I can remember when Eli was around four months old, feeling SO excited for him to try food. I don’t think I’m alone in feeling that way either, because more and more I see babies under six months (the recommended age for starting solids) chowing down – and you know they didn’t request a spoonful of puree.
I did a lot of research and experimenting when it comes to food, and found out that the reason that it’s recommended not to start your baby on solids earlier than six months, is because their digestive systems aren’t yet prepared to handle it. And if you’ve ever spent time with a baby who has a tummy ache… Well, it really sucks and it’s awful. That being said, every baby is different and as the Mommy in Command, it’s absolutely your choice and your business what you decide to feed your baby and how.
This post is just to give you a glimpse at how I’m treating food for Eli, in the hopes of raising a healthy kiddo and a diverse eater.
I am NOT a fan of rice cereal. As early as three months, people were telling me to stuff Eli with it in order to get him to sleep through the night. It didn’t make sense to me. If his body couldn’t handle it, and his tummy was clearly already in distress, why would I do that? There are several other reasons why I won’t give him rice cereal even now.
- It’s highly processed. Just look at it! Rice doesn’t look like that.
- It’s got no natural fiber. They add it in chemically, but it’s already been stripped of all of its natural nutritional value.
- It’s very binding – meaning it will totally constipate your baby. Again, NO fun.
If you want to feed grains as a first food, I would recommend trying out Quinoa flakes. They cook up in seconds, really, and you can flavor them with a little cinnamon and applesauce to make a delicious porridge. Because they are flakes, the texture is pretty smooth, but if you’re feeding a new eater, you could even puree it further.
He would taste it, but he wasn’t really into it, and certainly wouldn’t eat more than a spoonful.
Eli was really into his milk and my boobies, of course.
We tried fruit.
And some Sprout pre-made food. The fruits, sweet potatoes, and cereal + fruit mixes are delicious. I beg you not to try the Chicken with Creamy Vegetables. Eli almost called Child protective services.
He still loved his milk best though.
So I didn’t push it. Maybe once a day I’d offer him something to eat. He’d take it or not. Then he’d have a bottle or a boob.
I think it was around 8.5 – 9 months that his interest was really piqued. He started noticing US eating and wanting it. And since Hubs and I are eating clean, we were happy to give him tastes.
He’s almost 11 months now (OMG HOW) and he eats about 2-3 meals a day, washing down with a smaller portion of milk. Some examples of what he eats:
- 1 egg scrambled with sweet potato bits and chopped spinach
- Slow cooker chicken shredded with sweet potato and green beans
- Green smoothies
- Any fruit, cut into small chunks
- Sweet potato mixed with coconut milk or chicken gravy (homemade)
And truly, whatever we are eating, he’ll want some. He loves things that are seasoned well and he loves hot sauce in his food. Makes sense considering who his parents are!
The only things that I won’t feed him are:
- Refined sugars
- Wheat products
- Processed food products
I realize that one day Eli is probably going to eat a Twinkie (Ugh) or even drink a soda, but for now, while I have the reins, I can’t see one good reason why he should have any exposure to that stuff. Especially at such a young age. Truly, the last thing I want is a toddler hopped up on sugar. He’s enough of a handful as it is!
It’s also been a heck of a lot easier, just sort of mashing up a small portion of whatever I’m making for dinner to give him. I cook up a big batch of sweet potatoes that I keep in the fridge, and we both eat those during the week. I also try to have a few cans of chicken gravy around because he loves that in everything. It’s got a lot of great nutrients from a whole chicken being slow-cooked in a vegetable broth, plus garlic, leeks, and rosemary.
One thing that I do buy though are these:
They are basically small pieces of dehydrated fruit. They are tasty and he loves them. Perfect for car rides.
I hope this post was helpful! As always, I’m more than happy to answer any questions here on the blog or on the FB page!