How Do You Know If Your Baby Is Ready For Solid Foods and What to Start With

How Do You Know If Your Baby Is Ready For Solid Foods and What to Start With

Introducing solid foods to your growing baby’s diet is a huge milestone for both you as a parent, and your child. Up until now, meal preparation and consideration has been fairly straightforward. The options were limited to breastmilk or formula. 

Now, the idea of introducing solid foods to your baby’s diet can be a daunting task because of conflicting information and the fear of developing severe food reactions or allergies. 

Being armed with solid information on how to best introduce solids to your baby’s diet will alleviate some of the worry and concern and will hopefully allow the transition to be smooth and rewarding.

How Do You Know If Your Baby Is Ready For Solid Foods?

There are several milestone markers that you will start to notice that indicate that your baby is ready to start introducing solid foods in their diet.

Most often these milestones begin to present themselves when the child is around six months of age, however every child will be slightly different.

It is crucially important that your baby can hold his/her own head up and can sit upright in a highchair before ever considering the option of solid foods. 

They will also need to have developed the ability to move their tongue in a way that would allow them to move the food to the back of their mouth and swallow. 

Finally, you may have noticed that your baby takes interest in what you are eating and reaches out to touch or smell your food.

Once you feel that your baby has reached all of these milestones, it is time to think about what solid food to feed your child first.

My Doctor Is Recommending That I Start My Baby Off With Rice Cereal (Pablum). Is That Really The Best Option?

Let’s think for a moment about the most vitamin and nutrient dense food groups.

Do processed grains come to mind? No, of course they don’t.
So then what food group should we be looking to? Fruits and vegetables, of course!

One of the simplest and most nutrient dense options to introduce as a first food is avocado. It requires no preparation whatsoever. Just cut it open, remove the pit, mash up the flesh (much like you would mash a banana) and serve. It can also be easily mixed with a bit of breast milk or formula to change the consistency and make it easier for your baby to consume.

Solid Food Quick Tips

  • Introduce one food at a time with a couple of days in between foods to watch for potential food reactions and to allow your baby’s palette to develop.
  • Hold off on introducing sweet fruits and vegetables until your baby has developed a palette for the more bland fruits and vegetables.
  • Keep a food diary for the first month to record likes, dislikes, reactions, etc so you have a record to look back on.
  • Be patient. This is a learning curve for both you and your baby. If your baby loses interest don’t force the issue. Maintain your regular breastfeeding/formula schedule and slowly introduce solid foods as a supplement to their diet.
  • Take the stress out of meal times. The attitude you have during feeding times will stick with your baby for life, so maintain a positive approach and don’t get frustrated.

Favourite Healthy Recipes Volume 1

I love experimenting with new recipes, finding ideas and changing them to make them my own, and experiencing new flavours and palettes that are exciting and delicious.

healthy eating

The most important things to think about when you are preparing are:

  • Will this meal provide me with a broad range of vitamins, nutrients and minerals?
  • Am I eating a wide variety of colours?

It’s hard to eat a lot of colours if you have only meat and potatoes on your plate.  So this is why eating fruit and vegetables is essential to reaching all of your daily nutrient requirements.

Here are a few of my most favourite recipes that have been in my family’s meal rotation lately.

Breakfast

Breakfast is your first opportunity of the day to start consuming as many nutrients as you can, to jump start your day.  Ideally, the very first thing you should do to start your day is moving out the toxins that have accumulated overnight.  So try and drink a tall glass of water with lemon.  Then, enjoy this smoothie at least 20 minutes later.

Funky Monkey Smoothie

  • 1 frozen banana
  • 10 large frozen strawberries
  • 1 large handful of spinach
  • 1 tbsp peanut butter
  • 2-3 cups almond milk
  • 1 tbsp hemp seeds
  • 1 tbsp cocoa

Add all ingredients to a high speed blender.  Cover with almond milk, and blend until smooth.  Your children will love this smoothie and won’t even notice the greens hiding inside!  Love smoothies for breakfast??  Click here for our Breakfast On The Go – Mixed Berry Smoothie recipe.

Lunch

Lunch is best if it’s an easy salad or something that is pretty mobile.  I mean, who knows where life will take you by lunch time!!  So pack something that is easy to throw together and enjoy on the run.

Mango Salad

  • 1 ripe mango, diced
  • 1/2 head of romaine lettuce, washed and torn
  • 1/2 sweet onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced1 roma tomato, diced
  • 1/4 cup raw sunflower seeds

Combine lettuce, vegetables and sunflower seeds.  Dice mango, being careful to save the juices.  Add the mango and juice from the mango to the salad and toss.  To learn more about why you should include mango’s in your diet click here for 10 Health Benefits of Mango’s.

Dinner

This is a great dinner option that you can enjoy at your home.  It replaces the empty nutrients in white or whole grain pasta with spaghetti squash!  Feel free to tweak the recipe with whatever vegetables you have on hand.  This recipe is also great as a left-over lunch option.

Spaghetti Squash Spaghetti

  • 1 spaghetti squash
  • 1 pound grass fed ground beef
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 8 oz mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 zucchini, chopped
  • 1 jar tomato sauce (check label for no added sugar) or use your favourite homemade spaghetti sauce recipe

Cut squash in half, scoop out seeds and place on a baking sheet face down.  Bake squash at 350 F until spaghetti-like consistency.  Scoop the flesh out of the skin with a fork.  Cook ground beef in a skillet until no longer pink.  Add garlic, green peppers, onion, zucchini and mushrooms and sauté until vegetables are tender.  Add tomato sauce and heat through. Cover spaghetti squash with sauce and enjoy!