By: Kathy Klassen
My second baby just turned 6 months, the time when everything changes. This is generally around the time they get their first teeth, learn to roll over, sit on their own, start with separation anxiety, or even crawl.
And they start solids.
With all that’s going on with baby right now, it can be daunting to think about starting solids…which foods to start with, when and how?
There are a few ways you can go about getting the information you need. One is to speak to your paediatrician and go with their recommendations, speak to a dietician/nutritionist versed in the subject and do some of your own research too.
Basically though, I’ve found that there are 2 general methods to introducing solids:
The Traditional Method
Basically, around 6 months you start your baby on some form of baby cereal, usually rice cereal. Then after a while you move on to purees. There are differing opinions on which purees to start with but normally it’s some vegetables or some type of grain like oatmeal. Fruits are usually last as some believe that if you start with the sweets first, babies will only like the sweets.
Baby Led Weaning
Basically, around 6 months babies self-feed ‘normal’ food (which I must admit, I didn’t really know about until this year). You put the food in front of baby in appropriate sized pieces and they choose what they eat. No rice cereal, no purees. You don’t put any food in baby’s mouth; they do it themselves as they choose. Before starting this method, you MUST do your research to make sure you know all safety precautions so you know the difference between baby’s gag reflex or choking…and if they are choking, what to do.
So, what method did I choose? With my first one, I went the traditional route. It worked totally fine with her, she’s a great eater today at 2.5 years old and there’s hardly anything she won’t eat. With my son this time around though, I decided to go a bit of a different route. I skipped rice cereal completely because of the lack of nutrition.
This time I’m doing a mix of the two methods.
My little guy’s very first food was hard boiled egg yolk mixed with a bit of breast milk…fed to him…by me…with a spoon. He loved it! I’ve moved on to vegetable purees and some grains. He likes to gnaw on fresh carrots or peeled cut up cucumber; he’s tried feeding himself oatmeal (very messy, but super cute!), and he’s tried soft-boiled sweet potato on his own as well.
I’m comfortable with this mix where he gets some purees and does some self-feeding. I feel like I have a bit of control as to how much he eats when I puree food and yet he has the pleasure of feeding himself as well (or playing with it anyways).
Research, do what works for you (as long as your pediatrician is ok with it), and don’t be afraid to experiment!
Here is a great article by Kristen Yarker, Which is Best: Puree vs. Baby-Led Weaning? on this site.
Which method will you use? Tell us about your experiences!
Kathy is a wife and mommy to a 2.5 year old daughter and a 6 month old son and moved to Alberta from Ontario 5 years ago and love it! Kathy works from home as a health & fitness coach and when she’s not focused on family she is pursuing another her other passions of teaching women how to lose weight, get healthy and build confidence. You can find her on Facebook.