I have seen two types of children, those that embrace foods and those that do not. Disclaimer: let us not compare our children, every child is different. I am simply beginning a story.
My mom, aunts and uncles swear that my first words were, “sik-ah!”, Cantonese for “eat”…. I guess I fall into the former. My siblings were not as into food as I was, so they were penalized during dinner— tears, yo. And so when Isabel was born, I was certain that I would not force the idea of food. Instead, I decided to introduce Isabel to healthy eating habits and ultimately, let her decide what works for her.
To determine how to go about the whole eating thing, I spent many weeks Googling and borrowing parenting books from the library (Libby app!). After reading tons of parenting material (seriously, how does one read through everything available), I decided on a mixture of purées from 4-6 months then transition to baby led weaning at 6+ months.
First, I decide to start Isabel on solids at 4 months because my family has a history of food allergies + Isabel is dairy intolerant. Per the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, starting solids between 4-6 months may decrease the risk of developing food allergies.
Second, I chose baby led weaning because there a whole list of benefits to the baby. Since baby led weaning articles agree that BLW is best to start when your little one is 6 months and older, I needed something to start Isabel with before her 6 month mark.
So, purées and BLW methods made sense for her. Also, I felt that the 4-6 month mark for purées would be a great way to slowly introduce new flavors to Isabel. As we treaded slowly into the world of introducing solids, here are a few good to knows (as confirmed by my amazing pediatrician):
A baby is ready when it is at least 4 months old, watch you eat and mimic eating movements with its mouth
A baby’s primary source of food is still breastmilk or formula at 24-32 oz a day
A baby’s appetite will fluctuate like ours do, do not be alarmed when your baby’s does- so long that it is healthy, happy and gaining weight
Keep calm and do not rush the process. Babies can feel and read emotion. The more you stress, the less the baby will be receptive to the process and you won’t either
Take a baby CPR and choking class + supplement with any choking YouTube videos for guidance
No salt in baby food until at least 1 years old, bad for baby’s kidneys
Eat with your little one, it encourages good eating behaviors and also, family time
Prepare for messes. Keep your overly stained burping cloth, you can use it to wipe the floors
Hope this was helpful. Will follow-up with some foods and recipes we tried through the process!