At the 6 month checkup, the pediatrician said that we were good to go and we could start feeding our son solid foods. He gave us a handout with some information on it. Of course I read it as soon as we got home.
It has some good information on it, but there seemed to be so much more information that could’ve been on it. One thing I didn’t like about it, it assumed you were going to feed your baby food from a jar. There were no measurements or explanations on the handout just ½ jar, full jar, stage 1, 2 or 3, etc. So what’s an eco-friendly mom to do? Research online of course!
I put together a chart of foods to introduce and when for babies 6-8 months (for babies less than 6 months, you should really talk to your doctor before starting solid foods). Below are some of the guidelines to follow when introducing new foods.
Give new food in the morning
You want to give a new food in the morning. If there is going to be an allergic reaction, you want to be awake and be able to respond to it as quickly as possible. Even if you aren’t all that worried about allergies, babies digestive systems are very sensitive – some more than others. If your newborn had gas issues as at the beginning, do you really want to relive those sleepless nights because you gave her new food in the evening and now she has really bad gas and can’t sleep? Just wait till morning. One more day really isn’t a big deal in the long run.
Wait 4-7 days in between introducing new foods
Some allergic responses (vomiting, diarrhea, skin rashes, hives and eczema) don’t appear until a few days later. Ok, I’ll admit that on one occasion I only waited 2 days in between new foods – I was just so excited for him to try another food. We were lucky, the only side effect was looser bowels than normal. But what if it had been worse? In hindsight, I realized its just not worth the risk. Now we wait.
Start with about 1-2 tablespoons
If your baby is going to have a reaction, it is best that there is only a little amount in her system. And besides, she might just be spitting it all out to begin with. When using a commercial product, take out a tablespoon and put it in another dish. Then put the unused portion in the fridge for later. This way, there will be less of a chance of bacteria growth in the baby food.
Don’t serve mixed ingredient foods
This might be obvious, but if your baby has a reaction, you won’t know which of the foods caused it. Most of the references say you can’t introduce mixed ingredients until about 10 months. After speaking to a couple of doctors, I learned that if you have successfully introduced all the ingredients, then you can start serving the foods together. They still didn’t recommend mixing the foods together, but serving them so they got mixed together in the same bowl was fine. This was a biggie for us because my son does not like plain cereal. BUT he loves oatmeal with fruit (banana, pears or prunes) and rice cereal with vegetables (carrots, sweet potato and squash).