The Wee One has been eating pureed baby food on and off for about a month and a half now. We started purees after he turned 5 months and waited until he was six months before trying real chunks of food (of which we’ve had zero success so far) also known as Baby Led Weaning. The two prerequisites for Baby Led Weaning are that the child be six months old and able to sit up unassisted. Check and check!
I debated for a while about which route we should take when it came to starting The Wee One on real food but in the end I decided to not make a decision at all. We could do both! For purees, we started with vegetables, squash, green beans, peas, carrots, and sweet potatoes specifically. The only one met with any resistance were the peas. He puked them up but I maintain it was mostly due to eating too fast, because he had some more the next evening. Recently, we’ve added fruit (pears and peaches) too.
The Wee One also eats oatmeal mixed with breast milk, usually in the morning. We chose to go with oatmeal cereal instead of rice cereal because it seemed to have more nutritional value (iron AND protein) even though the pediatrician suggested starting with rice cereal. As for BLW we’ve only tried banana and avocado and both times he just squished them between his fingers and smeared them across his tray, happily I might add!
The Wee One is a funny eater. The first bite of anything makes his little face look scrunch up and he looks a bit pained.
After that he seems to get used to the texture and taste. In between bites he gets excited about eating more and he waves his arms up and down while grunting. As someone who doesn’t like to get dirty, it’s important to me that we encourage him to explore food without worrying about keeping super clean! And what kid isn’t adorable with food all over the little face?
The recommendation is that you wait three days in between trying new foods to watch for allergies, but we started even slower, mostly because he didn’t seem interested in more than a few spoonfuls! Now that he’s “passed” a bunch of different things I’ve been putting him in his high chair for two or three meals a day. What works for us is oatmeal at breakfast, fruit at lunch, and a veggie for dinner. At the moment The Wee One is battling a cold (poor thing!) so he’s not eating much besides breast milk but I hope to start adding more purees and solids to his diet soon.
Honestly, our approach to food has been somewhat lazy and haphazard and I’m really happy with it. I don’t feel the need to stock up on tons of puree options, we are just buying little amounts as we go and saving money in the process. I don’t have a sense of urgency when it comes to feeding him solids because I know he has so much time to eat big people food and our relationship with breastfeeding is so positive these days, why rock the boat? I know he can’t stay my baby forever but since he’s supposed to be on a liquid diet up until one year I feel at peace with our speed.
Just like every hot topic for mothers, there is a divide when it comes to solids and babies as well. Is “food before one is just for fun” really true? Are breast milk and formula enough or do kids need to be getting calories from solid food as well? It’s exhausting trying to keep up with everything. I say, who cares? There is no right or wrong way to introduce food to your child. That said I do feel pressure (from myself) to make more well-balanced and nutritious meals at dinnertime so we always have a healthy (and soft) choice for The Wee One to eat with us. It takes more planning but it is doable.
I feel very fortunate to have a healthy baby with the most adorable leg rolls in the world. He’s definitely not going hungry! And as he shows more and more interest in food, we will be happy to let him explore them. For now, we are slowly trying things out. This is not a race to win, it’s just another new adventure.