1) Don't fuss and make a big deal out of it.
2) Provide parts of what you are eating when you are eating.
3) Don't get stuck on a certain age that baby should be eating because every baby is different and lots of the common timelines for starting solids are old school and are actually backwards from what babies digestive system is designed for.
4) If you are giving pieces, give in pieces smaller than a pea.
5) Babies are really good at not choking. The gag reflex happens for a reason. It helps babies not choke. I was way too scared in the beginning and didn't provide Micah with solids too often because of my fear.
6) The more times babies are exposed to the same type of food, the more likely they are to eat it.
7) Do not put value and judgements on food.
8) Don't use food as rewards and punishments. This goes with #7, but is another good way to think of it.
9) Provide food in many different forms. Bake, steam, BBQ. Whole, chopped, mashed, pureed, etc.
10) Some babies don't like mushy food.
11) You don't need to buy baby food!!! You don't need to start with rice cereal! Baby food in a jar can't taste all that different and has so many preservatives. If you don't want baby to be eating what you are eating...maybe you shouldn't be eating it!
12) The goal is to create a human being who has a healthy relationship with food. A person who can regulate the food that enters their body. A being that can register when they are full and actually stop eating.
*I learned most of these ideas at the amazing Starting Solids class at Evergreen Hospital in Kirkland, Washington. If you are in the area, I would recommend signing up and attending the class as the instructor, Christine, does an insanely better job of driving each point home and giving data to go along. I am so extremely thankful for her guidance. When we attended the class, it was full of parents and 4 and 5 month old babies. We were the only parents who a) did not bring their baby and b) had a 9 month old who still wasn't really eating solids.
|many sizes and varieties to choose from|
|Sometimes starting solids looks more like this!|
|It was just a lick....!|
|We usually just wiped down the table and let him eat off of there when eating out|
|See...starting solids can be all smiles!|