Before Olivia was born, I recall a conversation I had with a friend where I said that we were planning an overseas trip about 10 months after our baby was born because it would be easier to feed her when she was on solids. I thought my friend was crazy when she told me that it’s actually easier when they are only breastfeeding. Now that I am in the midst of the world of feeding solids I know exactly what she meant.
With my trusty Bamix at my side I mash, mash, mash for three meals a day. And that is on top of the hard work my body is doing around the clock to create breastmilk for four-hourly feeds. At times it has felt overwhelming and like I will never leave the kitchen. But as Olivia has developed a taste for more different foods I have started to enjoy it a bit more. There are still days when she refuses the food I have just lovingly prepared but I’ve learnt to move on and try again later.
I’ve picked up a few tips along the way and shared them here with you to help make your solids journey a bit simpler.
1. If you are trying a new food (or combination of foods), make a small batch first. Otherwise, you will end up with a weeks worth of mixed vegetable puree that is greeted with the ugliest scrunched up face you have ever seen.
2. Once you know what your baby likes, make large batches and freeze it. Get yourself some ice cube trays and portion out the meal. Once the tray is frozen you can pop them out into a labelled snap-lock bag to easily take one at a time.
3. Don’t be afraid to try the supermarket packaged baby foods. I always have a few pouches of fruit and vegetable purees on hand in the pantry as well as a couple of the more substantial ones that include meat in them. There are just some mornings where we are in too much of a rush to get out the door and adding some fruit from a pouch to Olivia’s porridge instead of a homemade option makes the morning that much easier. I prefer to buy organic brands but there are so many different options available for you to choose what you like. As with above, don’t buy 5 of the same flavour if your bub hasn’t tried it as chances are they won’t like it and you are stuck with it.
4. Buy a baby food recipe book or download an app such as the Annabel Karmal one. It is hard to know what to make for baby but these books and apps have done all the hard work for you so you just have to follow the recipe. It takes the guesswork out and in my experience babies love the recipes.
5. Eat at the same time as you feed your baby. I always try and have breakfast and lunch while I am feeding Olivia. She is more willing to eat when I am eating and it creates a little routine for both of us. Hubby and I then eat dinner after she has gone to bed so we get a bit of time just the two of us.
6. Don’t worry if you have a bad day. I have had days where Olivia would only eat yoghurt so I just mix a bit of fruit in and go with the flow. One bad day here and there isn’t going to matter so much and if feeding yoghurt rather than flogging a dead horse (or mixed vegetables) will save your sanity for the day then do it. Pick your battles and if mixed vegetables isn’t the battle you want on your hands for that day then move on.
7. Enjoy feeding your baby solids. I was getting so wrapped up in preparing the food and worrying about what I was going to feed Olivia next that I wasn’t actually enjoying this new stage for her. Once I stepped back and took on board some of the tips above it became a whole lot more enjoyable for both of us.
What are your tips for feeding your baby solid food?
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