• Nicky Bell-Starr

Starting Solids - our journey

Updated: Feb 13

As Evie’s six-month milestone loomed we began to get almost excited at the thought of being able to feed her all these new and exciting foods. We would spend evenings looking through Instagram - finding recipes and reading up about nutrients, baby food facts and figures. She reached all the stages that everyone suggests you need to reach:

  • They can stay in a sitting position and hold their head steady

  • They can co-ordinate their eyes, hands and mouth so that they can look at the food, pick it up and put it in their mouth, all by themselves

  • They can swallow food. Babies who are not ready will push their food back out with their tongue, so they get more round their face than they do in their mouths

We were going to try baby led weaning, all those lovely Instagram photos of beautifully presented food, lovingly prepared for baby – how hard could it be, right? We presented Evie with some well-steamed broccoli; she played with it, put it to her mouth and then threw it to the floor.

Over the next two weeks Evie played with, squished up, licked and pushed away pretty much everything that was presented to her. We tried steamed carrots cut into batons, mashed potato, pieces of steamed fish, avocado cut into strips and everything was played with and then thrown to the floor. Then one day we were out and about and purely for convenience decided to try a pouch of food, Evie ate every single spoonful of it. Her little mouth was covered in food and every spoonful was followed by her wide-open baby-bird-mouth asking for more.

So we decided to stop being so rigid, we would try baby led but mix it with spoon-feeding. Everything became a bit easier after that, we didn’t get stressed because Evie wasn’t eating anything, and we didn’t worry about her not getting used to feeding herself, she has no issue feeding herself.

We just gave her a good mix of food, we used pouches and jars when we needed something convenient, and we learnt to make our meals without added salt. If something was a bit too lumpy we blended it down, we stopped worrying so much about what the books told us to feed her and we adapted what we were eating to make it for Evie.

Evie loves to feed herself Easy Oaty Fingers, click here for the simple recipe!

One of our health visitors said to us “Don’t go crazy, if as a family you don’t regularly eat quinoa, kale, avocado and whatever this weeks super food is, then don’t give it to your baby.” We do still check everything we give her, no salt, not too much sugar, we use our common sense, but we don’t beat ourselves up about everything. She doesn’t have fresh raspberries/blueberries/strawberries on her porridge each morning, or avocado every day, mainly because we can’t afford that, but we give her a good mix of affordable foods that we know we can all eat.

In all honesty we thought we would love the whole starting solids journey, but just like anything to do with your baby, it can be challenging, stressful and quite frankly exhausting. So our advice would be do what feels right for you and your family, we thought Evie would love baby led weaning, but it turns out our baby loves having yummy food shovelled directly into her mouth!

Want to try our baby friendly Pea Green Risotto? Click here for the recipe!


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