Step 1: Get the OK from your pediatrician.
When we went in for our 4 month check-up, we were given the ok to start with solid foods. The main nutrition would still be milk, but this would just be for fun (“Solids before 1, it’s just for fun”) and to teach them how to use their tongue to eat differently.
Step 2: Get the high chair, spoons, baby wipes, bibs, and simple (one ingredient) foods.
So where do we start? I knew we wanted to eventually make our own solid food, but I didn’t want to go through the trouble until we were a little more comfortable, so we went and bought some different pre-made organic baby food (bananas, sweet peas, and sweet potatoes).
Step 3: Take pictures and video.
We documented their first feeding of bananas in this post. Overall, it was a success!
Step 4: Continue with introducing 1 food for 3 days before moving on to another food. Once you have a good base, you can introduce a new food by mixing it with a previously-tried food.
From there, we followed the guideline of feeding a food for three days to check for allergies. Once the babies hit about 6 months, we stopped this, and introduced a new food each day. We made sure to still introduce the food in the morning feeding, just in case there was a reaction. As you will see in the list below, once we knew there wasn’t an allergy to a certain type of food, we would introduce a new food with it mixed with an old food. This is also a great way to “trick” your baby into eating something they may not necessarily like (ex: peas): mix it with a favorite!
Here are the foods we tried in order (a mixture of pre-made and homemade):
- sweet potato
- sweet peas
- oatmeal (watery, medium, and thick)
- carrots and apple
- rice cereal
- apples and apricots
- peas and sweet potatoes
- pumpkin and banana
- broccoli and apples
- spinach, peas, and pears
- avocado and apples
- apples and blueberries
- sweet potatoes, squash, and rice cereal
- mango and oatmeal
- carrots, sweet potatoes, avocado, apples (with and without rice)
- blueberries, apples, bananas (with and without rice)
- green beans
- green beans and apple
Step 5: Make your own simple food.
Once I felt comfortable with feeding solids, I started “making” my own food. I started by just mashing up banana and mixing it with milk. I then moved on to mashing avocado. My next food was steaming and then mashing carrots. From there, I realized that I could save some time by buying organic applesauce and canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling but actual organic pumpkin). I made a list of the foods that I wanted to try to make (or mix):
- sweet potato
- green peas
- green beans
Step 6: Get creative with recipes.
Once I started actually cooking and mixing food, I started having fun. I would set aside some time when Tim would play with the babies, and I would make a bunch of food for the week (and beyond). I can’t tell you how much money this saves in the long run, even if you are buying disposable food pouches.
Want some of my recipes? They are simple, but favorites of the twins:
- carrots: steam and chop in a manual chopper or food processor with some water or milk (breast or formula)
- banana (chunky): wait until very ripe and then smush with a fork and feed by itself or with milk (breast or formula)
- banana (puree): wait until very ripe and then mix in a blender and feed by itself or with milk (breast or formula)
- oatmeal or rice: mix oatmeal or rice powder with breast milk or formula to the desired consistency
- green beans, peas, carrots, sweet potatoes, pumpkin: steam the vegetables and blend with pumpkin puree (from a can)
- blueberry, apple, banana: blend the whole blueberries and bananas in a blender, mixing with applesauce
- avocado: cut out the pit and scoop out the meat from the skin. Blend in a blender with applesauce or by itself
So what have I learned during our adventures in solid food?
- The types of favorite food all depends on the day. Some days the twins will love one food, only to think it gross and spit it out the next.
- Sometimes they need to be “tricked” into liking something with a “Mmm! Yummy” from us.
- They love sweeter fruits and are learning to tolerate more lumpy foods. We keep working on this, but we can ease them into a new (unfavorite) food by mixing it with a favorite like apple or banana.
- Although sometimes there isn’t a difference, we buy organic food for them, whether it is pre-made or for us to make. I feel better doing that, so we do it. Again, there isn’t always a difference, but if I want to do it, why not?
- Blowing raspberries is adorable, but very messy.
- A shut mouth means “Don’t you dare bring that to me or I will blow raspberries all over you.”
- Keep track of the food and mixtures that you are feeding your children (and their reactions to them). It will help you remember what you have tried and what you haven’t.
- Buy your rubber-tipped baby spoons used. They will already have teeth marks (so it doesn’t hurt to mar a new spoon when your babies add to them) and are SO MUCH CHEAPER than buying them new.
- Have baby wipes on hand.
- Use an absorbent bib. Those rubbery ones are easy to clean but make everything much messier in the long run.
- Have fun and be willing to experiment! Just stay away from raw apples, pears, and honey. If your child breastfeeds, they already taste all kinds of flavors. Don’t be afraid to be creative with broccoli and apple or avocado and pear.