Sunday, November 04, 2012

On Solid Ground - Introducing Food!

It's that time. 6 months old and time for a major diet change. What to give? When to give it? How to make it? How much to give? When to give something new? So many questions. Here is what I did - I trusted my instincts, plain and simple.

When : Some sources said to feed a little at every meal, another said to introduce one meal at a time adding the second and third meals after a week or more each. Yet another suggested feeding new foods only in the morning.  I took all of this and decided to try one meal a day and I first tried at 8am, around the time of his second feeding of the day. I gave the food a little before he showed signs of hunger so he wasn't starving when time came to eat. I had to tweak this a bit and found that lunch time was his best time as he hardly ate anything at that morning feed. After about a week, I started giving him another small meal at supper time - when he appeared hungry around the 5-6 feed.

What/How much : I started with Rice Cereal and chose to mix this with breastmilk. I started with a half tbsp of cereal and about 3 tbsp of lukewarm milk. I increased this amount based on his appetite. If he still welcomed the food, didn't turn his head away and appeared hungry I increased the amount a tbsp a day or so until we hit 5 tbsps. After 3 or so days we tried Oat Cereal mixed with water and he was fine here too. I added water gradually, mixing to get the right texture. We soon found out that he preferred food a little thicker than thin and runny. After another 3 more days we introduced the first meat - pureed pork. I gave him this meal at supper time. He has been a little more hesitant about the pork but it came down to trial and error for texture and timing. It's really all a guessing game.  Plan is to then add another meat (beef), and move to vegetables, and finally fruits. I will mix it up in between by giving a new cereal or introduce chicken sometime soon also.

I decided to make my own baby food. We baked, chopped and pureed the meat mixed with breastmilk. The veggies - basically the same just boiled/steamed instead of baked.  We froze the food in icecube trays overnight and then placed the frozen food cubes in ziploc bags labelled with food name and date.  I plan to alter the texture by spending by reducing the amount of liquid we add as well as how long we blend it as he gets more exposed to the food. When I feel like he can handle more lumps, lumps is what he will get!

So far things are going relatively well and I find I am eager to discover if he likes a new food. I am enjoying preparing it and like the whole process. He sits with us at our meal times and we alternate feeding him and feeding ourselves(when we can - sometimes he's so hungry that he simply can't wait for us to eat!). I will update my progress on this topic as new foods are attempted in weeks to come.

Momma's Musts :

  • Trust yourself. Start your baby on solids when you are ready and when you feel he/she is ready. Start introducing the cereal/protein/veggies in the order that you feel.
  • Listen to baby. You will know pretty quickly if baby likes the texture, is still hungry, is too full or simply just doesn't like the food. Try to alter your preparation to see if that helps, take a break from a certain food, or if all else fails, give up on a food and move on!
  • You decide. If you want to make your own food, buy baby food or mix and match do what you choose! It's your baby and you are the one feeding him/her so trust what you think!
  • Enjoy! Make meal time with baby family time! Have your little one sit with you and eat meals together as much as you can. This will get easier as he/she gets used to eating.

No comments: