I've been asked to teach a class about introducing solids and homemade baby food. I'd like to know what concerns and questions you mamas and papas had when first feeding your babies solid foods so I can prepare this information for families in the class. I appreciate you sharing your experiences to help benefit new parents!
What were your questions when starting solids?
well it's been a while, but I remember wondering some of these things...
-what's the deal with spices?
-what are good sources of fat for young babies?
-is there such thing as too much good food? (for instance, my LO would eat 2 full bowls of sweet potato at a sitting at 9 months, 6-7 bowls of yogurt a day once he learned to request food at 14 months, etc)
-what should they drink if they get thirsty eating solids?
We didn't use baby food, either. Once we couldn't keep Baby out of our plates, Baby ate food. Just what we had, lots of spices, lots of variety. We just took it slowly, but we also have no food allergies here. A friend of mine's family has all sorts of food allergies, so she's going w/WAP and feeding mostly meats and beans and such first. Her baby ate a whole boiled egg yolk from my chickens yesterday at my house. And a taste of tuna (the fruit).
I was at a loss- where to start? What foods were OK? (that wasn't rice cereal?) How much should I be offering? Is it supposed to be this messy?
I ended up deciding to do baby-led solids, but even then, with a family history of allergies, I've been confused as to what I should offer, how often, how much, what is "safe" (allergy-wise and choking-hazard-wise). I haven't been at this very long- DS is 6.5 months- so I'm still figuring it all out.
When to start of course (I think 6 months, no earlier). And I was concerned that even the organic jarred baby food has additives such as citric acid and ascorbic acid which is totally unnecessary for babies! How to prepare and store, how to get cheap fresh organic produce because its not readily available in my town.
Thank you for all these thoughtful questions! Yes, I am hoping to encourage moms to make their own food for their babies (it is so easy and affordable) as well as provide them with the information they need to make healthy choices when they can't make it (such as looking out for salt and additives in store bought food). We, too, skipped jarred baby food and I found that creating healthy meals for our children feels as fulfilling and nurturing as breastfeeding.
We have quite a history of allergies so for me
Which foods are best to intro first and which are best held of till later?
how often should I wait between new foods?
what sort of reactions to look out for?
Also I felt much more confident giving them chunks of food once I'd learned how to spot and deal with chocking so that might be something to include.
How to deal with solids when away from home was another one. I was so used to breastfeeding and not having to think that it took me a while to adjust to taking something suitable when we were out. DSs favourite travel food was half an avocado, he had a lunchtime nap for ages so we often used to turn up places in the afternoon with half an avocado and a spoon.