Here at Is This Normal, we get tons and tons of questions about (you guessed it!)…starting solids. “When should I start?” “How much should I feed my baby at a time?” “Should we use a spoon or let them use their hands?” and the list goes on and on. Not to toot our own horn, but this topic is kind of our forte. So, we decided to put together some dos and don’ts about starting solids.
Look out for a few tell-tale signs that your little is ready for solids.
It’s super important that your babe is able to sit up on their own and shows signs of good neck strength before they can begin starting solids. They should also be showing interest in your food, reaching for the food that you are eating, or salivating at the mouth. When your mini is ready to try solids, it’s best to start with single ingredients blends like Little Spoon’s Prunes or Zucchini.
Try to foster independence.
Put the food in front of your baby and give them the spoon or let them eat with their hands. Letting your mini try to feed themself enables them to stop when they feel full and helps introduce them to mealtime practices. Little Spoon’s Babyblends come with a spoon so you can promote independent eating, even on the go.
Incorporate spices into your baby’s meals.
The first 18 months of life is known as the “flavor window” where you should introduce your babe to a variety of flavors and textures to set them up for a lifetime of health. Spices like ginger, cinnamon, thyme, basil, mint, nutmeg, and turmeric are great additions to your mini’s mealtime. Little Spoon blends like Strawberry Basil Beet Pear Chia, Carrot Apple Ginger, and Pear Pear Mint are perfect ways to incorporate these flavors into your baby’s diet to ensure that they become adept to a wide array of new flavors.
Make mealtime fun.
If you seem stressed, your babe will pick up on it and begin to associate that energy with mealtime. This is such a unique and brief window of time with your mini, so try your best to make it a fun family activity. Sit down with them, giggle, and make mealtime as stress-free as possible.
P.S – Throw whatever your little is eating on your own plate. After all, how could we expect our babies to eat spinach if they never see us eat it?
Stop introducing foods that your baby has rejected a few times.
It can take up to 15 times for a babe to accept and enjoy a new flavor or ingredient so don’t be discouraged if your little one completely ignores the new food for the first few times that they see it. Repeat exposure is an essential way to diversify your mini’s palate so stay resilient, mama.
Sit your mini down when they seem to be in a good mood (not too hungry or too tired) and make sure that you aren’t forcing them to eat when they seem unhappy or uninterested. At one meal, your babe might eat nothing at all and at another they might eat way more than you expect and that is totally OK. If you feel like you need some sort of goal post, a few tablespoons at a time is a great place to start. However, it’s important to trust their internal satiety cues. Every baby is different in terms of appetite and development, so listen to your little.
Constantly wipe your baby clean.
As tempting as it may be to want to clean all the extra food off your little one, let your baby get messy and have fun with their food! Don’t be afraid to let them rub the food around, take their clothes off and play. Developing fun, healthy behaviors around food and familiarizing with texture and smell is the ultimate goal for the early stages of mealtime.
If your little one is gearing up to start solids, introducing them to Little Spoon’s single-ingredient blends like Mango or Butternut Squash is a great place to start before diving into more adventurous, spice-filled fan-favorites like Sweet Potato Apple Red Bell Pepper Turmeric. After all, Little Spoon was created alongside pediatricians and nutritionists with your baby’s health in mind. Happy Spooning!