Doing this post Q+A style based on all of your questions received on Instagram! Hoping this answers all of your questions.
When did you start solids?
6 months! I really didn’t feel that they were ready and/or interested before then.
What foods did you start with?
Bitter vegetables- kale was their first food. Babies are inclined to like sweet (breast milk is sweet) so it’s important to expose them to veggies as well as fruit otherwise they will only want fruit! However, I personally feel it is also important for your baby to have a positive first experience with food, so if they hate broccoli and you keep giving it- they might have negative associations with the high chair/eating in general. Go with your gut- if you think they will love pureed apple then start with that so they become more open minded to trying whatever else is on their spoon! Now having done this for a few months, Scarlett still has a preference to sweet foods and Ella like EVERYTHING. Remember, like adults, babies have preferences too! I do feel though at this age we can help encourage positive eating habits and associations.
Why didn’t you start with cereal?
I think cereal is really the old school way. Back in the day, giving cereal was a way to keep a baby’s tummy full so they would sleep through the night. There is nothing wrong with giving cereal, but fruits and veggies are so much more nutritious so why not start with that!
Are you doing baby led weaning?
Yes but I’m also giving purees! Having fraternal twins really allows me to see how different each baby is. Your baby won’t be the same as my babies so find what works for your family. For example, Ella LOVES food and will eat any texture or flavour- fed to her, or feeding herself. Scarlett on the other hand loves fruit purees, but took time to come around to different textures and bitter flavours. For Scarlett, baby led weaning really helped her come around to loving food because she was in control of how much/what went into her mouth. Think about it, imagine a spoon was being shoved into your mouth and you had no idea what was on it? Not so appealing. Baby led weaning can be a bit scary at first, but over time you will become much more comfortable with the gagging, the mess, and… oh did I say mess? The account Solid Starts on Instagram is an amazing resource that helped me understand how we feed our babies can actually lead to pickier eaters later on.
What foods are you giving them?
The first few weeks we gave foods individually for allergy/taste purposes. For example, if we gave a mixture of oats, apple, and peanut butter and there was a reaction, how would I know which food gave it if I mixed it together? This is especially important for the common allergens. Make sure to give those either alone, or with something you know is not an allergen. I still always give them a mix of puree and baby led weaning. For example, I would give a piece of avocado which helped them work on their grasp but with a side of pureed broccoli so I knew something was actually being ingested. With baby led weaning, a lot of the food is used for exploration rather than eating. That’s ok! I feel it is important for them to become familiar with different flavours and textures both through touch and taste. Although exhausting in terms of clean up, I think letting them get a little dirty will help form a positive relationship around food. If we are constantly wiping them down and saying “no, no, no,” they are not encouraged to explore.
How much are they eating?
At 6 months, I would only feed them once a day and I’d be lucky if a teaspoon full actually made it into their stomachs. At almost 9 months, they are eating three meals a day! Don’t worry if your baby isn’t in to food yet, it will come! Ella loved everything from day one, it took Scarlett almost 6 weeks to really start to love food and not freak out at meal time. I never pushed it with her. If she was unhappy in her high chair out she went! Because they are still have their formula I do not need to worry. I genuinely believe that a baby will not let him/herself go hungry. They are human and sometimes are super hungry and other times not as much! If your baby is not gaining weight/growing according to their curve, talk with your doctor.
What are your “go-to” meals?
I always have a veggie puree in the freezer ready to go in case I don’t have time to wash and roast/steam veggies for them. I can pop the cubes into the microwave and I know that they at least have a veggie. Omelettes, mashed sweet potato, avocado, pancakes, roasted veggies, baked apples, chicken meatballs, banana, strawberries, oranges, hummus, black bean puree, oatmeal, peanut butter, soups etc. The girls are now starting to really eat what we eat, we just don’t add salt or added sweeteners to theirs! Oh, I also love the pouches from Bio Italia – all organic and no added preservatives.
What highchairs are you using? What are the pros and cons?
We are using the Stokke Tripp Trapp and we love it! Pros: small floor footprint – important if you need two or have a small space. So easy to clean! Look really cute too! Cons: expensive, a little challenging to get baby into the seat, and need to be really careful when snapping on the tray when baby is in the seat!
I love the mats and spoons from EZPZ and simple playtex or Dr. Browns spoons! For them to learn to feed themselves using utensils, these are really great! One of our go-to’s for teething are these silicone feeding teethers which are great if you don’t have anything prepared. Just pop in some fresh fruit or veggies and they bite away! The girls love to drink water from this straw cup. To teach them, I simply exaggerated the sipping action on my own straw and they followed! Ella got it right away, it took Scarlett a few weeks to catch on! Give it time. Lastlty, we love the silicones bibs from Lou Lou Lollipop. I leave their drool bib underneath for extra clothing protection!
What is your feeding schedule like?
Here is what our days look like most days at almost 9 months old!
7:00 am -bottle
8:30 am -solids
9:00 am -nap
10:30 am -bottle
12:35 pm -solids
1:15 pm -nap
3:00 pm -bottle
5:00 pm -solids
6:00 pm -bottle
6:30 pm -bed
Give us meal ideas!
I totally will… I am slowly getting back to work and have a lot of ideas for Clean Eating Goddess which will include regular scheduled content and new content for moms/dads!