- Week 1 tip: New foods may cause constipation
- Week 2 tip: Food preferences can change
- Week 3 tip: Try both home made and packaged baby food
- Week 4 tip: Mix breast milk or formula with food
- Week 5 tip: Mix different baby foods
- Week 6 tip: Let your baby tell you when she is full
- Week 7 tip: Feed baby some of your own food
- Week 8 tip: Apricots and Potatoes
- Week 9 tip: Tofu and Summer Squash or Zucchini
- Week 10 tip: Cottage Cheese and Plums
- Week 11 tip: Meat and Wheat Bread
- Week 12 tip: Cheese and Asparagus
- Week 13 tip: Watermelon and Broccoli
- Week 14 tip: Cantaloupe (or Melon) and Lentils
- Week 15 tip: Kidney beans or pinto beans and Pasta
- Week 16 tip: Honeydew Melon and Grapes and Raisins
- Week 17 tip: Brussels Sprouts and Pineapple
- Week 18 tip: Cauliflower and Beets
- Week 19 tip: Spinach and Ricotta Cheese
- Week 20 tip: Eggplant and Peanut Butter (thinned)
- Week 21 tip: Bell Peppers and Chard
- Week 22 tip: Corn and Mangoes
- Week 23 tip: Papaya and Mushrooms
- Week 24 tip: Fish and Celery
- Week 25 tip: Kiwi Fruit and Blueberries
- Week 26 tip: Tomatoes and Strawberries
These new foods are also constipating. If you find that your baby is having trouble pooping, just start some other new foods and lay off the bananas and rice cereal until they get regular again. Add back these foods in small quantities.
As you add new foods - every 4 days to watch for food allergies - keep track of what your baby likes and dislikes. For example, if your baby spits out avocado - you could give up on it for a couple weeks - and then try it again. Babies' preferences can change instantly and your goal is to introduce a variety of tastes for baby to sample.
There is no reason to limit yourself to making baby food or buying baby food in jars. Do both if you can! You will be introducing lots of different textures and tastes this way (your butternut squash will taste different than Gerber's) and jars can be convenient when you are on the run.
If your baby is not taking to solids don't despair! Try mixing formula or breast milk in the new food to help the new experience along. Gradually reduce the amount as your baby gets more used to the consistency of solid foods. Remember your baby is getting all of its nutrients from breast milk or formula. This introduction to solids is just extra calories - he/she does not NEED to eat solids to grow so don't worry if your baby won't even open his or her mouth. She will get there eventually.
Mix it up for baby! Sometimes a new food will just taste too strong for baby so mix it with rice cereal or with another food that baby likes. This also provides some variety as well for baby. Jars of baby food may be premixed for you already (for example peas and rice).
Keep in mind that your baby will tell you when he/she is full. Try not to get her to eat one more bite just because you want her to finish the serving you decided was right for her. She knows when she is full and it is important to respect this internal knowledge. Just save it for next time!
Keep making food for your baby easy for you. Cook for yourself and then mash some up for baby. There is no reason to make 2 meals if you can help it!
Have fun with introducing solids to baby. This is a time to enjoy all the new things that baby is discovering. Try to recognize your "hang-ups" about food and confront your assumptions. For example, forget about your baby becoming too fat in the future and just enjoy his/her love of new foods.
Don't worry about your baby having "square meals" - allow your baby to eat what he/she feels like eating. Look at your baby's eating from an entire week's perspective instead of one day. For example - "All my baby wants to eat is bananas!!" - well that might be true for a few days but then they will eat something else (we promise).
Try to eat the same food and at the same time as baby, as much as possible. By modeling healthy eating, your child will learn the best way to eat. Monkey see and monkey do!
Knowing your baby is not allergic to wheat opens up a range of food that is baby friendly. There are teething biscuits, cheese crackers, and cereals that he/she can now eat. Also, if you take baby to a restaurant (you brave person!) - you can hand her a crust of bread to chew on before she gets too antsy.
There are lots of cheese out there to try for your baby. Introduce him to swiss, Havarti, parmesan, cheddar, etc. Even if you don't like a certain cheese - your child might! Cheese is a great finger food - and is easy to take for snack. There are packages of "string" cheese - which is mozzarella - which can easily be put in your diaper bag for a nutritious snack when baby is hungry at the park. Also, you can just chop cheese into cubes and bring along (the less expensive option).
Let baby do as much as he can by himself. For example, if he wants to use the spoon in the yogurt and make a big mess - let him. The sooner he learns to eat by himself, the sooner you get more time to do other things while he eats. Try not to leave the room when he is eating, but you can do the dishes or chop something where you can see him keeping him amused, getting him fed, and getting your chores done. A win-win-win!
Don't be afraid to give your baby spices. In the Dal recipe we use coconut milk for flavor, and you might find that your baby loves it! Most babies don't like cayenne or jalapeno (strong pepper that burns the mouth). You can use curry powder, cinnamon, and cumin to flavor baby's food. These spices are just a few examples of flavors your baby might like (other than sugar). Just think of all those Indian mothers serving their baby curried breast milk.
Your baby's pincer grasp is now probably very developed. Give him a chance to practice his new found skill on his food! It will save you time (no more just sitting there spooning in the food) and he will have a great new game that, hopefully, will keep him occupied so you can do something else.
If you can only go shopping once a week, buy a mix of fruits and vegetables that will keep and some that don't so you always have some in your house. For example, lettuce or spinach should be eaten within a few days - but cauliflower will keep for a week. Bananas may ripen quickly, and then have a honeydew melon on hand for later in the week.
Remember your taste buds change over time. Something that you may have hated as a child can be delicious as an adult. Don't give up on a vegetable or fruit. Keep giving it a try with different preparations.
Warn your baby's other caretakers about the addition of beets to your babies' diet. The beets will color the diaper and might resemble blood.
A fruit or vegetable your baby might have hated a few months ago - might be a favorite now. Don't decide for your baby what he or she will eat. Keep putting new and old things on her tray and get out of the way.
Comparing your babies' eating habits to other children's is a useless exercise. Maybe all your playgroup's children eat broccoli for breakfast, lunch and dinner and your kid won't touch the stuff. Remember, if you keep eating it, eventually your child will too.
Your active baby is probably getting bored with sitting in his highchair. Make eating time as fun as possible with his favorite music and his favorite person playing airplane with his food.
Even though you are probably exhausted, keep trying to buy and serve healthy food to your baby. If you don't have time to shop, keep a supply of frozen fruit and vegetables to keep you going until you do have time to shop.
Be adventurous with your eating and your child will too. Take this time that you are feeding your baby new things to feed some new things for yourself and start incorporating the variety in your everyday eating. Nutritious food is also satisfying food.
You are nearing our baby's one year birthday. Give yourself a pat on the back for being so dedicated to giving a nutritious and interesting start to your babies life. Soon, she will be off of breast milk or formula and getting most of her nutrition from solid food!
Feed your baby and yourself the good stuff. On average Americans only spend 11% of their income on food. Don't be afraid to treat yourself to $6 per pound peaches if they look and smell great. Remember a scone can cost $2 too - and is not nearly as good for you.
You have done it! You have completed 26 weeks of feeding new and nutritious food to your baby. Now baby has lots to grow on!