Thursday, November 7, 2013

on starting solids. part 2 - finger foods

Starting solids can be kind of intimidating, or it can be super exciting. I was both when it was time to start Emerson on solids. I talked about starting solids here and today I want to address the next big step when it comes to solids: finger foods.

Now, I'm no baby food expert by any means, but I do know what has worked for us and what we have tried. So that's what I'm going to share.

When Emerson was around eight months old I started making a conscious effort to give him food he could feed himself. I started with Puffs (the little Gerber snacks) because I heard they melt in your mouth and are hard to choke on, which is true. But Emerson wasn't too keen on those. He would put one in his mouth (or I would) and then he would cough, turn red, his eyes would water a little bit, and gag. Then he would smile really big and giggle. I did not find it to be so amusing as I was on the edge of my seat ready to jump into action and save him from chocking on a Puff at a moments notice. Thankfully, I never had to. But we did go away from the Puffs. I got Mum Mums and those seemed to go over a little bit better, after the initial gag bit.

We stuck with the Mum Mums for quite a while. I would try a few different things here and there (banana, avocado...) but he didn't really seem to like those or eat them very much. So I held off. I knew he liked the Mum Mums (he would start kicking his little feet and flapping his arms when he saw me get a package out for him), so that's what I gave him, along with the purees of course. 

Now (at nine months) I am adding a lot more finger foods as he is seeming to enjoy feeding himself quite a bit. I try to give him both fruits and veggies, but it just depends on what I have on hand or ready for him when it is time to eat. He has had sweet potato, banana, avocado, butternut squash, whole wheat bagel, black beans, peas, carrots, Gerbers Lil' Crunchies, and a few other things I'm sure I'm forgetting. Mostly things he has had in puree form, just cooked and cut up into small little pieces for him to feed himself. [I have found that the frozen peas and carrots are one of his favorites - after they are cooked of course :] And if I introduce a new finger food, I make sure to wait four days to see if he has a reaction to it, just like I did with the purees.

He is still eating purees along with the finger foods, though he enjoys feeding himself so much that I have to feed him his purees before I let him feed himself, or else I have to be super sneaky and quick in order to get a bite in his mouth.

We are still slowly introducing new foods, but I am trying to be more diligent about it, because I know it's important to let him eat different foods and flavors while he is young. I am really hoping and praying he is a good eater and not picky like his daddy is. So far, he's a great eater! Now that he is nine months he has had yogurt, and he loves it. He is also going to be trying cheese, cottage cheese, and a few other things over the next few weeks. I am really excited to introduce the dairy products (no cow's milk until he's 12 months though)!

As far as what he typically eats on a given day goes, it looks a little like this:

- wakes up and nurses
- breakfast: yogurt, whole wheat bagel, and banana
- mid morning snack: nurses after morning nap
- lunch: sweet potato bits (cooked and cut into small pieces), whole wheat bagel or Mum Mum, diced peaches (the little snack pack kind)
- late afternoon snack: nurses after afternoon nap
- dinner: carrots and peas, Lil' Crunchies, puree of some sort (fruit or veggie, it just depends what I happen to have)

Anyhow. That's all I have for starting finger foods. If you have questions or suggestions, I'd love to hear your thoughts!


Susannah said...

I love reading these posts! Sometimes I stress about how little I know about things like how babies should eat but I know I'll learn in time. :-)

Alessandra Ferguson said...

Thanks for sharing! I have a question, when did he move to nursing less during the day? I am going to post our transition to solid post tomorrow, Jase is still doing purees and nursing before every feeding. But I know soon that transition of nursing less will come, especially since he nurses less at each feeding. So was just wondering when Emerson made that transition?