From Purees to Solids
It's been almost two months since I've been able to find some down time to myself, to collect my thoughts, let alone sit in front of a computer to upload a new post. A lot has happened in the last two months and trying to juggle motherhood, while maintaining my sanity, has been one hell of a ride. On the bright side, Taylor has been doing so well! She recently had her 7 month weight check and she gained almost 2lbs in a matter or a month! I'm still on hiatus from the kitchen until my De Quervain's is completely healed, but of course, I've still been making sure little Tay has been able to enjoy home cooked meals and it seems to be paying off!!
For those of you who know, I was very cautious about starting Taylor on solids due to her low body weight and reflux issues. After reading up on BLW, although I loved the idea of it, I wasn’t sure if it would be the best option for Taylor.
PROS OF BABY LED WEANING:
- Full on sensory experience that allows babies to explore their food and learn new textures.
- Usually, don’t have to prepare a separate “meal” and baby can eat the same thing as the rest of the family.
CONS OF BABY LED WEANING:
- It’s difficult to ensure that babies are getting the proper nutrients (e.g. iron) as well as knowing the quantity of food that was consumed.
- Minimal, if any exposure to pureed foods, which baby will still need to learn to manage. Babies can miss the window to learn how to properly chew if parents wait too long.
- If parents offer unsafe foods or foods in the wrong shape or size, they could become a choking hazard.
After weighing the pros and acorns, we decided BLW just wasn’t for us. I knew it would be best to start her with pureed foods, but I also wanted to make sure to introduce a wide array of foods to expand her palate to prevent and reduce the risk of any food allergies.
The first month, I began by pureeing common baby first foods and adding breast milk or water to reach a suitable consistency. I introduced a new food every 2 days to check for any allergic reactions and after about 2 weeks, I began transitioning her into Fork Mashed Solids
- sweet potato
- butternut squash
- sweet peas
- rice cereal
- whole milk yogurt
Despite the fact that Taylor has no teeth, I could see "munching" jaw movements (a precursor to chewing) and some opening and closing of her tongue moving front to back or side to side. I did a little research and I learned that typically, most babies only need pureed foods for 3-6weeks, depending on how quickly they are progressing and clearly, Tay was progressing well!
After a week of offering mashed solids, I decided to begin introducing soft solids and it was a game changer! Mealtime became so much more convenient because I could now offer bite-size pieces of many of the foods she already tried along with new foods such as:
- green beans
- bread (rice/grains/crackers)
I also made a point to introduce her to:
- peanut butter
- eggs (yolks/whites)
- soy (tofu/edamame)
--so we could try to minimize any food allergies and expose her to as many new foods as possible.
Fast forward to today (7 months/33 weeks) and I'm finding that Tay can now eat many of the foods that the family eats at mealtime. (This makes going out so much easier!) We tend to eat a highly Korean diet which consists of rice, protein and lots of vegetables which works for an infant's palate. (Because of babies' decreased ability to metabolize salt and chew tough meats, fibrous fruits and veggies, meals typically consist of many of the ingredients of our family meals, but are modified. For example, the porridge is unseasoned/unsalted and the meat and vegetables are cut into smaller pieces for Tay to safely chew & digest.)
It's such a blessing that Tay hasn't been picky (whatsoever) about what she eats and has been so "enthusiastic" about trying new foods!
I’m hoping I’ll be able to return to cooking on a more consistent basis soon. (Thank you for those do you who have been asking about my hand & wrist. I am doing much better and hopefully with a little more PT, I'll be back in no time!)
Can't wait for all the new foods I get to explore with Tay and to share them all with you guys!