Mum feeding baby

Tips for getting started on solid foods

Sneakys

Some tips before starting out

  • Remember that all babies are different. They eat different amounts, have different taste and texture preferences, and progress at different rates.
  • When starting out, offer breast milk or formula first so bub gets all his or her nutrients each day.
  • Avoid upset tummies by not pushing bub to eat too much initially. He or she will quickly learn to show you they are ready for more.
  • Introduce new foods only once every 3?5 days and always check for reactions.
  • The top foods for allergic reaction include egg, milk, seafood, nuts, soy and wheat (not in any order).
  • Make your purees for storage thicker than you need so you can thin them down and warm them up after being refrigerated with boiling water, breast milk or formula.
  • When preparing purees for bub to eat straight away, don’t make them too thick; they should be soupy to start with until your little one is drinking water. This can help to reduce the likelihood of constipation.
  • In the early days, use ice-cube trays to store cooked pureed vegetables. They are a handy size, just pop out, and are easy to thaw. Ensure they are covered and name and date the pack. Some kitchen storage companies make sealed ice-cube containers which can be very useful.
  • Cook up to three or four vegies (in separate pots) and puree or mash them. Using 250 ml air-tight containers, fill only a third of the container, label, date and freeze. You can take out three at a time to make mixed vegies. This gives you the freedom to make different mixes as often as you choose and helps to ensure a varied diet.
  • It is always handy to have some ice-cubes of clean boiled water in the freezer. If the pureed food is too hot, just pop in an ice-cube to cool and thin it down ready for use.
  • Chop woodier vegies like parsnips into smaller pieces to cook faster and make pureeing or mashing easier.
  • Buy bibs of different colours. Why? Well, use a bib the same colour as the food you are serving to bub, for example a red bib for beetroot days, a green one for pea days and so on.

Keep in mind that:

  • When baby starts teething, this may affect their appetite so don’t be put off if he or she seems to have lost interest at this point. It is likely to just be temporary.
  • It can take up to 10 or more exposures for a baby to take to something new, perseverance is important! Don’t confuse rejection with permanent dislike.
  • Avoid imposing adult meal and food preferences onto your baby; they don’t need specific “breakfast-type” foods such as sweet foods. There is plenty of time for that beyond 12 months.
  • When bub starts to become mobile they sometimes temporarily lose interest in food as this new-found movement is more interesting to them. They will be fine and it will pass.

This information has been provided by Leanne Cooper from Sneakys baby and child nutrition. Leanne is a qualified nutritionist and mother of two very active boys.