4 Easy Steps for Introducing Solid Foods To Your Baby

By GRANNY POTTS

The conversation at my local playgroup, whereI attend with my baby granddaughter, got round to weaning. The problems with weaning, when to start, what to give, how often and how much. It would seem that we mothers all struggle with weaning despite the amount of literature out there and the availability of on-line material.

Professional wisdom changes. The latest I heard was from Professor Gideon Lack, The Times report 24th February 2015 that babies over a year in age who are given peanuts puree were less likely to develop nut allergies. I came across a study reported by the BBCRadio 4 "Inside Out" program,  from a Professor of Paediatric Dentistry,  Monty Duggal of Leeds University U.K. who states that a condition called Molar Incisor Hypomineralisation (MIH) is caused by prolonged - over six months -  exclusive breastfeeding where there is insufficient Vitamin D to help with the formation of molar teeth atbirth. This leads to serious tooth decay and major discomfort that could be avoided and yet is on the increase.

 I am happy to say my gorgeous granddaughter, Louise, is a happy healthy toddler of 16 months who relishes her meal time and with great gusto, grabbing her food in both hands while her spoon flies across the room as it is not an effectively fast enough implement with which to assuage her appetite. "Do you ever feed this child", I frequently say to her mum in jest. Her teeth are just fine.

How did we start? Well Louise could sit up a little and could pick up objects using her finger and thumb - the pincer movement. She was wakening two or even three times through the night for a breastfeed and had a reflux problem - positing after feeds and generally seemed to cry a lot.

1. Baby Rice

At four months we mixed a little baby rice with breast milk and gave it from a spoon - three teaspoons in amount. We did this at lunch time so if there were any adverse repercussions she had the rest of the day to show us. This wasn't an easy task. It was more of an exercise in shoveling goo as fast as she spate it out as she gave us a look that said, "I thought you were to suppose to love me". We did this for two days then my daughter, realizing that her breastfeeding days would soon come to an end, said she didn't want to wean anymore so we give up weaning for the time being. Psychologically it is a big thing to give up breastfeeding!

2. Apple Puree 

A couple of weeks later we tried again. This time we purchased a high chair and had another go. We made some apple puree and added a teaspoon of that to commercially produced vitamin enriched baby rice mixed with breast milk and tried again. We gave three teaspoons. Louse enjoyed it and looked round for more so we gave another spoonful. She then had her normal feeds for the rest of the day. We carried on for a week with the rice and apple puree.

3. Carrots and Other Fruit and Vegetables

Carrots were the next choice. Apple was the key so we made a puree of boiled carrot with apple. Louse loved it. We gave this at lunch time. Breakfast time we gave baby rice mixed with breast milk. Breastfeeding continued the rest of the time. Week three we tried parsnip puree with pears on alternate days to apple. She didn't relish this as much but we kept shoveling it back as fast as she spat it out. Week four she was having a breakfast lunch and dinner of a variety of puree made from dessert apple, carrots, parsnips, pears, butternut squash, pumpkin, sweet potato, and baby rice. We added a little frozen peas and other green vegetable with apple to help counter balance the bitter taste. Cauliflower and apple went well as did peas and courgette. We used organic vegetable as much as we could. Banana and papaya we gave blended and uncooked.

4. Foods to Avoid

Foods to avoid. Following professional recommendations we did not give egg meat or fish or dairy products of cheese milk until she was six months old. Her protein intake came from her breast milk. We did not give processed meats such as sausage or bacon because of the high salt content nor did we give oats or wheat since her mother is a Celiac. Strawberries and tomatoes and nut puree we also did not give because of the risk of allergy. Oranges and other citrus fruits we also did not give.

How to do it

Making her meals couldn't be easier. A little pot with a lid then add the fruit and vegetable with a little water and boil. Vitamins C and B complex are destroyed in heat and dissolve in water so it is important to cook as quickly as possible and use up the water that is used for boiling. No salt or sugar was added. The contents of the pot was blended to make a puree. The puree can be kept in the fridge for a day or the freezer for a month. Reheat rapidly until piping hot then cool rapidly to tepid before giving to the baby. Only reheat once.  We bought a set of good quality plastic pots for freezer storage and baby dishes and soft plastic spoons. These all were sterilized in the dishwasher before use.

There are plenty of commercially produced baby foods out there to keep in for working mum or mums on the go and it is always good to have some in just in case. Doing your own is satisfying so go one have a go. It's easier than you think.   

Granny Potts signing off until next time.

About Granny Potts

She is a mother of three and grandmother of two from England, and lives there with her husband. A former midwife, nurse and teacher now retired. She successfully breastfed all her children who are now in turn successful mothers and citizens and for which she feels very blessed.