• My youngest child has reached my absolute favorite stage. Starting solids. I don’t know why but I seriously get a kick out of watching their faces when babies try a new food or texture. I also love those little lip smacking sounds they make while they eat. I often wonder why it’s impolite to make such sweet sounds once you are the age of three or so, but I digress.

    There really isn’t much of a science to starting solids with your baby. First you wait for them to be ready. Signs of a hungry baby would be those who stare while you eat, practice chewing while you eat, grab for your food or utensils, or one who is just plain hungry. Once your baby shows one or all of these signs get the okay from your pediatrician then grab a highchair, (bibs and towels are helpful too!) and help your baby get his eat on! Don’t be surprised if those first few bites come right back at you, it takes time to figure out how to get things to go down and not out. Even if people around you make fun of you, make lots of funny noises while feeding your baby. Funny faces are a plus too, and make sure you give a good example of how to chew at the right times too.

    By the time you’ve introduced your baby to all of the fruits and vegetables you can think of, try offering them in combinations.

    There are plenty of opinions as to how to go about the first few meals. Everyone seems to agree on starting with rice cereal first. Then some go by colors, all the yellow food, to green, to orange et cetera. Yet others believe it doesn’t matter what you give them first. What we can all be sure of is that when you introduce a new food do it for an entire week. There are a few reasons for this. The first reason is that it takes a few tries before you can be sure your baby likes the food. The second, and far more important reason, is that if your child has an allergic reaction to the new food it’s easy to figure out which food caused the problem.

    As far as the actual food goes, you can either purchase your baby food from the supermarket, make it yourself, or a combination between the two. For my eldest I made all of her baby food. It was easy, cheap, and I felt good about what she was eating. My middle child however, I needed a bit of flexibility. I made a solid portion and always had a few jars on hand for on the go. By the time you’ve introduced your baby to all of the fruits and vegetables you can think of, try offering them in combinations. Carrots and corn together, or two different fruits together. Once they are older and ready for it you can start introducing meats and cheeses in small chunks. One thing I never could do were the meat dishes the stores sell, or “meals.” I never once bought the “turkey dinner” baby food for example. The thought of it sort of grossed me out. Instead I made sure that my kids got very small pieces of grilled chicken, or small chunks of cheese. Scrambled eggs and yogurt are also good sources of protein.

    The most important thing is to have fun feeding your baby, don’t be afraid to get a little messy, and make meals enjoyable for everyone. See Introducing Solids by Dr. Playdate for more tips.