Have you ever stood in the baby food aisle at the grocery store? There are SO MANY choices. Not to mention the ingredients on each package/jar and box. Thankfully it’s better than some of the ingredients found in “grown-up” food. The first time I stood there, I was probably there for about 2 minutes and was so overwhelmed I turned around and left. Malachi is now 7 months old and started eating solids about a month and a half ago. So now we’re starting to experiment a little more. 

After doing some reading about what to feed them first, what can happen if you start them too soon, what they should eat, I got overwhelmed all over again. Like, drop everything and forget it for a day or two, overwhelmed. There is so much information out there that it’s hard to know what to do. So I did what any sane person would do and called my mom. She said to go with the basic pablum, also known as rice cereal that you add breast milk or formula too and go from there. After that, it wasn’t so hard. I made up this post to share 5 things you should know too.

1. They will let you know if they are ready (there apparently different methods of starting).

They say you should wait till they are around 6 months, not before 4 months. If they are happy with breast milk until 9 months that’s fine too. If you try feeding them and they spit it out, maybe they aren’t ready. Give it a couple of days and try again. That pretty sums up all the advice and articles I’ve read on getting them started. 

Malachi – like his dad, loves food so he was ready for food right away. I don’t think he even wasted a drop of food the first time he had it. Some parents do baby led weaning compared to the more common spoon fed way. This is the best article about baby led weaning. 

2. Start Simple

They’ve never eaten anything before except for milk. So anything you start with will have a weird texture and be something new. We started with rice cereal and then introduced banana’s next. Now we’re on sweet potatoes, green beans, peas, applesauce, and lots of other fruits and vegetables. Everything is new to them. It’s taken us 2 months to try 3 different things and it doesn’t matter to them. You can introduce more or less. It’s all up to you. Helpful tip – don’t introduce more than one thing at once, and wait 2-4 days in between introducing new things. Just in case of any allergic reactions, you’ll be able to pinpoint what your little may be allergic to.

3. Store bought or homemade – either way, you’re rocking it, mama!

Don’t let people scare you into doing something you can’t sustain. If you don’t have time to meal prep or make each individual container of baby food, don’t. Homemade isn’t for everyone. There are a lot of options in that dreaded baby food aisle :P. I personally have the time and prefer homemade baby food at this time. Luckily there are lots of organic options in both fresh produce and even baby food pouches. Those cute little packages like Love Child, Gerber, Parents Choice, Baby Gourmet or PC Organics have tons of pureed foods. The list goes on. Basically, anything that says organic is good; so my advice – read the ingredients and know what is in there. Look for Non-GMO labels and find a trusted brand. Only the best for our littles right?

4. A little reading and research ahead of time goes a long way.

Back to the dreaded baby food aisle, looking up ideas and timelines and other sorts of stuff moms have done before definitely makes the aisle a little less overwhelming. There are little tid bits of information you might want to know. Like for example, I bought a mixed cereal thinking that was okay, just to read that you should probably introduce rice first then oat and then so forth before trying a mixed cereal. Which makes sense. Also, vegetables like broccoli or cauliflower might cause gas and upset their little bellies. Pureed prunes are great for constipation, just mix it in their food.

I’ve made a little list here of some articles and things I have thought to be a little useful.

Starting Solids Guide 
What Parents Need to Know
Introducing Solids
Baby Center

Smart Parent Advice – introducing solids

Basically, anything with child nutritionists and pediatricians chiming in is helpful when it comes to baby food. There are tons of resources out there.

5. Milk is still their primary source of food – and where they get most of their nutrients.

If they skip a “breakfast” or don’t eat enough solids at dinner time. Don’t worry – their breast milk or formula is still their main food source. As long as they have their bottles, they won’t mind. Starting solids does not mean they’ll sleep all night – learned that one the hard way. It also doesn’t mean they’ll stop drinking so much milk.

Do what you do! And never be afraid to ask trusted friends for advice and ideas too. They’ve been there before, use that. 

These 5 things helped me get started with my little one. I was super overwhelmed and worried that I wasn’t doing the right thing. But it’s a new learning curve and now we’ve got our routine down and it’s going great.

What’s some things you guys have learned in this introducing solids

Live Courageously, Love Crystal

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