Remembering Baby Milestones: Solid Food

I loved breastfeeding Isabel, my firstborn, but after several months of doing it around the clock, I was ready for a change. I couldn’t wait to break out those tiny jars of baby food and was excited to see what her reaction would be to the colors, textures, and new flavors. But when it was finally time to take that big developmental step and start solids, I quickly learned that the process would have its ups -- and downs.

Here’s what we experienced along the way to this baby milestone.

Sticky Stuff
When Isabel was starting solid food, her pediatrician suggested that I serve up single-grain cereals. I trotted to the market to load up on rice, barely, and oatmeal, and then mixed a tiny bowl for her first meal. Sadly, this mush must not have tasted very good, as Isabel would have very little of it!

Color Coded
To make things a little easier, the doctor suggested going through each vegetable and fruit by color. Isabel’s next meals were all the same sunset shade -- squash, peaches, sweet potatoes, and carrots. Her diapers were mostly orange! I gave them to her one at a time and waited a few days in between serving new baby food to ensure that she didn’t have an allergy. After the orange group, we moved on to green foods, including peas, green beans, and some avocado that I had mashed up for her. It was clear that with this baby milestone, I was going to need some patience.

Nice and Slow
I learned that if I tried to spoon Isabel’s baby food too fast, she would turn her head away. She only wanted a small amount, as she was developing her tastes. So, I started serving tiny portions of solid food and added more to the dish if she was ready, letting her be the guide.

Bigger Pieces
After she’d mastered purees, we moved on to little bits of soft foods, which made feeding her super easy. I simply cut up what we were having for dinner (stewed chicken, peas, mashed potatoes), and served up a pint-sized plate.

Now that Isabel has conquered this baby milestone and developed into a healthy eater, I can look back on those days of starting solid food with a smile. They may not have always been particularly easy (or tidy), but they were the start of what I hope is a lifetime of wholesome eating habits.