Sunday, October 25, 2009

The Starter Pack

My dear friend Laurel, who has two darling kids, received some fabulous handouts from her pediatrician on starting solid foods. She passed the information on to me and I was very impressed on the content and structure. So I thought I would add the techniques I used in introducing solids to my girls and pass it on to all of you. Bon Appetite!

*start around 4-6 months (Bailey started at 7 1/2 mos, Clare at 5 1/2 mos)
*offer rice ceral first, then oatmeal, then barley (I switched to oatmeal after 4 days once I knew the girls could tolerate cereal because rice cereal is so constipating)
*stick with the same cereal at least 3-4 days before moving on to a new one
*mix 1 tablespoon cereal with your baby's milk and make it very thin and soupy
*gradually increase to 3-4 tablespoons cereal
*offer cereal once a day at first, working up to 2-3 times per day (offer it when baby is alert but bored and eat or drink something yourself while feeding baby so baby learns the social aspect of eating)
*daily milk intake should not decrease (By the time I started solids with the girls they were nursing first thing in the morning, before the morning nap, before the afternoon nap and before bedtime. This meant that I was feeding them solids at different times than their nursings. Some experts recommend feeding cereal first and then baby's milk afterwards.)

Fruits and Vegetables
*some experts recommend fruits first and some recommend veggies first (I did a combination including apples, pears, butternut squash, yams, carrots, zucchini, bananas, and avocados)
*feed fruits and vegetables with cereal twice a day at breakfast and dinner
*no minimum amount of fruit or vegetable, offer up to 4 ounces per feeding
*offer one fruit or vegetable at a time for 3-4 days before introducing another
*offer light colored fruits and yellow vegetables first (apples, pears, bananas, butternut squash, yams, zucchini, carrots)
*offer other colored fruits and green vegetables next (peaches, plums, prunes, peas, green beans, beets)
*begin feeding at lunch once baby's appetite increases

*start at 8 months
*this may include legumes, quinoa, tofu, meats (I held off on meats until the girls could "chew" so I didn't have to puree chicken or beef. I don't mind cutting food up into itsy bitsy pieces but the thought of putting meat in my blender was too much for me)
*may be offered twice a day at lunch and dinner
*offer up to 4 ounces per feeding
*introduce new protein every 3-4 days
*once your baby is on protein, their schedule should be:
breakfast - cereal and fruit
lunch - protein with fruit OR veggie
dinner - protein with fruit AND veggie

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