Essential Guide to Introducing Solids - Stage 2

By GRANNY POTTS

Well, you have probably got your baby to three spoon-feeds a day by now and it is time to introduce some protein foods. Your baby should guide you but if at first he spits out your tender offerings you should persevere and shove it back. The idea is to give him a variety of foodstuffs aiming  to give him a well balanced diet.

I once heard of a little boy at a behavior therapy session that refused to eat anything other than chocolate milk and salty crackers. Any other foods caused him to gag and vomit while he held his breath going blue until his mother relented and gave him what he wanted. At 7 months your baby hasn't learned any of these tricks so now is the time to introduce a variety of tastes taking into account his developing digestive system.

Weaning it is, but it is recommended that babies should drink breast or formula milk until they are one year old other than that they should drink cooled boiled water from a feeding cup. Best avoided sugary drinks. Diluted fresh orange juice one part juice to 10 parts water for babies over 9 months offered once a day can help with the absorption of iron as recommended by Christine Bailey, the notable Nutritional Therapist.

Here are some recipes that I have used with my little granddaughter, Louise who is now 16 months. It all depends on where you live whether you have the variety of vegetables and food stuffs available. We don't, in England, have the wonderful array of vegetables you have in the US. I found I could get Louise to eat bitter vegetables such as broccoli if I mixed it with sweet potato and other sweet vegetables such as peas, butternut squash, apples and pears. 

My granddaughter can arrive at my home for me to care for at any time so I know I need to have a stock of foods in ready at a moment's notice to be able to prepare a meal for her. I keep in small tins of sardines in sunflower oil and tuna fish in spring water in order to make fish cakes. I make a blend of mash potato mixed with milk. I add a little chopped parsley into the mix. Rolled into small balls and offered with cooked frozen peas. What can I say - she stuffs them into her mouth while I negotiate spoons full. If I know she is coming, I get the best fresh fish from our fish delivery man, boned and skinned for me.

Everyone knows that we Brits love our Fish and Chips. To make the chips (fries) I cut the potatoes and boil them first before frying in a little olive oil, which is so much healthier then deep fat frying, so I am happy now to give Louise some of these chips minus the normal salt and vinegar that we would eat. They go well with flakes of baked or broiled fish that we may be having for an evening meal.

I always have a supply of ground beef in the freezer as it is so versatile for making rissoles, shepherds pie and a basis for pasta sauce. A quick defrost in the microwave and its it ready for use. Meat balls are one of Louse's favorites. I boil up some finely chopped onion. To the minced beef I add a raw egg and a couple of slices of chopped up bread minus the crusts and mix it all up with the cooked drained onion. I then create little balls using flour to stop them sticking. These are fried in a little vegetable oil. I make a sauce out of blended canned tomatoes to which I add water and basil and a whole garlic clove which I remove before serving. I add the balls to the sauce and slow boil it up for about 20 minute while I cook the pasta. We too can eat this but it is a little bland for our taste so we add salt and pepper and mature cheese. Any left-over food can be stored in the freezer for up to a month.

The summer time makes it easier as we have a variety of berries growing in our garden which I can mix with baby rice to make a pudding. Frozen fruits and vegetables are just as good with which to make a puree and add to rice or fromage frais to spread on toast to make finger food.

I always have a variety of frozen pots of stews of meats with vegetable also containing the ubiquitous apple and stewed lentils. Louise's mum is celiac so I always offer Louise gluten free products just to be on the safe side. Having said that she helped herself to a cookie at our toddler group which wasn't gluten free and has not come to any harm so she may well be OK. You have to be quick off the mark when running after a 16 months year old!

I avoid commercially produced sauces in bottles and cans since I heard that these often have enzymes, to help them pour out easily, which are known allergens.  Hopefully these should not be in baby foods but since it is not by law, required to be displayed on the packaging of such added enzymes, as consumers  can we honestly be sure?

Well that's our weaning story. What is yours? Happy weaning.

Granny Potts signing off.

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.