We started Little on occasional solids (his predominant diet was still his formula) when he was 4 months old-which is early-the recommended age is 6 months (due to the fact that around that age is when breast milk or formula is no longer providing your little with all their needed nutrients)-but we felt like he was ready for it. He excelled. He ate pretty much every purée put in front of him, so then around 7 months, we dipped into a bit of baby led weaning-and he did amazing at that too. Now at almost two and a half, he eats pretty much anything and everything.
We experienced a lot of success, but it’s not that way for everyone. Some littles are fussy when it comes to foods-and you need to be sure they’re ready to start them.
Some signs to look for to determine whether your babe is ready to start into the wonderful world of food would be:
- They have good head control. Meaning they aren’t little bobble heads anymore and can sit up unassisted.
- They can sit up straight and lean forward.
- They can pick objects up and move them to their mouths.
- They are able to signify being full (turning their head away, leaning away from food etc)
The general consensus is that most babies should start with infant cereals that are fortified with iron. That’s not always the case. If you’d rather not start with cereals, you can choose other iron rich foods, like dark green vegetables such as spinach or broccoli, green beans or peas, dried apricots, legumes, egg or puréed meats. It’s essential that little get foods that have adequate iron for healthy brain development, and cereal doesn’t always need to be it.
Start off with one small feeding of solid foods a day, along with their regular breast milk or formula schedule-and wait a few days between introducing new foods to help determine allergies. Listen to them when they let you know they’re full, you’ll start to recognize their cues fairly quickly. Around 7-9 months is a great time to start with finely cut finger foods, but hold off until age one for any honey, and about 9 months + for any dairy.
- OXO Tot Feeding Spoons- $10.95 CDN for a two pack-available at Liam and Lauren Baby, Well.ca, SnuggleBugz and Lusso Baby. These soft, silicone covered spoons are just the right size for little mouths, and the soft top is easy on toothless little gums.
- OXO Tot Divided Feeding Dish-$13.95 CDN-available at Liam and Lauren Baby, Well.ca, SnuggleBugz and Lusso Baby. These dishes are the perfect size for first sized portions. They also come with a lid, making it easy to store any leftovers, and a removable “training ring” for when Little starts feeding themselves-it helps them learn to move utensils around the plate and scoop food, without flicking it all over the place.
- Skip Hop Zoo Bibs-$10.00 CDN-available at Well.ca, Chapters/Indigo, SnuggleBugz and Liam and Lauren Baby. I love these bibs-they’re a great size,wash or wipe down easily, and best of all, they fold into themselves into a wee little pouch that make them super easy to throw into any bag when you know you’re going to be eating somewhere other then home.
- Colibri Reusable Snack Bags-large size-$9.00 CDN- available at Parenting by Nature, Well.ca, Liam and Lauren Baby, and SnuggleBugz. These lined, washable bags are great for small containers of frozen baby food because they’ll keep everything else in your bag dry as they thaw. It also fits jars of baby food, and helps prevents from accidentally breaking them.
- EZPZ Happy Bowl-$24.99 CDN-available at SnuggleBugz, Liam and Lauren Baby and Well.ca. This is the perfect sized bowl-and it suctions to the table to prevent little hands from tossing it onto the floor. It’s also attached to a placemat, making messy clean ups super easy.
- Sili Squeeze Reusable Silicone Squeeze Pouch-4 oz, 6 months + spout-$19.95 CDN-available at Liam and Lauren Baby, Well.ca, and West Coast Kids. If you’re making your own food, or even using jarred, these reusable pouches make traveling with messy little eaters easier. Pretty much dump your purée of choice in, screw on the spout, and let your little go to town-wash and repeat.
- Baby Cubes-8, 2 oz cubes- $9.99 CDN-available at Babies R Us, Liam and Lauren Baby, Well.ca and SnuggleBugz. These little cubes with attached lids are great if you’re going to make your own food. They switch easily from freezer to room temperature and are an easy size to pack.
- Baby Cubes Silicone Fresh Feeder-$7.99 CDN-available at Liam and Lauren Baby, SnuggleBugz, Well.ca and Babies R Us. These things are great for introducing new flavours of fruits and vegetables, without having to worry about little choking. It lets them gum and chew on foods, and the silicone one is easier to clean then the mesh variety. It’s great for teething too, you can put frozen fruit, ice cubes or breast milk in the help soothe sore gums.
Most of all-have fun with food! Introduce a wide variety of textures and colours-and get messy!