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princessbunny in makin_babyfood


Okay, Mr Baby is going to have his first foray into solid foods this weekend. We are going to have bananas mixed with some breastmilk.

What do I need to know before I do this? Can I just mush the bananas up, or do I need to put them in a blender/food processor?

Here's everything I know...

If your baby is used to the sweet taste of human milk, start with mashed bananas.

Use your finger as baby's first "spoon." It's soft, at the right temperature, and baby is familiar with it. Encourage baby to open her mouth wide. Place a fingertipful of this glorious glob on baby's lips while letting her suck on the tip of your finger. Next, advance the fingertipful of food to the tip of your baby's tongue (where there are tastebuds receptive to sweetness). If this gets swallowed, or at least is not spit back at you, try placing the next glob toward the middle of baby's tongue.

Watch baby's reaction to this new experience. If the food goes in with an approving smile, baby is ready and willing. If the food comes back at you, accompanied by a disapproving grimace, baby may not be ready. Some babies make funny faces just because this is all so new to them. What happens in the mouth may be a more accurate indicator of whether a baby is ready to eat solids. If the mouth opens for a second helping, give it another try � you may have a winner. Even if the food comes back out, the baby may just need to learn to seal his mouth shut when he moves the food from the front to the back. Rejection of the food could also indicate that the tongue-thrust reflex is not yet gone, and baby can't move the food to the back of his mouth and swallow it. If your baby just sits there, with an open mouth, confused by the glob of food perched on her tongue, she's probably having difficulty with the tongue-thrust reflex. Let her practice a while. If she still doesn't seem to know what to do, wait a week or two before you try again.

I'm pretty much starting this solids thing from a place of zero knowledge beyond that, so any advice is welcome.


Cash is six months now (or older?)- I am going to guess you won't have trouble with the extrusion reflex. Catherine never had trouble with it and I started her at 4.5 months. We used a spoon from the beginning as well.

I'd put the bananas in a blender or processor at first. You'll want to start with a very smooth texture. We moved up to lumpy (fork-smushed) bananas right away, but Catherine was already used to cereal.

I wouldn't overthink it. Just offer and see what he does! Does he seem interested when you eat?
Oh yeah for the last month or so he has been grabbing whatever might be on my plate, sticking his fingers in my oatmeal and stealing my fries.

And he's six and a half months, and has been good about not pushing his teething tablets back out of his mouth for the last month or so, so I figure he'll be okay to eat.
We dove right in, but I felt good about doing that as she's not had any digestive issues and neither of us have any food allergies. I'm having a blast cooking for her these days- she can eat almost everything we do, and does! (Well, she passed on mac and cheese last night and tonight, but I think she's going to partake in the chicken and mashed potatoes and gravy tomorrow night.)
If bananas are a no go (they are very slimy and a lot of babies hate that, both my boys certainly did) you can try breastmilk mixed with baby rice as well. It is a bit stickier and bananas tend to pop right out of a mouth they are so slippery. You'd definitely have to use a blender or something like it, as fork-mashed are lumpy.

Henry & Philip didn't have the tongue =thrust reflex, they started on food at 4 months each.

I've never heard to use a finger before. With both boys, they acted more suprised than anything in the begninng. Don't mistake surprise for hatred, unless of course he cries about it or whatever. The boys were both very interested in watching us eat by the time they had solid foods, and so they just sort of *knew* what was coming on the spoon. It was messy of course. :)
Yeah, I'm not too keen on the idea of rice cereal, to me it just seems like filler/empty calories, whereas fruit and veg at least seems natural and nutritious. We'll see, I'll try different things and if he's not interested, I don't mind waiting! He's certainly not missing any meals either way :)
I just thought of rice cereal as practice, more than anything else- and the kind we buy (though expensive) is fortified with everything in the book. We moved pretty quickly from that to fortified baby oatmeal, though. These days we rarely do cereal at all- it's usually fruit or veggies with cottage cheese, yogurt, or meat.
henry has a super duper sensitive belly, and i find myself using baby rice in a lot of his purees etc because it is so gentle on the belly, i think that is why some people recommend it just because it is so hard to have an adverse reaction to it. druits have been a NIGHTMARE for henry.
I was told (from my public health nurse and Arianna's doctor) to start with plain old rice cereal with formula/breastmilk (whichever you are feeding, At the time it was formula for Arianna) for a week or so and no fruits until you master the cereals(rice and oatmeal, barley is optional). And you do veggies before fruit, orange veggies before green ones. If you do fruit now he may develop only a taste for sweets, or worse, allergies. Arianna spent almost 2 months mastering veggies, a week at a time (the stage one, single veggie baby foods, I didn't have the resources to make my own at the time) before she moved into fruits. Wait,I take that back. She did three weeks of veggies and then a fruit for a week. She did that for two or three months before taking on both in the same meal (and moving to stage two foods). I'm not sure how to homemake rice cereal tho.

I used a regular spoon and bowl.

You might want to save the banana for later. Where on earth did you get this advice because I have not seen anything like that in any baby magazine, or my family (my mom also said my first solid was rice cereal). I feel bad for you that that was the only guide for solids you have because it's terribly wrong. (I don't mean to criticize you or anything, whoever wrote that article is wrong.) Please call your pediatrician and ask them what they think about this advice you got, I don't want to see your baby got sick because of misinformation.

As for bananas, I think you can put them in the food processor as is, google homemade baby food. But you can't give raw bananas to a very small baby, I don't think!

Some really good guides to first solid foods:
Wholesome Baby Foods
Mayo Clinic
Homemade Baby food recipe's guide

Also, I didn't link them, but the commercial baby food sites have good guides too, even if you don't use their product, it's excellent for information. (I hope I don't get in trouble for saying this! I'm just trying to help you out!)

I hope I didn't offend you and I hope this helps. If in doubt, please call your child's doctor and ask them.
I feel bad for you that that was the only guide for solids you have because it's terribly wrong. (I don't mean to criticize you or anything, whoever wrote that article is wrong.)

Don't feel badly for me! I wholeheartedly disagree that cereal is a necessity. Cash is not a "very small baby", he is six and a half months old. The information I posted is from Dr William Sears, who I hope you have heard of and will agree is somewhat knowledgeable about babies! My doctor backed it up when I spoke to him, he said starting with bananas or squash or sweet potatoes or pears, etc.. was fine.

If you do fruit now he may develop only a taste for sweets, or worse, allergies
The first part about developing a taste for sweets is a myth,
Purists recommend that vegetables be introduced before fruits so that infants don't learn to expect that food should always taste sweet. This is one of those nutritional directives that sound great in theory, but many of us who have fed lots of babies have found it hard to put into practice. First of all, babies are born with a sweet tooth. Their tiny tongues are more richly supplied with sweet tastebuds than with any others. This makes sense, because human milk is sweet, and breastfed babies are less likely to willingly accept the bland taste of vegetables than formula-fed babies. While there is no doubt that vegetables are nutritionally superior to fruits, most parents find that babies will happily eat fruits, making them hassle-free first foods. The nutritional content of starter foods is of secondary importance; the main goal of these early solid food feedings is for the baby to learn how to swallow foods of different textures. You're likely to have more success with fruits than with vegetables. When introducing veggies, try the sweet ones first: carrots and sweet potatoes. If you have a baby who loves vegetables, good for you! Don't worry if your baby attacks veggies with less enthusiasm than fruit. He'll eventually learn to like them if you keep offering them. - Dr Sears

The allergy potential has nothing to do with fruit, it has to do with babies intestines not being fully developed before they start solids which is why I have waited for Cash to be six and a half months before doing it

The intestines are the body's filtering system, screening out potentially harmful substances and letting in healthy nutrients. In the early months, this filtering system is immature. Between four and seven months a baby's intestinal lining goes through a developmental growth spurt called closure, meaning the intestinal lining becomes more selective about what to let through. To prevent potentially-allergenic foods from entering the bloodstream, the maturing intestines secrete IgA , a protein immunoglobulin that acts like a protective paint, coating the intestines and preventing the passage of harmful allergens. In the early months, infant IgA production is low (although there is lots of IgA in human milk), and it is easier for potentially-allergenic food molecules to enter the baby's system. Once food molecules are in the blood, the immune system may produce antibodies to that food, creating a food allergy . By six to seven months of age the intestines are more mature and able to filter out more of the offending allergens. This is why it's particularly important to delay solids if there is a family history of food allergy, and especially to delay the introduction of foods to which other family members are allergic. - Dr Sears

I'm not offended, I just respectfully disagree that a filler food like cereal has to be Cash's first food. And now that I have clicked on the first link you offered above, it says right there You may skip the cereal and begin with a fruit like avocado or begin with a veggie like butternut squash or sweet potato. So...yeah. I'm comfortable with bananas :)
Okay, I'm glad you weren't offended. I started solids with Arianna when she was about 4 1/2 months and sippies at 6 months, as per dr. and her developmental readiness. She's approached everything with total interest (her fav. foods are veggies, believe it or not--carrots and green beans. And she loves all fruits.) I like to mix the cereal with fruit or veggies/meat, basically to thicken up the baby food. I'm hoping to have her off of it soon but she's gotta be eating more people food. And WIC gives me waaaayyyy toooo much cereal! >.<

I like Dr. Sears, for the most part, his advice on sleep issues helped me fix a small problem Arianna was having. :)

I looked at your userinfo and saw that you have been nursing for 6+months which is awesome. (I wish I could still be nursing but I had to stop after 3 weeks due to medical reasons.) So what Sears says makes more sense now. Other mommies I know (not many but a few) are waiting till 6 months to introduce solids, so I guess it might be better cause you can leap right into fruits and things. I'm glad that it'll be ok for your son, that's what I was hoping for. ^-^ He'll probably devour the bananas. You'll have to let us know how it goes! Be prepared for a mess!
Alex has a bit of a sensitive tummy as well and did much better with rice cereal mixed in with fruits. He loves bananas now though.

We started with grains and a spoon. Then moved up from that to veg and then fruit. Then soon after we began mixing things. He will eat pretty much anything now.

March 2009

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