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Ariella’s Solid Food Journey

So Ariella has been on solid food now for about 2+ months and is enjoying every minute of it!  If you take the food away, she cries, if you don’t feed her fast enough, she whines.  I figured it was about time to tell her solid food story, starting with when we began and why it ended up being so early.

At about 2.5 months old, Ariella was very “with it”.  She began to notice what we were doing at the dinner table (admittedly many times in front of the TV, not actually at a table) with that stuff on our plates and wanted in.  With each bite she would open her mouth like a baby bird and give you a curious look when the thing on your fork would not end up in her mouth.  I gave her little tiny tastes of things on the tip of my little finger and she would think about it and then smack her lips, always wanting more.  She also stopped sleeping through the night, so my parents said that it might be time to start.

We bought the Beech Nut three cereal pack (2 rice and 1 oatmeal) from BJ’s our next trip and 3 days past 3 months, I made some for her.  She started with one tablespoon of rice cereal mixed with one ounce of breast milk once a day.  She loved every minute of it!  We were not very strict in this first month of feedings as it was a bit early, so she didn’t necessarily get solid food every day.  But on those days when she didn’t, she sure seemed to miss it!

At her 4 month Dr. visit, everything checked out fine and they never even flinched when I told them she was eating a bit of cereal.  In fact they seemed to approve and thought she was doing quite well.  That very same day, with the approval from the doctor, we gave her squash for the first time.  Oh the faces she made!!  She was expecting the taste of cereal and got something quite different instead!  The next day was the same reaction, but now squash is one of her absolute favorite foods to eat!

Here is a general rundown of the foods she has tried with her favorites marked (not that she won’t eat the others, but is more enthusiastic with those marked):

  • squash *
  • apple  *
  • pear
  • banana  *
  • carrot  *
  • broccoli
  • sweet potato
  • prune  *
  • papaya
  • mango
  • peach  *
  • cauliflower
  • parsnip

I decided when I was pregnant to make my own baby food.  This way, I know exactly what goes into it and how it was handled.  Plus it is much cheaper when we are basically buying the same items for ourselves anyway.  My Mom purchased a few cookbooks to guide me along the way, (although when you first start out everything is steamed, pureed and then frozen to have on hand) as well as a Kitchen Aid food processor for my birthday last year so I would be all set.  Another few handy items to have on hand are ice cube trays, and freezer safe storage containers for the cubes once frozen.

With the squash being the first actual “food” given to Ariella, I made sure that was the only item being given to her (besides cereal) for at least 4 days.  That way, if she did have some sort of reaction to it or it bothered her tummy, I would be able to narrow it down to what food it was we were giving her at the time.  So far so good!  Except the parsnip gave her some bad gas, so we’ve nixed that for now.

Now that she has had most tastes down without a problem, I mix a few foods together to make apple/squash, or broccoli/potato to give her a different taste.  All I can say is that this kid loves food and is willing to try anything!  Broccoli and cauliflower are not amoung her favorites and I have begun mixing them with other things to mask the taste of them so she still gets all the vitamins from them.  But for the most part, it is going exceptionally well!

Her basic eating schedule is something like this (all times are approximate as a schedule with a 5 month old is laughable):

  • 7am – Breast milk
  • 8:30am – Cereal (with formula now to give her a bit more to digest)
  • 10am – Breast milk
  • 12noon – Breast milk
  • 2pm – fruit
  • 4pm – Breast milk
  • 5:30 or 6pm vegetable
  • 7pm – Breast milk
  • 8:30 or 9pm – Breast milk & bed

Sometimes there is an extra Breastfeeding in there if she is real fussy or seems thirsty or if I think she might want something to wash her food down with.  Sometimes if she seems REALLY hungry, which has happened a few times lately, I will actually give her another small bowl of cereal before her bath at night.  But this is a RARE occasion and NOT becoming habit!

Please know that I am not telling anyone out there to try it the way I have described here, or that this is the right way to do things.  This is how MY daughter did things and so far it is working wonderfully for us.  Every child is different and will take to food the way they are going to.

Now she is reaching and at times grabbing our plates to try and take the food on them!  Our little girl loves food and has my metabolism to boot so she is hungry constantly!  Neither Derek now I have any food allergies and so far Ariella does not seem to either.  To everyone reading this who might just be beginning the food journey with your own child, good luck and buy lots of bibs!

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