Importance of delaying the introduction of solids:
Introducing Solids to Baby: With my background in Holistic Nutrition, I understood the importance of delaying the introduction solids to baby. Elliot was 10 lbs at birth, and had breastfed to 14.7 lbs by 7 weeks – he’s a solid little boy!
From a very early age, Elliot was joining us, in arms, at the table for our meals, in an effort to create a positive family atmosphere surrounding meal time. Before long, he was sitting with us at the table in his Bumbo playing with toys, and shortly thereafter, in his high chair. It didn’t take long for Elliot to realize what was going on – delicious aromas would waft from the kitchen, and our family with sit down and eat whatever I had crafted for our dinner. Elliot was sitting up in his chair, intently watching food move from our plates to our mouths, salivating, reaching for whatever dish may be nearby, and growing angry that we weren’t sharing!
He exhibited all the signs of a child ready to start solids, holding his head up, sitting up, showing interest in foods, reaching for them, salivating, and being more than double his birth weight….It was time and I was nervous. I had a fear of exposing Elliot to something that would cause him digestive distress, have him choke, or worse – have a life long allergy. It felt like a lot of pressure.
I called in reinforcements, my good friend Meghan Ford, who shared an abundance of knowledge and personal experience and reminded me, above all, to have FUN with it!
Such a simple, refreshing piece of advice. Have fun! And I must say, I did just that.
Introduce fruits and vegetables to my baby
I chose to delay introducing grains, as they were more likely to cause digestive distress and started off with the basics: fruits and vegetables – as an allergy to those was less likely. Banana was first with no ill effects…then 3 days later avocado with the same success! I started to breathe a little easier and continued, every few days, with a new fruit or vegetable (always organic of course!). I was still breastfeeding a lot, as Elliot’s exposure to foods was mostly about tastes and textures at that point. He wasn’t consuming any real quantity of anything. And the facial expressions along the way were hilarious – so keep your camera nearby as there will be much to capture. As I continued to play with the introduction of fruits and vegetables, I started to adjust the textures of purees from smooth to lumpy, and eventually to small pieces Elliot could pick up and feed himself. This worked for Elliot and I, and he had a few teeth to utilize, so for us, it made sense. It may not work for everyone, so please follow your parental instincts and adjust accordingly. You know your child better than anyone.
Sitting at the table with us one evening, Elliot was around 6 months old, I passed him a piece of stewed beef I had cooked with our dinner. He closed his fist around it and tried to stuff the whole thing in his mouth. Unsuccessful with is first attempt, he opted to gnaw away at it in delight. Shortly thereafter I also shared chicken, salmon, and in time for Thanksgiving – turkey.
Introduce Rice to my baby
Around 7 months old, I decided to play with rice and opted away from rice cereal. It actually shocked me that the ingredient labels on organic rice cereal contained wheat AND dairy! Inspired to find something better, I picked up Brown Rice cereal by Bob’s Red Mill that contained brown rice and nothing else. I cooked it up, mixed in some pear and Elliot didn’t like it. My winning streak had come to an end. So I made a slight change in direction and at my local, favourite health food store (The Wholesome Market on Queen Street East) bought numerous brown rice products including rice bread, rice cakes and rice puffed cereal. I was back on track with my little man – he currently loves rice cakes dipped in hummus!
Elliot and I have learned a lot along the way – he has learned that he can feed himself, spit things out, throw food on the floor, and shout for more.
I have continued to learn that as a parent, we cannot control our children especially where their diets are concerned. We can only try (and possibly fail), and continue to provide healthy, balanced, nutritious options.
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