Before starting your wee on one solids, and for those of you whose babies are already on the way, it can be a good idea to have a think about what you are trying to create when it comes to your little one’s food habits.
Which of these points are most important for you and your family?
Why is it important to introduce solids at a suitable age? What are the key nutrients we should ensure are included in our wee one’s diet before one and beyond? And how does baby’s milk fit into their diet together with solids?
Just when you thought your nappy bag couldn't have any more jammed into it, you realise... it can! But whilst feeding your wee one outside the comfort of your own home can feel overwhelming, it needn't be.
For most of us, by the time our little ones are ready to start solids we have settled in to some kind of routine; be that structured or just simply a range of eat, play, sleep, repeat activities throughout the day. Your days a full – we get it! And looking after wee ones takes time – a lot of it! That’s why when it comes to introducing solids, having a few tips and tricks up your sleeve to help save time wherever possible will help make this transitional period exciting and enjoyable.
Often, when we think about introducing solids to our wee ones, the first thing that comes to mind are purées. Starting with a silky smooth purée and then transitioning on to mashed and more chunky options and then finally offering the family meal is the most traditional way of navigating this time in your baby’s development and encourages them to explore and experience varying textures as and when they are ready for it. But where, and how, can finger foods fit in?
Your baby is showing all the signs they're ready to start solids. You're ready with all the equipment you need. You've made a batch of lovely smooth purée, put your little one in a comfortable position for eating, in their lovely clean new bib and.... They refuse the first taste. OR it goes so well that the next day you're rearing to go again the next but it's a completely different story.
You may be surprised to know your baby doesn't necessarily need ANY teeth before you can start introducing more textured and soft finger foods! Like all developments, babies get teeth at varying times and it can be common for them to be ready to move on from purees before this time or even when they only have one or two teeth.
Up until now it’s been all about baby’s milk (and it mostly will be for the next wee while yet) but what role does water play when introducing solids? And how can you encourage your baby to become a water loving toddler?!
One month down the track, now what?! Do you keep going with purees, or is it time to introduce something different? What about finger foods? How and when do you start them eating the same or similar foods to you and the rest of your family?
Unfortunately, in some instances this statement has been taken out of context; sure, meal times should be a fun and enjoyable time for your baby but as their caregivers it’s also our responsibility to provide them with the nourishment they need to grow into thriving, healthy adults.