures to a food doesn’t seem to be doing the trick, I’ve adjusted the preparation or presentation of it.  Instead of offering the undesirable food by itself, I’ll mix it up with another food she likes.  Or instead of giving it raw, I’ll try it cooked.  Or instead if giving baby a chunk to pick up herself, I’ll offer it on the end of a spoon or fork.  (It’s amazing the things they’ll eat when it comes at the end of a shiny utensil.)  When they’re a bit older, I’ll allow them to dip the undesirable food in ketchup or salad dressing if it’ll help them eat it.

Other Resources

Here are two more good posts about this kind of casual, natural introduction to foods, one on Keeper of the Home and the other on Passionate Homemaking.

And here’s an informative, more traditional article about the topic.

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One response to this post.

  1. We puree more than I expected to. Samuel is finally getting the hang of feeding himself, but honestly, if I don’t mash well, he shovels it all in his face and we pull out one piece of carrot after another until his throat is clear. LOL I think it’s just God’s humbling me again and again by doing things I said I wouldn’t do. 😉

    Enjoyed this post, and it’s neat to see what each family does, especially with each successive baby.

    Reply

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