Mum's tips on starting solid foods

Melinda’s Tips of Introducing Solids – Rafferty’s Garden Community Mum

Posted in 6+ Months, Healthy Mum, Introducing Solid Food, Parent Know-How

Hi! I'm Melinda and this is Christian, he's 8 months old today. Christian is my first baby and we have been on solids for about 4 months now.

A lot of people have asked me why I started solids at 4 months with Christian and to me, it was 'cause he was showing the signs of readiness. Also, I spoke with my sister and my mum about introducing solids to Christian. My sister's got a baby that's slightly older than him and she'd introduced to her baby at around that time and it went really well, so I decided to do the same with Christian.

I think I would've been cautious about it if he didn't seem ready, but he seemed ready. He wasn't gagging on the food, he accepted the texture of the puree. To me, that was just a sign that we could keep going and I could challenge him a little bit further.

Looking back at my journey the past 4 months, I noticed that it was better that I didn't stress about Christian accepting different foods. I noticed that he just did not like peas, so I've tried to introduce peas about 10 times. They say not just 2 or 3 times, you've gotta introduce it several times, so I did. But he gagged each time or he spat it out and he hated it. And I felt really stressed as to why he wouldn't have that particular food and then I realised, it's not that important. He ate so many other different foods so he doesn't have to have the peas. But I guess in all of that is about not force feeding. I find that if I give him a tiny taste and let him explore on his own terms, he's more willing to try a variety of the foods that I'm gonna offer him. But if I force feed him something, he's just gonna definitely just clamp his mouth shut and refuse. You want food to be a pleasurable experience in feeding time. And I guess that was the ultimate goal for me. Not to push him to eat something that he didn't wanna eat.

What I've done now is I've increased the texture component of our puree. I'm adding things like grainy brown rice and quinoa and couscous, so the texture's definitely changing for him. Now we're doing things like finger feeding, which to me was very daunting. I was worried about finger feeding and the risk of choking and I'm sure a lot of other first time mums do. But I've noticed that Christian has a very good gag reflex, so if he can't get it down, it comes back out and we're okay. I think if he reads my anxiety, then he becomes anxious. We've decided to let him explore in his own terms, break small size pieces of bread, omelette, homemade pancakes, anything that's soft that really breaks down in his mouth and that's working really well. We're up to that stage of now pushing finger feeding to the next level.

To me, making my own food at home, it's almost like I was providing for him, I was doing it myself but also I knew what was going into the food and what was in the food. But I know that when I started to look a little bit closer in the supermarket, the pouches, what was on the ingredients list, I noticed that there was purely 100% fruit puree in them so I figured that it would be safe enough to introduce to Christian. That's partly the motive as to why I'm starting to use them a little bit more, I guess, especially when we're out. We don't have the convenience so much to heat your own food when you're out so having a pouch is very handy. And we've had a few instances when we've been at restaurants that they actually won't heat your home food for health and safety issues, so I've had a backup plan and it's been very useful.

We've had a really great journey the last 4 months introducing solids to Christian and he's quite adventurous and he loves to get messy. So I guess as a mum, introducing solids, just be prepared for mess and let them have fun.

About the Author

About the Author: Rafferty’s Garden is a brand brought to life by our love of good food and by our belief in ensuring Australian babies get an amazing start to their food journey. .

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