Yes. today i am going to share my story of B taking his first spoonful. his ‘new life’ beyond his bottles.
honestly i was very excited the day B had his first spoon. compared to the various articles i read saying it would be quite challenging, i found B enjoying his solids. somewhere even i was getting bored of his boring milk routine and this phase bought in quite a bit of excitement then (although now i wish for the boring milk routine again!).
SO. i started giving him solids when he turned 6 months. doctors say a baby is ready for solids between 4-6 months but its ideal if started at 6 months, since milk is all they require till then. although this is not the case for all babies. i had given B some banana puree when he was 4 months but it did not go down too well with him and so his doctor advised 6 months.
to start with, always give your baby solids when he/she is relaxed and happy (after the milk). i choose the time after B would wake up from his morning nap. he would be fresh and wide awake then. since i did not have his highchair then, i made sit in his car-seat. Bib is a MUST! there were days when B’s bib had more food than him!
i started with just 1-2 tablespoons of smooth, runny, slightly warm fruit puree, once a day. To my luck, B actually liked the idea of having solids and eating from a spoon. ofcourse it took a few days for him to learn to suck the food of the spoon but, i don’t remember he ever throwing food out of his mouth (now its a total different scene!). for the first 2 weeks i gave him solids once a week, then i gradually increased to twice a day, seeing his increase in appetite. i would give one new food item for 3-4 days for him to develop a taste for it, before trying a new one.
at 6 months, the first fruit purees to start with is apple, pear, plums, ripe banana, peach, apricot, mango, avocado. i used to steam the fruit and then puree it. you can also start with veggies like carrot, potato, kumara, pumpkin. again, remove skin, steam and puree. for cereals, i used to give B Farex baby cereals. i used to get the original multi-grain and rice cereal. B never liked it so i ended up giving him fruit purees instead, in the morning. then gradually mixed the purees in the cereal and made that his breakfast. i also gave him dal (lentil soup) mixed with rice cereal for his lunches. he used to love this.
by 7-8 months B was having 2-3 solid meals a day (after having his milk). at this stage, i tried new food textures with him. i would still steam the food but then would mash it with a fork, instead of pureeing it. This helped him to learn to chew. i also started giving him spinach, cheese, paneer (indian cottage cheese), yogurt, custard (i used the Wattie’s desserts a lot), pasta, bread. some days his dinner would be cheese and avocado spread on bread! yumm! i grated the paneer and cooked it a bit with the spinach puree. sometimes i would add the Farex cereal to it to make it a complete lunch or dinner for B. with pasta, i have tried many different recipes. the best was mashing B’s fav veggies, mixing it with pasta (mashed a bit) and adding some seasoning. we would think its bland, but babies like it. plus that’s how they will start to like the basic taste of veggies, or any food item.
B started having his first finger foods at this stage too. i started with Cheerios and he loved it. i also gave him Farex teething rusks by 7 months. he would happily munch on his Arrowroot milk biscuits for his evening snack. hot roti (indian bread) off the stove was his fav too. by 9-10 months he would have raw fruit as his finger food. oranges were and still is his fav fruit!
by 12 months, he was all ready to eat our food. he wanted the food that came off our plate. so just after he turned 1 year, i slowly started to give him our food but with less spices. then gradually increased it to our taste. but he still cant have very spicy food so now M and I have changed our food to suit his taste! i just can’t cook 2 versions of the same food everyday! so i now opt for foods like baked pies, risottos, couscous, pasta bake, veg bake, gravy-based dishes so its easy for B to eat with a spoon or simply dip the roti in the gravy and eat.