Starting solids with our baby Chloe
Our baby girl is now 8 months old. We still can't believe how quickly time passes and how fast she is growing. Just before 5 months old we were watching to see her first cues that she would like to start eating solids? When Chloe was 6 months old she was showing signs of wanting something other than breastmilk. For our very first taste, I chose to start with our organic carrot purée as I knew it would be gentle on her tummy. Now it's three months later and our little girl is loving all our delicious flavours! We have mixed and matched our flavours and found out her favourite combinations. She really hasn't tasted any food she didn't like. Starting with a good variety of vegetables and fruits is giving her a great start. This may cut down on fussy eating later in life. Our textured meal pods 8 months+ have been a real hit, she loves them.
The road to starting solids has been fairly easy for us. I'm sure having pure organic purée made with only fresh produce has something to do with it. Looking back now we may have thought it would be more stressful. Using our easy to prepare pods has made the whole process so enjoyable. Our first baby Jed was the whole reason for starting the business. He enjoyed the food we were making so much we wanted to offer the same goodness to other parents and care givers. We think in this day and age there is so much information available to us, sometimes simple things can become a lot more complicated than they need to be.
Before birth we could not wait for how much fun it would be to share our experience introducing solids to Chloe, including what we have learned during the process. With that said, this short period of motherhood that I've been able to experience with both of our babies has shown me clearly that every baby and mum is different. While it can be helpful to read other people's experiences or research different methods, you (the mum) really do know what's best for you and your child.
Our desires when introducing solids:
I would like to share with you what our desires were in starting solids with Jed and Chloe.
- Take some pressure off of myself as their main source of nutrition. As we know until about 1 year old, breastmilk (or formula) is the best main source of nutrition and calories for babies. Thankfully I’ve been able to breastfeed both of my babies and am still doing so with Chloe. There have been times where I feel as though I wasn't producing enough milk, but despite my worries Chloe has always had enough breastmilk to grow and thrive. After several months I really liked the idea of me not being their main source of nutrition.
- Give our children the nutrition they need. Breastmilk can continue to provide all the nutrients a baby needs even after 6 months old. I really wanted to cover all of our bases. Some people think babies don't really need solids until 1 year, we believe introducing solids is all about adding extra nutrition while having fun. Nutrition in breastmilk decreases after 6 months, making solid foods more important to prevent deficiencies and prevent growth delays. I didn't want to take any chances and both of my babies were showing signs they wanted to start trying solids. You can usually tell by the way they lurch towards any food you may be eating.
- Have our children experience a wide variety of flavours and textures at a young age. I knew giving Chloe and Jed solid foods would be providing them with extra nutrition, but I mainly wanted them to try out a wide variety of flavours and textures so they would not see new foods as something scary.
- Have our children grow up enjoying whole foods. Our hope is that introducing Jed and Chloe to a wide variety of whole foods at an early age will set the tone for the kind of food our kids will enjoy eating as they get older.
Balancing the introduction of solids with milk feeds:
By 4-6 months of age, your baby can gain more nutrients from a mixture of breastmilk or formula and solid foods.
When to change feeding routines
Usually up until 5-7 months, your baby will still be getting most of their nutrition from breastmilk or formula. Start to introduce solid foods around 6 months of age. Your baby will usually let you know they are ready when they want everything you are having. (Do not feed solid food to your baby before 4 months of age).
Your baby will take only small amounts of solid foods at first. We recommend starting with a single flavour. Keep it simple, we find a sweet flavour will usually be accepted with a smile.
Start feeding your baby solids once a day, building to 2 or 3 times a day.
At 8 to 9 months give your baby solids as part of breakfast, lunch and dinner.
From 6 to 9 months give your baby breastmilk or formula first, then solids after feeding the milk. From 9 months you can give solids first, then breastmilk or formula. This allows for your baby to naturally transition from formula or breastmilk feeds to just having solids by around 12 months.
Which foods first?
Some of your baby’s first foods should contain iron. Our bodies need iron to make haemoglobin, which takes oxygen through the blood to all the cells. Haemoglobin is what gives colour to red blood cells. When you don’t have enough iron, red blood cells become small and pale, a condition called anaemia. They can’t carry enough oxygen to your body’s organs and muscles.
Babies and children need iron for their brains to develop normally. Our Broccoli and Green Bean purée pods are a great way to add iron to your baby’s diet. Adding Carrot purée to either of these green flavours makes a tasty combination.
When babies are lacking iron, they may show these signs of:
- Slow weight gain.
- Pale skin.
- No appetite.
- Irritability (cranky, fussy).
Babies with an iron deficiency may be less physically active and may develop more slowly.
Your baby’s first foods should be smooth purees with no lumps. Our 4 month+ range is perfect for this.
In a few months when your baby accepts food from a spoon more easily, you can move on to our 8 month+ range. These are textured meals that are a bit thicker. It is okay to have soft lumps, this will allow your baby to become more familiar with solid food.
We have 3 main food groups to choose from
Vegetables: give your baby any of our purées including pumpkin, sweet potato, carrot, broccoli, cauliflower etc. Then introduce your baby when ready to the 8 month+ range for even more nutrition.
Fruit: Pureed apples, pears, and mangos when in season. Due to the seasonal nature of organic fruit some of our pods may be out of stock.
Lentil & Legumes: Purée lentil mixed with any of our other sweeter flavours adds extra protein and is tasty, smooth and nutritionally dense. Lentils are made up of more than 25% protein, which makes them an excellent meat alternative. They’re also a great source of iron, a mineral that is sometimes lacking in vegetarian diets.
Though different types of lentils may vary slightly in their nutrient content lentils generally provide the following Carbs, Protein, Fibre, Thiamine, Niacin, Vitamin B6, Folate, Pantothenic acid, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium, Zinc, Copper and Manganese
Try our Red Kidney Bean & Vegetable 8 month+ textured meal pods when the time is right. Kidney beans are rich in various vitamins and minerals, including
- Molybdenum. A trace element mainly found in seeds, grains, and legumes.
- Folate. Also known as folic acid or vitamin B9, folate is considered particularly important during pregnancy.
- Iron. This essential mineral has many important functions in your body. Iron may be poorly absorbed from beans due to their phytate content.
- Copper. This antioxidant trace element is often low in the Western diet. Aside from beans, one of the best dietary sources of copper are nuts.
- Manganese. This compound is present in most foods, especially in whole grains, legumes, fruits, and vegetables.
- Potassium. This essential nutrient may have beneficial effects on heart health.
- Vitamin K1. Also known as phylloquinone, vitamin K1 is important for blood coagulation.
How much to feed your baby?
A babies appetite can vary even from day to day. Babies will all grow at different rates at different times.
Start feeding your baby solids once a day, building to 2 or 3 times a day.
Take your cue from your baby. A healthy baby will turn away or lose interest when their belly is full or they have had enough.