Maya is six months old and a couple of weeks ago we started introducing solids. In my previous blog post I wrote about my experience with postnatal depression and how my Thermomix saved me in the kitchen.
When Maya was 4 months old it was time to start thinking about introducing solids and I felt overwhelmed. As a first time mum every new step is a step into the unknown. I read the books, listened to the health professionals and attended a couple of workshops. We made the decision to wait until Maya could sit up and she was showing an interest in what we were eating before we would start feeding her puree. This started happening at around 5 months but I still wasn’t ready. It just felt like one more thing to do!
Then I pulled out the Cooking for your Baby and Toddler cookbook and read through the beginning and it didn’t feel so overwhelming anymore. The book into divided into the following sections:
- Feeding your Child
- Getting Started
- First Foods (around 6 months)
- More Tastes and Textures (6-9 months)
- A Well Rounded Diet (10-12 months)
- Family Meals
We also looked into Baby Led Weaning (BLW) around the same time. I liked the idea of it but I felt uncomfortable with the risk of choking. One thing I liked about Louise Fulton Keats’ book is she validated the benefits of BLW which encourages baby to feed themselves and reduced the likelihood of fussiness. She also wrote a bit about a hybrid approach particularly for babies who can’t sit well by six months or aren’t adept at getting food to their mouths. Maya still isn’t strong at sitting so I felt like the hybrid approach would work best for us. So we made the decision to start her on only pureed foods but also have a play with foods in their whole form at the same time. Then as she develops we can increase the finger foods we offer and do away with the purees.
The next day I made my first batch of sweet potato puree. I’m so glad I filmed it because it was so cute watching how much my baby girl enjoyed eating it. She loved playing with it and made a mess but she also enjoying tasting something different for the first time. She was probably thinking “Where has this been my whole life?!”
It did make me feel bad because she had obviously been ready for solids for some time but better late than never right lol!
The First Foods chapter of the cookbook had about 15 recipes split up in vegetables, fruit and meals, most of which are single ingredient recipes for baby to get used to tastes. There is also a sample meal planner which I found handy to work out when I would be preparing these meals.
I planned to feed her solids after her lunchtime milk feed but there were days when I would forget or we would be out or she would be asleep. I tried feeding her at dinner one time but she had a sore tummy so we decided not to feed her later in the day.
After a couple of weeks I had prepared a range of meals and had frozen then in ice cube trays which I then emptied out and stored in freezer bags. This meant we could now just easily choose from her freezer supply when it was time to feed her some solids.
It has been such a joy to watch her experiencing new tastes. So far she has loved everything, except the nectarine which was a bit sour. She had the pear puree for the first time yesterday and I think the sweetness was a shock at first because she made the funniest facial expressions. I’m glad that so far she isn’t fussy and hope that we can keep that going as she gets older. I was a super fussy kid so I am scared karma is going to come back to me!
In a couple of weeks I will move onto the the More Tastes and Textures chapter and introduce more flavours and textures with a focus on iron rich foods. I will also give her finger foods to play with like sticks of ripe banana and avocado, homemade rusks and soft cooked carrot and sweet potato. I’ll let you know how our next food adventure goes 🙂