Scarlett has been chowing down on solid foods for almost three months now, and she’s getting really good at accepting, “chewing” and swallowing her food. We made sure to start with oatmeal and milk, and slowly introduced a few purees as we learned that she was ready for solid foods. Once Scarlett was eating a single puree for a few days (we made sure she wasn’t allergic to a particular food and was tolerating it well), we would switch it up and either mix in something new or introduce a new flavor.
Scarlett did really well with most of the purees, but strong tastes like green beans and spinach were hard for her to tolerate at first. After I added some oatmeal, milk and a little pureed apples to tone down the flavor, it became a regular menu item. Spinach, however, might take a little more work.
As we move forward in Scarlett’s feeding saga, I’ve been looking to Beech-Nut’s full Guide to What Baby Eats Now (available on the super-informative Beech-Nut blog). On page seven, you’ll find tips to guide you and baby through the “Very First Bites.” It was this page that reminded me of the important practices and guidelines to set Scarlett up for proper nutrition. After all, it has been almost 4.5 years since Red started solid foods, and my busy brain can’t quite remember everything. It’s easier for me to “digest” important pointers and lists rather than a novel of commentary!
Tip number nine was particularly useful for me. It mentioned to practice spoon feeding and made me realize that this technique feeds into them learning to spoon feed themselves. While Scarlett is very young, I’m avoiding the over-use of pouches so she can learn to accept larger bites of food from a spoon. I’m even letting her handle her own spoons in the highchair as I prepare her meals because it keeps her entertained, allows her to teeth on the BPA-free baby spoon AND will eventually teach her to hold it by herself. You can see her in the video below hamming it up for the camera and really exploring not only the spoon, but the purees themselves.
Even after eating small meals three times a day, Scarlett still likes to explore her foods. Sometimes I will stir up a bowl of mixed flavors, or change the thickness with either milk or cereal, trying to catch her off guard (A great way to use Beech-Nut’s tip from the Guide – to offer a variety of flavors). She often sticks her fingers into her spoon, reaches for the bowl, or guides the spoon to her mouth by herself. It’s also interesting to note that even though she’s such a small human, she most certainly has shown us that she has preferences for certain foods!
And at the end of a long day, I often find Scarlett is eagerly awaiting bedtime. She gets her “hungry pants” on early in the evening, usually before we sit down to dinner as a family, so a full belly and a little body means she tanks out before the rest of us. I was giggling to find her like this at the end of our meal last week (I almost woke her up laughing!). The poor thing had fallen asleep in her highchair after gleefully playing with a napkin. Maybe tomorrow I’ll get her to have a better nap so we can try that whole spinach thing again!
I am very pleased to announce that I will be working with Beech-Nut during 2016 as a sponsored ambassador, sharing Scarlett’s journey to solid foods and shedding some light on the #BabysFirstFoods process. Come and share a bite to eat!