I get ask a lot what “kinds” of baby food I give Little Miss or how she is “liking her rice cereal” and when I say that I don’t give her any I get horrified looks commonly followed by: “But she’s six months old she NEEDS solids”.
My first desire is to shout “So what she is six months who cares?” and “She doesn’t NEED anything but Mummy milk”. I resist though and normally just smile and try to explain.
Because a child’s stomach lining doesn’t complete forming until six months of age solids shouldn’t be started before six months, it can lead to allergies, gas and stomach acid trouble leading to a very cranky little one, but that doesn’t mean it has to be started right at six months either.
Food before a year is for play, for taste, for experimentation not for absolute need so why would I force my child to eat solids when they may not be ready just because they are six months old?
Wait for them to be ready and wait for you to be ready. I can’t stress that enough.
Babies will show you when they are ready. The tongue thrust disappears, they sit up on their own, and the big one – they have a desire for food. They not only grab it but when they have it they are able to keep it down, no gagging or choking.
But what do I feed them?
The common go to items pushed by society are:
Rice cereal has no nutritional value, is high in sugar, and can lead to tummy discomfort. It is empty filler calories. Canned baby food is canned baby food. I don’t know where it came from, what is in it and most of all it is expensive.
Baby Food Doesn’t Have to Be Expensive!
And it can and should be healthy.
There is no reason a baby can’t eat what we eat. Not only does it cost so much less but you have the peace of mind of knowing what exactly you are feeding your little one.
For example, buy an Avocado at the store – cut it into chunks or mash up with a fork if you like and let your baby have at it. Then have the rest of the Avocado with whatever you are having for lunch or dinner.
Little Miss is starting to get an interest in food but isn’t quite ready yet, she still gags a bit. I do let her try certain things when she shows an interest and she chews on bread heels a lot she loves that, feels good on her teeth that are coming in.
Yesterday I let her try a couple bites of my sweet potatoes. She didn’t end up really wanting the food, in fact she gagged on it a little bit, that told me that while she enjoys to see what I am eating she isn’t quite ready for it yet. What she is ready for however is her new favorite toy. The Spoon.
When we eat dinner LM sits with us and I try to give her a spoon or something hard she can chew on. Watching us eat builds her interest in food and is great family time. Whenever she is ready for solid foods it will be an easy transition to just start putting them on her tray or in front of her if she is on the lap.
Integrating solids doesn’t have to be a huge expensive thing and it doesn’t have to start at 6 months.
Was your child ready for solids at 6 months? If not when were they ready? What were their favorite foods?