Starting Solids: 5 Positive Reminders
Starting solids: 5 positive reminders
I have started solids with my second child, Amelia. She is a big, happy, and healthy baby girl who is feeding well. A few weeks ago she started showing me the signs of wanting to start solids, so I took her lead and ran with it. My personal approach to weaning involves getting messy with food and early incorporation of finger foods. I like to be well into age appropriate finger foods by 7 months. Usually around this time I will introduce the Tasting Plate, and that’s when the fun really begins.
So far I have kept things really relaxed (so different the second time around) and I have had food spat at me, flung around the room and seen more adorable food-faces than I ever thought possible. My freezer is full of colourful new foods for her to try and I wanted a bit of a refresh on how to make this time enjoyable and satisfying for both of us. I love our Raising a good eater guide to get started as I hope to raise a mindful eater, and also our eBook Baby Foodie is a really great read for anyone starting solids, with some practical advice and plenty of recipe ideas. Our quarterly magazines have also been a lifesaver with plenty of purees and finger foods in each issue and lots of starting solids tips from our expert writers.
Here at One Handed Cooks we believe all children have it in them to be good eaters, and there are tactics you can use right from the very first mouthful to help your journey be a positive and successful one. Here are some of our tips that are resinating with me right now. I would love to hear from anyone who is starting solids – how are you going?
5 positive reminders when starting solids
- Let phases come and go: Every child goes through phases of eating less, or refusing food. Often this is because they are concentrating on growing, mastering a new skill or perhaps their teeth are pushing through, making the chewing of food uncomfortable. Try and pick up on these cues, listen to your child to identify the problem and work through the phase together, rather than turning eating and food into a negative experience.
- Enjoy food variety: Introduce a variety of foods from an early age. Your child won’t like everything on offer, and that is completely normal, but keep trying. Be persistent and offer foods a variety of different ways and eventually your child’s diet will expand to include most foods.
- Play with your food: Babies have limited fine motor skills and will often make a huge mess. They learn by smelling, touching and feeling their food as well as tasting it. So allow your baby to explore their food with their hands and with any luck it will end up in their mouths. Be open to this: buy some carpet cleaner, a splash mat and let them experience food in a natural way.
- Posture is important: Good positioning and posture is an essential element in feeding, especially in young children. In particular, it is important from a safety perspective. An ideal sitting position encourages good body and head alignment directing food from the mouth into the oesophagus and away from the airway, preventing choking. Read more in our importance of eating posture post.
- Make time to cook homemade food: While the occasional jar or pouch of good quality store-bought baby food is absolutely fine, try and stick to homemade as the main food of choice. Homemade baby food will naturally vary in its texture depending on the ingredients you use. The silkiness of a pumpkin puree will always be different from the more fibrous textured vegetable puree that includes peas and broccoli. The benefits of experiencing this right from the start are invaluable to your child’s enjoyment, acceptance of family foods later and their overall learning about food.
Articles you’ll love
- 50 Baby Puree Ideas
- Baby led weaning
- The links between eating and speaking
- When should a toddler feed themselves?
- Homemade Finger foods
Note: the current Infant Feeding Guidelines recommend foods with a high risk of choking such as whole nuts, seeds, raw carrot, celery sticks and chunks of apple should be avoided for the first 3 years as their size and/or consistency increases the risk of choking. It is also advisable to always supervise your children while they are eating to prevent choking.
Disclaimer: This information is intended for general use only. It does not constitute medical advice and is not intended to replace the personalised care and advice given to you by your health professional team. You as the reader/parent/caregiver must always discuss any concerns or questions about the health and well being of your baby or toddler with a healthcare professional. Please refer to our full disclaimer here.Join us on Facebook for other foodie bits and pieces.