Ready, set, solids!

Ready, set, solids!

So, you think you’re there – exciting! But you are perhaps feeling overwhelmed and unsure where to start with feeding your baby solids. Don't worry, we've got you covered! Here's a step by step guide to help you get started.

Is my baby ready for solids?

The Australian recommendations suggest introducing solids around six months of age, when your baby shows signs of readiness. Look for signs such as sitting up with support, showing interest in what you're eating (staring at you chewing, reaching for your food, trying to put it in their mouth), and the ability to control head and neck movements.

What time of day should I feed my baby solids?

Start with a time of day that works best for you and your baby's routine. It's a good idea to introduce solids at a time when you're both relaxed and not in a rush. This could be after a milk feed or in the morning when your baby is well rested.

How frequently should I introduce solid foods?

Start with one feed per day, then gradually increase to two and three as your baby's appetite and tolerance grows. Don't worry if your baby doesn't eat much at first, as it can take time to adjust. Don’t forget to keep breast-feeding/ feeding your bub formula when you’re introducing solids, you can’t overfeed them!

What foods should I start with? A checklist.

The first foods to introduce should be soft, and easy to swallow. Remember, your bub may only have a few (if any) teeth when they start solids. Start with purees or soft mashes. Fruit and veg purees are simple to make. Just boil, mash or puree then allow to cool. Voila. We also want to be conscious about giving iron-rich foods early on. That’s because breast milk and formula don’t quite have the iron baby’s need at this age. Iron rich foods include pureed meats (yes, meat is a great first food), fish, poultry andtofu.. Here's a checklist to get you started:

  • Pureed meats, fish, poultry or tofu
  • Iron-fortified baby cereal
  • Pureed sweet potato, pumpkin or carrots
  • Pureed apple, pear or banana
  • Pureed avocado
  • Soft cooked broccoli or cauliflower

Tips and tricks for introducing solid foods

  • Use a small spoon and let your baby take the lead, and try a few different spoons because some babies like plastic, some metal.
  • Start with a runny consistency and gradually thicken as your baby gets used to it.
  • Offer a variety of textures, from purees to mashed to finger foods.
  • Don't add salt, sugar or honey to your baby's food.

Introduce one food at a time, waiting a few days before introducing another to check for allergies. This is when you can then introduce coupling an introduced food with Taste Bubs.

Common concerns and how to overcome them

Choking

Avoid small, hard or round foods like nuts, popcorn, grapes, and raw carrots. Or stringy foods like celery. Best to start with purees. But remember, gagging is different. If a baby gags that can be a good thing as they learn to clear their throat and mouth to swallow. When you do start to introduce food into small pieces - supervise your baby at all times.

Allergies

Research now says you should introduce allergenic foods as soon as your baby starts solids, which is where Taste Bubs comes in. Learn more about how to use the Taste Bubs program here. If you have a family history of allergies, there should be no reason you shouldn’t start solids or introduce allergens like the rest of the population. It’s extra important that your child reduces their risk with early introduction (because they have likely inherited a bit of an increased risk and there isn’t much we can do about that…)

Refusal

Don't force your baby to eat, and don't worry if they don't eat much at first. Keep offering a variety of foods and let your baby explore.

Mess

Embrace the mess! Offer a bib and a high chair with a tray to contain spills.

 

Starting solids can be an exciting time for you and your baby. Remember to go at your baby's pace and enjoy the journey. Before you know it, your baby will be enjoying a wide variety of foods!

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Early introduction to the 7 most common allergens.