Sunday, April 9, 2017

Introducing solids to the baby

My second baby is 6 months old now and we are officially introducing solids to her. Our doctor recommended introducing solids at 5 and 1/2 months. We went on a trip to India and our parents insisted we start solids earlier..so..we started solids after she completed 5 months. But, I was giving very little..around a teaspoon of rice cereal, once a day. After 2 weeks, we started giving the same rice cereal in the evenings too.

I got mixed opinions about starting solids and got really confused with what to do. My suggestion is don't listen to the outside world or the internet. Go with your mommy intuition and the baby cues to introduce solids. It'll really help. Based on the opinions from others, I gave baby cereal to my baby after she completed 4 months. She didn't take it. I stopped forcing her and didn't feed solids for another 3 weeks.

Take it slow. I know, you'll be eager to give him/her all the healthy food available (This is a note to self too).
Consult your pediatrician or your mom/grand-mom. They will have a wealth of information about what are the first foods that can be given to the babies.
Don't prepare a big batch of baby food once. Make in smaller portions. The idea is to introduce variety of foods in the first few months. If you make in bulk, you will feed the same to baby and he/she will get used to that one taste. It'll become difficult to make him/her try something else. (I have made that mistake with my first one.., so I am planning to make sure,, I don't repeat the same mistake)

To start with, I got store bought (Gerber/Plum Organics/Beechnut etc) stage 1 fruit/vegetable puree. I got the smallest size available (2.5 oz ) and also bought 4 of each. I meant.., I bought 4 carrot purees, 4 sweet potato purees etc..

Start only one vegetable/fruit puree at a time. Give the same thing for 3 days minimum before starting a new one. This is to make sure that the baby isn't allergic to anything and also to make sure he/she is digesting it well. Our pediatrician asked us to start the new food in the mornings, so that you can keep an eye on the baby for allergies. Please be extra careful, if your family has a history of allergies. Take it very slow and watch out for reactions.

I started my daughter with carrots, followed by sweet potatoes, pears, peas, apple, squash and banana.
After trying all these, I decided to make my own stage 1 fruit/vegetable purees. I saved the glass containers (to reuse to store the baby food that I make).
I also bought 4 oz jelly jars to save the home made purees.

I started making enough purees for a week and started freezing them. I know, people will judge me for giving frozen food for the baby. I feel safe giving my baby home made frozen food than canned store bought baby food. Again, do what works for you. If you have the patience and time to make baby purees, go ahead, make it and freeze. Do not freeze a lot. Do it in batches for a week or so.

Disclaimer: I'm not a dietitian or a pediatrician. I have written what has worked for my daughter. I'm documenting my daughter's journey along with.

In the coming posts, you can expect recipes for baby vegetable/fruit purees. I'll start with stage 1 and then move along.