Baby's Got Swag!
Introducing solids to your baby can be a nerve racking and frustrating time. The Swag really helped me through this adventure as I always had an ABUNDANCE of fresh produce on hand to choose from.
I consider myself lucky to have two kids that really LOVE their food. They eat a huge variety as well. They are accustomed to lots of colour on their plates and lots of flavours. I’ve got no idea if they’re this way because of something I specifically did or didn't do,however, I thought I’d share with you some tips for introducing solids that really worked for me.
I quite often try to relate everything I’m doing by asking myself “how would I feel?” That’s exactly how The Swag came about – I asked myself how I would feel if I were sealed in plastic without air or water. Then, the question I asked myself when I started my first child on solids was “how would I feel if I ate the exact same thing for a week?" That’s when I decided to make a wide variety of home cooked meals for my babies.
I believe mashed up Avocados are one of the best ways to start. They’re packed with nutrients and oils plus they’re silky smooth with small soft lumps. I started my kids on Avocado and then the next day I’d steam or roast some pumpkin and blend it into the avocado… then one by one, I’d start mixing in steamed corn, carrots, broccoli, zucchini etc. Each time I’d look for bloating or any signs of discomfort (just in case something didn’t quite agree with them). Leave the food lumpy – the lumps are a good experience for them and really help with their speech development.
Every two days, I’d lightly steam a heap of veggies so I’d always have a big pot of steamed veggies in the fridge to choose from. If I was heading out for the day, I’d grab a mixture of steamed veggies, a touch of organic olive oil, blend or hand mash the veggies and pop it into a container and "voila"- you’ve got one of the healthiest ‘On The Go Meals’ that you can possibly give your baby. Just remember, if you start your baby on pear/banana etc. It’s sometimes hard to get them back into savoury flavours as they develop a sweet palate.
At about 5 months, I could see both my babies were getting bored with veggies, cereals and legumes. I chose to start introducing milk, eggs, nuts, fish, meat etc. I started with milk. I just dipped my finger in the milk container and ran it over baby’s cheek… watched the cheek for a couple of hours to see if a red rash appeared. If no rash, then you dab a drop on the side of the mouth… watch for two hours again. Then, if no reaction, a drop on baby’s tongue… watch for reaction for a few hours and then a teaspoon… then a small glass of milk wait a few hours and then your good to go with dairy and cheese. This then makes meal time more interesting as you can start adding goats fetta and creamed cheese to their veggies.
When introducing milk, eggs, nuts, fish, meat etc. I suggest reading the following from ASCIA (Australian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy) they also talk about exposing babies to all foods before six months can lower the chances of your baby developing food allergies.
With peanuts… I just wiped peanut butter on baby’s cheek, then mouth etc. Once you’ve gone through the whole process you can start adding small amounts of nuts such as raw pine nuts blended into their meal…. Which is sooo good for them.
Eggs – I wiped raw egg on her face… some white and some yolk. Then, I cooked scrambled egg and gave a tiny bit in her mouth – once you go through the whole process then they can start having scrambled eggs and avocado on toast for breakfast.
Meat & Fish – I started with lamb cutlet and just rubbed the juice from a cooked cutlet on baby’s cheek. The amount of meat to give is no more than the size of the palm of the hand.
Once you get to this stage, you can pretty much blend up whatever you’re having for diner - one meal, no fuss.
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