Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Solid Food at 8-Months

Ava just turned 8-months old and just last week, she turned the corner and now enjoying solid food. I've mentioned before that I'm making all of Ava's baby food because I already have the fresh produce on-hand and want Ava to ease into the family table. Many of my friends that have done this told me that their children were not picky eaters and they think homemade food helped. Buying store-bought seems easy on the surface, but I don't see the point of buying her something different when I can just as easily make her fresh, homemade food while I'm making our family meals.

Ava's favorites so far:
  • Pear (cooked with a tiny dash of cinnamon), I ran it through the food mill and thinned it with a bit of the cooking water. Daycare said she squealed and opened her mouth really wide. She ate much more than we expected!
  • Banana (mashed and thinned out with breastmilk). Daycare told me that they warmed it up slightly and she ate the entire bowl yesterday! What a big eater. She loved the bananas. It's so convenient and nutritious.
  • Grapes - Aaron bites off half of the grape when we're eating dinner and squeezes the juice in Ava's mouth and she LOVES it! Aaron holds the grape for her and she sometimes bites a bit of pulp, but mostly takes the juice. She moves her arms around and squeals. It's very cute!
I made yellow squash with a tiny bit of garlic and she refused it after two attempts. But today, I put a bit of the pureed yellow squash with a chuck of ripe, mashed avocado and thinned it out with a bit of breastmilk. She ate a couple bites before I left her at daycare today. I don't think it was her favorite, but the combo seemed to work.

Great Resources for Natural Baby Food:
  • Feeding the Whole Family by Cynthia Lair - this book gives recipes for the whole family cooking with whole foods and how to cook for small babies. Cynthia Lair is a contributor to Mother Magazine. I've made several recipes from this book already, but the concepts in the book really have given me great information. A mom who read my blog post recommended to me and I'm glad I bought it.
  • First Meals by Annabell Karmel - takes you from food introduction to cooking for small children. It has age-appropriate chapters and the pictures are awesome. She shows you how to prepare food for picky eaters by making it look interesting. I like her hints and info for mixing foods for baby.
I haven't been worried at all that Ava didn't eat solid foods until last week because she's exclusively breastfed and getting all she need. She had been very satisfied by nursing and not interested. A wise mom/grandma/former 15-yr LLL leader told me that when Ava is interested in solids, she will make it very obvious! So true! In fact, she told her her son didn't eat solids until 8-months, too.

Right now, I'm bringing a small bowl to daycare with food for Ava to have a lunch with the other babies. She's eating with everyone at the same time, which probably gets her into the motions. And it's nice because right now, all she needs through the introduction phase is experimentation and my daycare loves trying new foods with her. It's less hassle for me at home and it helps us focus on just nursing. I've heard to do that from a breastfeeding mom's website, but I can't remember where.

I decided against starting Ava on rice cereal. I gave it to her once and it gave her horrible gas for 2-days. I find it interesting with all these other foods we've given her, there are no side effects like that bloody rice cereal! I did notice that after eating the banana and pears, her poop has been a bit heavier, but not bad or foul smelling. We've discussed rice cereal in my La Leche League meetings and I totally agree that it is meant to complement formula fed babies and not necessary like many people say it is. Check out this page on Kellymom about food introduction for more info...

1 comment:

  1. We in Western culture seem hell-bent on pushing solids (and often junk) on babies so early! (I know! I did it with my first child.) When I had my second child & breastfed, I heard that the breastfed baby often didn't show interest or need for solids until much later, so I kind of felt my way along that time. Luckily for me, that child was HUGE...7 lbs 7 oz at birth, and over 25 lbs at 6 months of I never doubted my ability to nurture him exclusively. In fact, my pediatrician commented that "I usually recommend breastfeeding because it PREVENTS obesity!" I should add that he never has had a weight problem in his life, even though when he was a babe, his rolls had rolls, and while he was teething, I could sit him in my kitchen sink with a popsicle and he never fell over because he was such a little Buddha. Fond memories!
    Now that my children are adults, I've heard the saying that when you introduce solids early, all you're doing is replacing a superior food with an inferior one. I can certainly vouch for that.