Dear Is This Normal,

My daughter just turned 5 months, and our pediatrician gave us the green light to start solids. We’re excited, but also nervous, because I have no idea where to start! Given the report on heavy metals, we’ve decided to skip grain cereals and go right to fruits and veggies. But there are so many to choose from, and it seems like everyone I talk to has a different opinion or advice! Can you help us narrow down the best foods to start our baby girl on? 

Signed,
First Foods Confused

Dear Confused,

I hear you, mama! There is TONS of info out there about starting solids – it can be super hard to parse what’s legit and what’s not. Especially since there really are no wrong answers! OK, let me take that back. There are definitely wrong answers, like don’t give your 5-month old a t-bone steak and let her go to town. But every family starts on the solids journey in a different way, and it’s really about finding the way that’s right for you and your little one. This can take some trial and error – you’d be surprised how many foods some parents try before finding one that their little will actually scarf down, which is totally normal. Since you’ve gotten the go-ahead from your doc, let’s break down some of the best first foods for your babe, to hopefully take some of the guesswork out of this process.

You mentioned you’ll be skipping grain cereals and going right to fruits and veg, which is great!  At 5 months old, there’s no reason your daughter can’t start with simple, smooth purees made from fresh, organic ingredients. But deciding on WHICH fruits and veggies to start with can be overwhelming. There are just so many, and all of them are tasty. To narrow it down, it might help to pick a fruit or two, a green veggie, a starchy veggie, and a fat. 

For purees, apples and pears are solid first solids (see what we did there), as are veggies like zucchini and butternut squash. When my girls were babies, I also added some prunes into their diet once a day, just to keep things moving. Constipation is really common when babies first start solids, and prunes just keep things moving right along. Plus they’re delicious. 

And listen, not to come off as braggadocious or anything, but I happen to know of a service that can check all those boxes for you (plus so many more 😉). Little Spoon offers single ingredient purees in four fruit and two veggie flavors: apple, pear, mango, prune, zucchini, and butternut squash. That’s your first six foods right there! They’re also organic, non-GMO, prepared fresh, and delivered right to your door every two weeks like clockwork…and made with a whole lotta love. A service like Little Spoon can really help take the stress and guesswork out of picking the right foods and then figuring out how to make them—with a team of pediatricians and nutritionists at the helm, you know that the foods you’re getting are just what your little one needs.

Now that we’ve covered purees, there are a couple of foods you can also throw into the rotation that you probably have both of these sitting in your kitchen right now! Avocado and banana are awesome first foods  when mashed; they’re nutritionally dense, easy to gum down and swallow, and easy to digest. Plus, the texture is a nice contrast to what you get in a fruit or veggie puree, and it’s important for babies to experience different textures and get used to the mouth-feel of different foods. But mom to mom – don’t freak out over the first post-banana poop. It’s going to look like little black worms, and it is NOT little black worms, but holy eff is that scary if you don’t know it’s coming. See also: post-beet and post-blueberry poop. You want to know these things, trust me.

My last bit of advice (not as important as the post-banana poop, but close): have patience. Parents can be so excited to start on solids, and when their kid doesn’t take to it right away, tend to get discouraged. Don’t! Don’t give up. Understand that it can take time for your babe to get into this whole solids thing. That is 100% normal, and you just have to keep trying. Her spitting out a food doesn’t mean she doesn’t like it; it just means she has no idea what you just put in her mouth and needs some time to process it. Try that food again. And again. I promise you, she’ll hit her groove. Before you know it, she’ll be eating a whole serving in one sitting and still begging for more spoon airplanes. Have fun with this, mama! 

Your First Foods Guru,
Is This Normal

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