Thursday, March 18, 2010

Starter food advice

Question from a club mom:

My boys turned 8 months on Saturday (born at 34 weeks). I've wanted to try some non-baby food items, but I don't really know where to start. I did try some cheerios and they both promptly threw up on me. I tried the freeze dried fruit and yogurt thingies this weekend, but only a couple.

Any advice would be great.

Advice/experience given by other club moms:

Unless they have teeth, it's hard for them to dissolve some food, although my Pediatrician always told us that they're gums are really tough. I don't remember exactly what we did back then but I remember giving them "Puffs" a lot as they dissolve quickly but still allow the chew process. They sell those pasta meals too which are easy to chew/swallow.


I would experiment with food in small amounts. With the Cheerios I would give them one. I tried to do variety and small amounts. So rather than have it be a meal have it be introduction to different textures and flavors. Peas, and sweat potatoes, and bananas are good. Just very small pieces. It is good to get them picking stuff up with the fingers. I would cook vegetables until they were mushy. It gets very messy. My kids had allergies and had trouble with eggs, and anything like ketchup, salad dressing and mayo. These things turned their face bright red. Also, if they are reaching for food from your plate then they are interested. When I first tried other food with my daughter she spit it out.

With the throwing up it may have been too much new stuff at once. It could be an allergy to wheat but I would not assume this based on one experience.


Have you tried puff's yet? My boys started on that & they are easier to eat than cheerios b/c they dissolve.My twin boys had a really hard time eating non-baby food. (gagging & throwing up) I remember bananas were a good food for me to start with. I would try it a little thicker to see if they could eat it. If it was too thick I would just take a fork & smash it a little more.


My friend gave me a recipe book: Cooking for Baby (from Williams-Sonoma) it seems to have some really good recipes to try & foods to try that are "softer" for the little ones. Just thought I would mention that too.


Hi! Sounds like things are going pretty good! My b/g twins are 10 months old and I have been having the same problem with getting them to try foods that are not pureed. Their gag reflex is so strong that anything that isn't soft ends up all over. BUT I had success with soft mozzarella cheese (the soft kind you buy in a block...then I slice and make pieces about the size of an eraser head). I also had success with tater tots...I just break them open and give them a small sample of the inside. My daughter is able to put the food in her mouth and my son doesn't quite have it down but if I feed him he does great. Someone suggested cheerios but they are just too hard to start with I think.


Your pediatrician should be able to give you some guidance. There is no "right" way - just some guidance on how to introduce food and in what order. I think my twins were about 10 months before they could handle cheerios (they were born at 32 weeks). Sounds like you're doing well!


Always check with your doctor first on insight for amounts and ideas. That being said here are some ideas when just starting out since they are just using their gums to mash food up. Try small bits of cut up soft banana, yogurt (like YoBaby or Danimals) very soft avocado they can mush up, and veggie they can mush a not choke on, spaghetti or orzo's (their smaller).


At this age it takes them a while to get the hang of finger foods. Cheerios or puffs are perfect to start with actually, for the fine motor skills alone. You could also start with something softer like elbow noodles, which have something to grab but are soft. Or maybe you get the nets where you put a frozen banana or apple in it and let them suck on it to get a feel for texture in their mouth (plus this is great for when they are teething). You could also crush up cheerios and coat small banana pieces with it, so it was gripable but yet soft. Carrots cooked really soft are another food many kids like at this age. Very ripe and soft pears are good too, cut small (and maybe coated with crushed cereal so they can grip them). Ultimately you need try different things to see what works best for them. It’s possible that they are not yet ready for food yet. One of my twins went through this so I introduced food to him later than normal. He just wasn’t ready for the whole process: chewing, sensory and otherwise. Other than finger food, baby yogurt (like YoBaby) is a favorite at this age and they now come with fruits and veggies in them. And this typically is a welcome change, but yet not hard for them to eat.


Ellyn Satter's books, How To Get Your Child To Eat...But Not Too Much and Child of Mine, Feeding With Love And Good Sense, talk about feeding at all ages. Recommended by my friend's child nutritionist, these books give you some ideas on how to approach the transition to finger foods (as well as advice for every age stage).

Does anyone have more advice/experience to offer? Please comment below or send an email with your comments.


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