Thursday, May 17, 2012

How Do You...Introduce Solids?

How do you introduce solids to your babies and how do you encourage them to eat when they don't seem to be interested in solids at all?  (My 10.5-month-old son still won't eat more than a couple of tiny bites.)                                     
submitted by Suanna

My philosophy for introducing solids is similar to my philosophy on lots of things (like homeschooling and cleaning):

Keep it simple and don't pressure yourself (or your child)! 

Breastfed babies do not need any supplementation, including solid foods, until at least six months of age, but I found that neither of my babies was ready to begin solids until seven or eight months old...or even longer.  Owen was over a year old before he ate more than a few bites at a time.  Neither of my kids ate three meals a day until after their first birthdays.

I do not use jarred baby food, but I do not spend time making my own homemade baby food either.  By the time I offer bites to my babies, they are able to handle a mashed or soft version of what we are enjoying.  Grabbing food or trying to take over your spoon does not necessarily mean a baby wants to eat-- babies like to put everything in their mouths-- but it may mean he is ready to experiment with a new flavor.   Try a bite of sweet potato or a nibble of carrot and see what happens.  If he loves it, wonderful!  If not, no stress!  A baby will eat when he is developmentally ready. 

If you feel it is necessary to get your baby to eat more, try a variety of flavor and texture to see what appeals to him.  My babies thought it was fun to be handed a ripe peach and be allowed to suck and chew and drool to their heart's content.  Try slices of banana or hand him a whole one (while you supervise).  You may be surprised at what your baby likes if he's offered.  My youngest loved bites of onion when she was only 9-10 months old! 

How did you introduce solids to your baby?  Let us know in the comments.

Also, if you have a question for a future "How Do You...?" post, share that in the comments, too, or send me an e-mail! I'd love to hear from you. 


  1. None of our kids have tried solids before 7 or 8 months. Like you we don't use jarred baby food. We start with veggies and typically just offer a soft version of what we are eating. We do delay fruits until after veggies have been well excepted, but we don't stress if we go a couple of days in between eating solids. As long as the baby is still nursing, they just eat solids when they want them. None of our kids have eaten 3 full meals until well after they turned one.

  2. Also, another "How do you...?" suggestion:

    How do you handle when a child whines or fusses after being told no? We have some whining issues disrupting the peace in our home right now.

  3. When my oldest was a baby I was full of excitement over every new stage. I made all his baby food and froze it in ice cube trays for storage.

    Things have changed around here though and we do it a lot like you do. As long as my babies are nursing and not acting hungry, I don't push anything. I like to introduce finger foods first... soft things. That's easier in the summer with all the ripe fruit, but it can work anytime.

    OH, and I'd love to know how you handle fussing too!! Maybe you can address how you handle it at multiple ages. We have this problem with our 4 year old and our 21 month old!


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