My little one is now almost 11 months old...it's CRAZY how time flies! I love this age...especially when it comes to FOOD.
I know this might sound weird- But I love having the control over every little thing that goes in her mouth...and I love feeding her homemade wholesome foods that I KNOW are making her body function at it's best.
And she LOVES it! I do not have to use any of my motherly persuasive techniques when it comes to feeding her. When she's hungry- she eats what I have for her with no complaints. OH- I love that!
Below are some of my thoughts and ideas about Baby's First Foods.
Before I begin- I need to state one of my personal MOTTO's that I live by:
MOTHER'S KNOW BEST!
In other words- I hold NO JUDGEMENT toward mothers who think differently than me...because they KNOW what' best for their children. COOL!
1. My first rule: TAKE IT SLOW!
There is no rush when it comes to feeding your child solids. I did have a doctor tell me once that there is a window where you need to feed your child solids or you will have problems. I think he told me the window was around 6 to 7 months old. I asked him what these problems might be- and he wasn't able to give me an answer. So, do you know what? I don't worry about TIME...I read each of my children and decide what is best for them. So there you go.
With all of my children I fed them their first solid food during their 6 month...but they didn't truly start eating (opening their mouths and wanting more) until the end of their 9 month. So for those 3 months I would give them a taste of food here and there (see what type of foods I would give them below).
I would take it very slowly (meaning once or twice a week) until they told me they wanted more.
**Some people might say "Well, my babies are so BIG they needed solids at 4 months old to keep them satisfied." I am not an expert...but I do have very big kids (20 lbs at 6 months old). And they were all exclusively breast fed until 6 months. I know all kids are different though :) I'm just saying- you don't have to rush into SOLIDS due to your baby's size.
**On the flip side- some mother's might say "My babies are so SMALL, they need more than milk to help them gain weight." What I have read and rings true to me...for the first 3 to 5 months of your child eating solids- it's not for the CALORIES. It's to teach them...to show them different textures and tastes. It's not to make them gain weight. Their calories should come from BREAST MILK (Breast milk also provides the needed nutrients, vitamins & minerals).
You can read some wonderful information in DISEASE-PROOF YOUR CHILD by Joel Fuhrman on the issues our country has inregards to wanting our children to be "BIG" when they are little. We do this by feeding them as much as we can...because for some reason we worry they are too small? Then we wonder why childhood obesity is on the rise? READ IT...it's awesome!
2. My second rule: Consistency matters
The first foods should be runny. They should be the consistency of a thick liquid (the food should drip of the spoon). Your child is used to LIQUID...so ease into solids by using a lot of liquid. You can add breast milk or water to the food to make it the desired consistency.
So what FOODS should you give your baby in those first 3 months?
BROWN RICE CEREAL
ALL my babies have loved their homemade RICE cereal (recipe below). This cereal is the base of most of their meals during their first year. When they get older, it is so much fun adding different grains and legumes. I will be writing more posts on these more advanced cereals soon.
YAMS or SWEET POTATOES
Cut them into small pieces and either steam them or boil them until tender. Mash them up and add liquid until your reach the desired consistency.
(My kids don't like bananas until they are close to a year...I think they are too sweet in the beginning)
Perfect food because no cooking required AND it is a healthy fat (EFA's which help brain development).
My children's favorite! It the beginning you puree the cooked squash and add liquid. But once they get the hang of it, you can steam small pieces and they can pop them into their mouths. They love to eat with their hands whenever possible.
Homemade BROWN RICE Baby Food Cereal
1 cup water
1/4 cup organic brown rice OR 3 TBS millet
Place water in a small pan and place over high heat to boil. While the water is heating, measure grains and place in coffee grinder (extra fine setting or grind for about 1 minute). This fine grinding is necessary for your beginning eater. If you baby is a little older and eating chunkier food, you may grind for less time.
Once the water begins to boil on the stove, turn the heat down to the lowest setting. Sprinkle the ground grain into the water while stirring with a whisk. Cover the pot and keep it over low heat for about 10 minutes.
You may want to stir the rice a few times during the 10 minutes to prevent it from scorching on the bottom.
This recipe makes a little more than 1 cup of cereal. You can refrigerate the cereal for 2 -3 days. I make a double batch so I always have some on hand.
For more information- Check out my 2 favorite books on the subject:
SUPER BABY FOOD by Ruth Yaron
DISEASE-PROOF YOUR CHILD by Joel Fuhrman M.D.