I started Amelia on “solids” when she was almost five months old. ”Solids” gets quotation marks because it isn’t actually solid, but neither is it as liquidy as the breast milk she was used to. I started her with pureed sweet potato because I had already made it and it was hanging out in my freezer. She loved it of course. Then I started giving her rice cereal. After that I began working in new foods every five or six days making a mental note of the ones that she seemed to enjoy and the ones that made her cry with displeasure (carrots, peas, peaches). I’ve heard some people say that you should introduce vegetables before fruits because they will get a taste for sweet things and not want anything else. I have not experienced this and I have never spoken with anyone who has. So my opinion of that is: don’t worry about it.
At first I only fed her once a day before I got her ready for bed. Starting a baby on solids can be overwhelming if you start right off with three meals a day. You feel like your day is suddenly consumed with nursing your baby as you normally would, getting their food ready, feeding them, cleaning up after their done eating and changing their diaper (they had to make room for the food they just ate). Plus once a day is sufficient because you’re not trying to wean them, you’re just getting them acquainted with something new.
I started giving my girls solids more than once a day when they were able to pick the food up and put it in their mouths all by themselves. For that I started with diced banana, diced pear and diced boiled sweet potato. Anything that turns to mush when they squish it between their gums is appropriate.
Since Amelia has gotten her two bottom teeth she has begun to turn her nose up at food that does not need to be chewed. When I say she turns her nose up I mean that she throws a crying fit and acts as if I am trying to feed her the most awful concoction on Earth. So no more purees for her. That’s fine with me though, it means that I can eat at the same time or I can put her in her chair and give her something to eat while I do the dishes.
As much as I’ve tried to introduce foods to her slowly there is the Older Sibling Factor. Fern eats a large variety of foods that Amelia doesn’t eat yet. Unfortunately, Fern is a messy eater and Amelia inevitably will find food on the floor that Fern has dropped and put it in her mouth. The Older Sibling Factor also includes sharing. I’ve taught Fern to share and she’s pretty good at it. She will offer you whatever she is eating without being asked. The problem is that Amelia wants whatever Fern has and she does this little begging puppy dog thing that Fern responds to. I’ve tried to keep Amelia away from things with dairy, eggs and nuts until she’s older but I know there have been times that she has scored something containing one of those things.
Amelia is a really good eater and I haven’t found anything yet that she doesn’t like. At the moment a few of her favorite things are toast made from raisin Ezekiel bread and diced pears. At Raleys I found fruit cups with just diced pears and pear juice, no high fructose corn syrup or any other type of sugar. She also loves raspberries, peas, sweet potato, chicken, cucumbers, apples, avocado, and zucchini. I feel really lucky to have gotten two babies that really like to eat.