March 10, 2015

FIAO 5.7 - Feeding The Twins - First Taste of Real Foods!

I will admit it, I was terrified to start my girls on solids. Despite years of feeding kids and all that I have researched on baby-led weaning and making your own purees the fear of choking and them not being ready kept creeping up.

The medical community flip-flopping their stance on when to introduce high-allergen foods also scared me. I thought I had a plan but like most parents these days I received advice from my pediatrician that conflicts with what I've read making the process even more harrowing.

Originally I had decided to introduce avocado at six months adjusted age around the end of February. The nurse at the pediatrician's heartily discouraged this and told me to introduce rice cereal at four months actual (just 3 months adjusted) followed by oatmeal then purees of any fruit or vegetable I wanted.

I started learning all I could about purees and baby led weaning. This convinced me to skip the cereals and try blw at six months.

I let them look at, touch and sniff ingredients while I was cooking. I talked about the food we eat and why. I don't know if it's overkill or whatever but after years of picky eating myself I really want to help them learn to love good food at a young age. I'll go crazy if they wait until their twenties to eat anything but chicken fingers and pizza (like their mother did).
While you can't prevent a "picky" eater I really believe you can help facilitate healthy eating habits through exposure to a wide variety of foods, letting the child have control over what and how much they eat and not forcing them to eat something they don't want.

I ended up waiting until they were 6.5 months actual (5.5 months adjusted) and started with sweet potatoes. I baked them in the oven, mashed them with a fork, added some breastmilk and spoon fed them. I'm not sure how much they managed to actually swallow but they each tried a spoonful a day for three days.
Then we tried some applesauce which went over better but the one thing that I find hilarious is the way they keep grabbing the spoons and feeding themselves. Obviously it's their instinct at this point to put anything in their mouth but I'm in awe of their ability to coordinate holding a spoon, opening their mouths, putting the spoon in and then closing their mouth, gumming the food and then swallowing. Viv prefers to eat this way, Jules will let me feed her for a bit but almost always ends up feeding herself as we near the end.

A month later we are have introduced a few whole foods as part of BLW but they have very little interest in them. We tried avocado, homemade carrot sticks, broccoli, snap peas and toast. They want none of it! The first few times they touched them and even picked up the broccoli and carrots but at this point when I put something on their trays they just stare at it and reach for their toys on the table.

I offer purees (homemade sweet potatoes, peas and applesauce plus mashed up avocado) but Viv has put her foot down and made it clear she wants only milk right now. I tried a jar of BeechNut Just Carrots that we got from a friend and of course Jules loved them but they made her eczema flare. The only thing they might eat is homemade banana oatmeal but they won't touch the banana or carrot sticks I offer.  Kids - they're so weird.

 I'm not worried, I know they will eat when they're ready but now I'm hoping I just started too early and didn't screw up our hopes of baby-led weaning by offering purees first. Only time will tell and we're having fun trying!

Do you have any tips on helping babies adjust to eating real food?


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