4 Feeding Mistakes Parents Make When They Start Solids 

Starting solids doesn't have to be overwhelming. Dr. Krupa Playforth is sharing some common mistakes and how to avoid them.

Starting solids is an exciting phase of parenting, but it can also be overwhelming. Simply google “starting solids” and you will be hit with a firehose of confusing and often contradictory information.

Over the past decade, there have been incredible advances in research for how parents can introduce solids. Believe it or not, nutrition is only a part of it. There is great evidence to suggest that exposure to a range of textures and flavors (and even allergens) early during the starting solids journey is important for infants to develop their palates, practice oro-motor skills, and even to decrease the risk of food allergies down the line. 

I’m Dr. Krupa Playforth, a pediatrician and advisor for Little Spoon aiding in product innovation and helping educate YOU, the parenting community. Little Spoon is such an amazing resource for parents who are embarking on this overwhelming journey and want to feel confident feeding their babe. Together, we put together a few feeding mistakes parents often make as they start solids and some easy ways to avoid them.

Mistake #1: Focusing on the wrong nutrients.

Especially between 6-12 months, babies still get a lot of their nutrition from breast milk or formula. But there are certain nutrients that are important to focus on when you’re offering solids, and one of these is iron. Infants between 7-12 months of age need 11mg of iron daily, and ideally these should be offered alongside Vitamin C rich foods to enhance absorption.

Solution: Incorporating purees into your little one’s diet in addition to breast milk or formula helps ensure that you are filling any nutritional gaps. Many of the Little Spoon Babyblends are thoughtfully engineered to offer this nutrient combination, from the very early stages of Babyblends, such as the Kale Carrot Pear and Golden Beet + Broccoli to the later stages, such as the Tuscan Quinoa and White Bean Soup and Red Lentil + Chickpea Curry.

Mistake #2: Not embracing diversity in texture and flavor.

It’s easy to fall into a rut and offer the same standard food options, but doing so has a major opportunity cost. Offering a range of flavors and textures in the first months of complementary feeding allows your baby not only to work on expanding their palate, but also ensures they get a wide range of nutrients

Solution: Little Spoon’s Babyblends, Puffs, and Smoothies come in an array of flavors and textures, incorporating unusual (but still tasty) ingredients such as tahini, guava, chia, pitaya and sorghum– foods that would be challenging to source and prepare on your own. 

Mistake #3: Being reluctant to advance as your baby’s skills develop.

This is an understandable hesitation from some parents, who prefer to stick to early stage foods (purees) rather than advancing to lumpy/textured or finger foods. But it is important to do because it trains your baby to develop the oro-motor skills and the fine motor dexterity needed that form the foundation of achieving other skills as they move into toddlerhood.  The biggest concern from parents is often around choking and they are often worried that they would not prepare finger foods safely. 

Solution: There are two ways to manage this: make sure that any caregiver who is feeding your child has CPR training (even for purees!) and if you are nervous about preparing foods safely, choose finger foods that have been prepared with safety in mind. Little Spoon Puffs are meltable and graspable, and made with six clean ingredients to supplement mealtime and promote oral + fine motor skills, so they are a perfect choice for nervous parents. And Little Spoon Biteables are freshly made, balanced and protein packed transition meals that are already cut-to-size so that you can introduce finger foods safely. Our favorites are the veggie packed mini-white mac and cheese with carrots and peas.  

Mistake #4: Putting pressure on yourself– or your baby. 

Mealtimes should be fun and a time for bonding. These early meals set the foundation for how your family engages during mealtimes, and you want to create positive associations as much as possible. As a pediatrician, I see parents putting pressure on themselves to create elaborate meals and putting pressure on their babies to eat large volumes. Part of this comes from social media creating the impression that if a baby is not enthusiastically feeding themselves broccoli by the age of 8 months, something must be wrong.

Solution: Let me reassure you! There is a wide range of normal when it comes to learning how to eat solids. If you are concerned, please reach out to your pediatrician. But there is tremendous value in teaching your baby to honor their own fullness cues and supporting them in their journey, at their pace. 

I hope these tips help you make this transition more smooth– and more fun!


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