Baby’s First Bites

The day has finally arrived, my baby girl, E,  started solids this past week. I’m excited that I have the opportunity to do this again – introduce my child to the exciting and wonderful world of food. I had such high expectations of myself, and of my son, C, the first time around. I quickly realized I had to put myself in check though as he was going to learn to eat at his own pace and his love of food may not mirror my own. I made my fair share of mistakes along the way as well as a first-time mom.

But no 2 children are alike and that is definitely proving to be the case so far. C didn’t really care about food and eating solids. He just wasn’t into it, and he still isn’t all that interested in food much of the time as he’d rather be playing. I started about the same time with both – just before they turned 6 months. C wasn’t really ready so I stopped and started again a few weeks after the fact. E, on the other hand, is quite an eater. By the 3rd day, she had really gotten the hang of it and finished all I had prepared for her. She eagerly opens her mouth and sucks up the cereal off the spoon. I love it!

I felt like this might be the case as she has really shown an increased interest in food when we are eating. Plus, she puts everything in her mouth, something C never did, and she no longer has the tongue thrust reflex. She also showed other signs of readiness such as sitting upright almost completely unassisted and an increasingly large appetite that has kept her feedings fairly close together. She is reaching for the spoon and definitely found it entertaining to splatter me with it like a little catapult one morning. Note to self: give E her own spoon to play with during feeding time!

I started both children on rice cereal, as my pediatrician and the American Academy of Pediatrics, recommends. It is a food that rarely elicits an allergic response and most commercially rice cereals are fortified with iron, a nutrient that breastfed babies do not get enough of through breastmilk. Typically by the time a baby is 6 months old, their iron stores are depleted and need to be replenished from another source. I will start making my own baby food as well, but for now I do buy a commercial product. Personally, I prefer Earth’s Best as it is organic and does not contain any genetically modified ingredients.

I will be sharing my feeding successes and challenges along the way during this exciting time so stay tuned.

My Favorite Baby Feeding and Homemade Baby Food Resources:

Baby Bites by Bridget Swinney is a great overall book of feeding babies and toddlers with a solid nutrition foundation and explanation. This is my go-to book about all things having to do with feeding baby.

Super Baby Food by Ruth Yaron is a good book for creative recipes for your own baby food. I do not agree with some of the nutrition information she provides but the recipes are really what I seek out in this book and skip over the rest.

The Best Homemade Baby Food on the Planet by Karin Knight and Tina Ruggiero is another great book for recipes for making your own baby food. I do not agree, however, with their including fruit juice in the daily diet of an infant. That is a whole other subject, but suffice it to say, it really isn’t necessary to give an infant fruit juice. If more fluids are needed besides breast milk or formula then water is the best choice.