If you’re a parent, you know that starting solids can be quite the journey. Turns out it can be very difficult to teach a little human how to eat!
If you’re struggling to understand when you should start your baby on solids or how to get your baby to even eat solids, you are most definitely not alone. Little Spoon was created to help make keeping your kid healthy the easiest part of your day. So it’s safe to say we get all the questions when it comes to starting solids here at Little Spoon. We pulled together some of the most frequently asked questions to help you navigate this life stage.
When should I start my baby on solids?
Most parents start their little ones on solids between 4 and 6 months but there are a few signs to look out for to show if your babe is ready:
- If they are sitting up independently
- Show interest in what people around them are eating
- Have lost their tongue thrust reflex (ever notice babies stick their tongue out a lot?!)
All the above are signs it could be a good time to chat with your pediatrician about introducing solids. Not noticing those signs? Chat with your ped on the plan that makes the most sense for your babe.
What types of food should I start with?
Although rice-based products like cereal are popular as first bites for babies, we’d recommend skipping this step. It has been found that many of these products have high levels of heavy metals (like organic and inorganic arsenic) and you can jump right into whole foods when your LO is ready. If you do choose to go cereal route, look for grains like oats, buckwheat or quinoa instead of rice.
Exposing your baby to a varied array of fresh, healthy foods helps set them up for a lifetime of health and even allows them to develop their palate to lean towards healthier, more adventurous choices down the line. That’s why we’d recommend starting with fresh blends of produce, like Little Spoon’s pureed organic Babyblends. Little Spoon offers many single-ingredient, smooth Babyblends such as Pear, Zucchini, and Butternut Squash, that are perfect for first bites.
What if my babe refuses to eat solids?
It can take up to 15 times for a baby to try a new flavor before learning to accept it. Yep, you read that right. 15 SEPARATE occasions (not 5 minutes later) to truly decide if your kid has rejected an ingredient. Remember that all of this is completely new to your little one, so it’s totally normal for them to adjust to being introduced to a whole new world of tastes and textures.
If you are noticing rejection, there are a few tactics to try out:
- Mix that ingredient with a familiar food
- Try revisiting it in smaller portions and with an ingredient you know they love
- Consider adding breastmilk or formula if your babe is brand new to purees for a familiar flavor
- Don’t give up!
Believe us, we know it can be frustrating, but through repeat exposure, small samplings and keeping yourself in a more experimental head space can help do the trick.
Should I feed my baby or try to encourage her to feed herself?
It gets messy, but giving your baby the reins by putting food in front of them or handing them the spoon can help establish strong motor skills and independence. We include a Spoon in our Babyblends to help promote independent eating, even on the go.
When can I start feeding my baby food with spices?
The first 18 months of life is known as the “flavor window” where you can 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. Literally ANYTHING but honey is fair game in this time, so get creative!
Little Spoon carefully designs all their Babyblends in collaboration with pediatricians, nutritionists and food experts to ensure their meals are well-balanced, nutritionally optimized and of course, delicious for your little one! Little Spoon blends like Strawberry Basil Beet Pear Chia, Carrot Apple Ginger, and Pea Pear Mint are perfect ways to incorporate these new flavors into your baby’s diet to ensure that they become adept to a wide array of new flavors.
When should I start introducing new textures to my baby?
Every baby takes their solids journey at their own pace. We believe that you should begin to incorporate slightly more textured foods, like Little Spoon’s Kale White Bean Pear Basil Quinoa Avocado Babyblend, once your babe seems to feel comfortable and confident eating smoother blends (typically around 8 months). Of course, they might not take to this new texture at first (another fun phase of 15x times to try) and that’s why repeat exposure is so important. Remember that everything takes time, so stay resilient and listen to your instincts because, at the end of the day, you know your baby best!