11 Jun STRESS OVER SOLIDS
So, my baby is turning 6 months old on June 18th, and I am totally stressing out over his biggest milestone yet, SOLIDS! He has been exclusively breastfed since day one, and I can’t even believe we are already here. I’m not only stressing out about what all I need to buy: bowls, bibs, sippy cups, spoons, storage containers, etc. but also:
1. When does he start drinking water and how much of it?
2. What consistency should the food be when I am making it?
3. How much should he eat?
4. Should we start with rice cereal?
5. The list goes on and on!
I am a huge reader, so I figured I can’t be the only first-time-mom out there who needs support on this subject. It’s a big deal. I also want to make my own baby food, so there’s quite a lot involved.
I always thought I would start Vincent on infant rice cereal mixed with breastmilk, but then I started reading about how you SHOULDN’T start on rice cereal because it may contain arsenic AND its bland flavor may encourage a picker eater later on down the road. It also has hardly any nutritional value, so why go from super flavorful and nutritious breastmilk, to rice cereal? It’s almost like going backwards in his taste bud development.
So, I came up with my game plan based on what I’ve read:
• Water: It’s okay to give a 6 month old tiny sips of water, make sure not to give too much. After his first birthday, he can have as much water as he wants.
Stage 1 Food (6-8 months)
Consistency of all pureed food should be runny and smooth. Some foods may thicken when frozen, so you may need to add more breastmilk when thawing. If you are not using breastmilk, substitute with formula or water. Also, all the foods should be served at body temperature, but could be cold or room temperature. Baby should eat about two tablespoons of pureed food, 3 times a day, then supplement with breastmilk or formula the rest of the time.
• Oats and barley cereal: using a blender, grind up a ¼ cup of raw oats/barley to a fine powder, add a cup of water into a pot and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cover/cook for 10 mins. Stir frequently. Remove from heat then add in breastmilk to achieve a smooth consistency.
• Carrots/Peas: use frozen instead of fresh (fresh are higher in nitrates). Cook as package directs, puree with breastmilk.
• Zucchini, yellow squash, asparagus, green beans: use fresh produce and steam to cook until soft. For asparagus, remove the fibrous ends. Puree with breastmilk.
• Peaches, Pears, Nectarines, Berries: Wash fruit, peel and cut into pieces. Cook for one minute in a small amount of boiling water. Puree or mash with a fork and add some breastmilk.
• Banana/Avocado: Just mash with a fork and add breastmilk.
I hope this was helpful!
(Post by Karen Knowles)