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Starting Solids - Fort Worth, TX

i tried to give my daughter rice cereal mixed with formula but she wouldn't take it from a spoon (cried the whole time). when i put it in a bottle she guzzled it down. any advice on how to start 'food'? how much? how often?
also, any suggestions on a good babyfood cookbook? i'd like to make my own baby food when the time comes.

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the best baby book you can buy is called super baby food. try going to www.superbabyfood.com

1 mom found this helpful

Hi, A.! What a fun stage in your daughter's life! It is possible your daughter is not ready for solids yet....you may want to try again in a couple of weeks.

Another thing to remember is that when you first start feeding your baby, it really is a sensory and motor experience. For the first time in her life, she is feeling the sensation of food in her mouth...not a sweet liquid like formula or mama's milk, not a firm solid like a pacifier or your finger or a toy. And, she is having to learn the motor skills necessary to keep and move the food in her mouth and back to her throat to swallow....which can be tricky! So, if you keep in mind that beginning solids is really about learning new skills and NOT supplication and nutrition, then you will be less stressed and your baby will be, too.

A couple of things I did were: 1. make the cereal very liquidy so the texture is very close to milk/formula....once she gets that, then slowly increase the texture. 2. place a small bowl of cereal at the texture you are using and a baby spoon on her tray and just let her play in it! Then she gets to learn to feel the texture on her hands, etc., explore the spoon and dishes, and have FUN at mealtime....which counts big for babies! and 3. only expect her to have a couple of bites/tries at having it in her mouth....that's it....then you gradually introduce the texture so it is not overwhelming....the expectations are much lower for both of you making you both more successful!!

When you do get into different types of food, remember that it is ALL NEW to them! So, it may take several (up to 10)introductions of a taste or texture before they like it. Lastly, I have the Super Baby Food book which is my "food bible". It talks about how to make your own baby food, when to introduce each type of food, allergies, recipes for toddlers, etc! Mine are 4 and 2, and I still use it! I love it and couldn't live without it! Look it up at www.superbabyfood.com

Good Luck and have fun!! Getting messy can be good!!

1 mom found this helpful

I have a 5 month old also, named Lyla. I started her on the banana flavored rice cereal and I just mixed it with water. She loved it. However, a lot of homemade baby food websites suggest skipping rice cereal all together and just start solids. I have started introducing solids now and I just made some of her babyfood, which she loves already! There is a great website (so you don't even need a book) called wholesomebabyfood.com - it tells you what foods to start. I baked two sweet potatos and pureed them; I baked a butternut squash a pureed that, then I also mixed pureed avocado with pureed banana. My daughter didn't take well to the avocado, but there was a tip on there that babies like it mixed with banana and she loves it. I hope this helps!

1 mom found this helpful

At six months we started our daughter on mashed avocado mixed with breast milk and would just put it on the tip of one of our (clean) fingers and let her eat it off our fingers. We transitioned to a spoon pretty easily, but I think starting on our fingers helped. I got that idea from _Super Baby Food_ by Ruth Yaron, and I highly recommend that book. She's a staunch vegetarian and I'm not, but her ideas were so helpful and got me started on making my own baby food (and our entire family started eating much more healthfully due to all the helpful nutritional information). For several months I took her book with me to the grocery store as a reference and I still refer back to it occasionally (my daughter is now 19 months). Also, I have friends who never bought a cookbook but just used www.wholesomebabyfood.com That website is good and helpful, but I did prefer _Super Baby Food_.

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Doesn't sound like she's ready for solids. Here is an article I copied from a yahoo group I'm involved in that covers starting solids. I hope it helps! A

Introducing Solid Foods

When should I introduce solid foods? - Current studies indicate that there is an increased risk of food allergies and diabetes if solid foods are introduced too early. As your baby’s digestive system begins to mature the risk of sensitization to allergens is lessened. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months. Some pediatricians will say that it is “okay” to start solids at 4 months; this should not be confused with a recommendation to start solid foods.

What cues should I look for to indicate that my baby is ready for solids? - Some developmental cues to watch for are:

Sits with little or no support
Loss of tongue-thrust reflex
Shows great interest in foods others are eating

Every child develops at his own pace. Watch for your baby’s signs of readiness. Reaching for your spoon does not necessarily mean baby is ready for solids. At about 4 months, many babies reach for anything they can find to put in their mouths. If your young baby is reaching for your spoon at mealtimes, try offering just the spoon to play with and see if he is satisfied.

How do I start? Good first foods are single-grain baby cereals, such as rice or oatmeal or soft fruits such as avocado or banana. If you chose to start with cereal, whole-grain organic cereal is recommended. Be aware that rice cereal, bananas and some other foods can be constipating for some babies. Start by mixing 1 or 2 tablespoons of cereal with about 4 tablespoons of breastmilk, or mash a little banana or avocado and thin with a little breastmilk. The consistency for the first feeding will be fairly runny. Pick a time when baby is happy and alert, not tired or fussy. Nurse your baby first so that he is satisfied. At this point, solid foods are not to fill him up, they are for getting accustomed to new tastes and textures. Offer your baby the food on a spoon or from your finger. Don’t be distressed if your baby does not seem interested in solid foods. If your baby refuses, wait a week or two and try again. Your baby probably won’t eat more than a tablespoon at a time at first. Your baby's appetite will vary from one feeding to the next so watch for cues that he's full. A baby who refuses to open up for the next bite, turns away, or starts playing with his food is probably full. As he gets older he will begin to eat more.

When should I begin offering other foods? You can begin offering other single-ingredient foods after your baby has gotten used to eating from a spoon. If your baby is interested, you can add one new food every 3-5 days. Go slowly and give your baby time to adjust to the new tastes and textures. Watch for signs of allergic reactions such as diarrhea, stomach upset, sudden stuffy or runny nose, hives or other rashes. Always keep benadryl on hand in case of a severe allergic reaction. If your baby seems to express dislike with a food wait and offer it again a few days later. It takes some babies time to warm up to new tastes and textures, and especially to foods with stronger flavors. You may have to present a food several times (experts say up to 15 times) before a baby will become used to it and accept it. If your baby consistently rejects a certain food, try mixing it with one that he likes to temper the flavor and allow him to become used to it. Stronger flavored foods such as broccoli or asparagus can be combined with cereal or potatoes. Once you have introduced all of the single-ingredient foods you can begin multi-ingredient foods. Most pediatricians recommend waiting until 9 months to offer meats, yogurt and cheeses.

Do I replace nursing with solid ‘meals”? No. You should nurse first and then offer solids. Breastmilk should be 75-95% of your baby’s nutrition for the first 12 months. Baby will gradually move to more solids as he gets older. Breastmilk has all of the vitamins and minerals, proteins and fats that your baby needs. Replacing a food that contains just the right balance of fat, proteins, vitamins and minerals with a food that contains little to no protein and fat can result in slow weight gain. In addition, babies need fats and proteins for optimal brain growth and muscle growth. Solid foods will eventually replace some of your baby’s feedings, but they cannot replace the nutritional value of breastmilk.

How many times per day should I be giving solids? If you start at 6 months, your baby will probably be eating 3 small solid meals per day by about 8 months. Follow your babies hunger cues to determine when to give more solid foods. A typical days diet for an 8-month-old might consist of:

Breastmilk
¼ cup cereal
¼ - ½ cup vegetable
¼ cup fruit

Every baby will not follow this pattern. Many babies can thrive on a breastmilk alone and take in little or no solids for the first year.

When can I move on to finger foods? Many babies are ready for finger foods at about 8-9 months. Some parents chose to delay starting solids until baby is ready for these finger foods, skipping the pureed stage. Offer soft foods cut into tiny pieces. Some suggestions for early finger foods are: toasted oat cereal, crisp rice cereal, well-cooked, diced vegetables, such as avocado, green beans, carrots or sweet potato, fresh fruits such as banana (frozen is nice in the summer!), pear, mango, peach, cantaloupe, soft cheeses (after 9 months) and whole-grain pastas. There is no need to buy special “toddler” foods. Compare ingredients – most commercial toddler finger foods are the same ingredients as comparable regular foods. Some of the toddler foods are even higher in sugar and sodium than the regular versions and most are made with refined white flour which contains very little nutritional value. Be an educated consumer. Just because a baby food company markets something doesn’t mean it is best for your baby.

Some general guidelines:
Avoid highly allergenic foods such peanuts and peanut butter, egg whites, wheat, cow’s milk and shellfish until your baby is at least 12 months old. Avoid raw honey as well because it can contain botulism spores that can make a baby sick.

Avoid over-feeding. Watch your baby’s cues to determine when he is full.

Juice is not necessary for babies. Juice has little nutritional value and is high in sugars. If you do give juice dilute it by at least half with water and offer it in a cup, not a bottle. Too much juice can lead to obesity in children. The AAP recommends no more than 4oz of juice per day.

Watch the ingredients in jarred baby foods. Watch out for added sugars and starches (tapioca starch) in “desserts” and “dinners”. Young babies do not need “desserts”. Help them develop a taste for fresh fruits and vegetables before giving foods with added sugars. It is not necessary to buy commercial baby foods. Fresh vegetables and fruits can be steamed and mashed with a fork or pureed.

You can build healthy eating habits for life by offering your baby a wide variety of tastes and textures without added salt and sugar.

1 mom found this helpful

After 2 boys, my personal recommendation is to make it a little thicker and to keep trying. They just don't understand what it is at first, so the key is to keep introducing it. They don't "need" the food at this point, so you are simply getting them used to the idea of taking food that way. It might be another month before she seems to like it - but she'll soon realize how great it is! There's a great book - First Foods - published by DK that I love. I've made all of my baby food for both boys - it's worth the time and, in the end, really doesn't take that long to do!

A.,

Try mixing cereal with formula and bananas from the jar. It's something sweet and you get a fruit in too.

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