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7 Tips to Start Solid by Skye Swaney of Shift Nutrition

7 Tips For Starting Solids by Skye Swaney of Shift Nutrition

Starting solids is an exciting time for new parents, but for most of us idea of teaching your baby to eat can also be a little daunting!

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As a dietitian, I knew a lot of the theory about introducing solids but quickly found that it was a whole new ball game when it actually came to doing it. For the first two weeks my usually very happy baby did nothing but scream whenever I tried to get him to eat, not exactly the fun mealtime experience I’d been looking forward to! But through a lot of trial and error, and plenty of conversations with other mums, I’m pleased to report that things gradually improved and I now have a champion eater on my hands (at least for now anyway!). Here are a few tips I’ve learned along the way:

  1. Think beyond puree
    Puree is a great place to start, but babies also love the chance to play with food and to try feeding themselves, hence the reason they’ve been putting everything and anything in their mouths!). If your baby is six months or older and you feel comfortable with it, try giving your baby some finger foods such as steamed fingers of sweet potato, asparagus spears, bananas or whole Weetbix softened slightly with a little milk (while keeping a close eye on them).  You might be surprised what they can do!  

 

  1. Make big batches
    Once you and your baby are into the swing of solids, you can feel like you’re constantly cooking (and cleaning up afterwards!). To save time, making big batches and freezing individual portions so that you’ve got plenty of meals ready to go and cooking for your family doesn’t become a full time job!

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  1. Be prepared for mess!
    Argh, the mess! It can be a little discouraging to see the majority of all your lovingly prepared food end up on the floor, but rest assured it’s all part of the process (and they’ll eventually grow out of it!). Instead of fighting it, just accept that it’s going to be messy and make the clean up as easy as possible for yourself.  Get a good bib (a long sleeved one that covers everything might be the easiest way to go), and place a plastic sheet you can wash down or piece of material you can pop in the wash under their high chair.

 

  1. Keep some prunes handy
    Many babies suffer from constipation when solids are first introduced. Certain foods such as bananas are thought to be particular culprits, and I certainly found this to be the case! Prunes are a great way to deal with the constipation naturally, try adding pureed prunes or prune juice to their pureed fruit, infant cereal, yoghurt or porridge (see recipe below).  Pears and plums also work well.

 

  1. Include iron rich foods
    The iron stores your baby built up before birth start to run low after around 6 months and they’ll need to be topped up via some iron-rich foods. Good sources of iron for babies include infant cereals, meat, chicken and fish, legumes such as chickpeas and kidney beans, lentils and tofu.

 

  1. Try, try again
    Babies (and children) often won’t like something the first time they try it, but that doesn’t mean they’ll never like it. Just leave it for a few days and then offer it again, remembering that it can take up to 10 tries before a new food is accepted.

 

  1. Remember, there’s no rush
    Some babies take quite a bit of time to come around to the idea or solids which can be frustrating and worrying for parents. But just keep gently offering different foods in a relaxed environment and they will eventually come around.

 

Finn’s favourite Pear Porridge

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I make a batch of this each week and freeze it in individual portions for quick and easy breakfasts.  I give Finn a few things to nibble on like some toast fingers, whole Weetbix softened slightly with a little milk or some fruit such a banana, mango strips or pineapple fingers while I heat it up.

Ingredients (makes 3 cups which is about 8 serves for Finn, but he’s a big eater!)

1 cup rolled oats

2 cups full cream milk

1 banana, roughly chopped

1 pear, peeled and roughly chopped

8 prunes, seeds removed

 

Method:

  • Place all the ingredients in a large, microwave safe bowl and microwave on high for 7 minutes, stirring once or twice.
  • Puree in a food processor.

Skye Swaney is an Accredited Practicing Dietitian and Nutritionist with over 10 years experience in the field. During her career she has worked in a variety of areas of nutrition, including the Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne, Corporate Nutrition at Sodexo UK & Ireland, Senior Dietitian at the Healthy Kids Association and private practice. She now consults to the food industry, the corporate sector, sporting teams, hospitals and schools and, as a keen health and nutrition writer, regularly contributes to publications such as The Huffington Post . Skye is also a mum to a gorgeous little boy called Finn.

To view our range of food storage and weaning products click here

Find out more about Skye and discover her healthy recipes here

 

 

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Weaning Babies

At around 6 months of age, babies are no longer satisfied with breast/formula milk alone. You may find bubba staring at you when you are eating and reaching out for food to put in their mouth.

Both my kids started when they were 6 months of age and the good ol' rice cereal was their first solid. This was then followed by rice cereal mixed with banana, cooked fruit and then more exciting dishes. 

I am sure many of us thinks starting solid is such an exciting phase. It absolutely is, but at the same time can be time consuming as babies only started with a very small quantities. It makes sense to make the food in bulk and freeze for future meal. I found my eldest did not mind having the same meal a few times in the row (he still doesn't!) but my youngest wasn't so keen on having the same meal over and over again. 

Below are a few of my faves for freezing baby meal:

OXO Tot Baby Food Freezer Tray

The OXO tot baby food freezer tray is excellent to freeze baby food when they just first started solid. Each cavity is small and comes with a lid so that there is no freezer smell. They are also stackable in the freezer!

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OXO Tot Baby Blocks Freezer Box

As bub 's appetite grow, you'll need a larger quantity of solid and OXO tot baby blocks freezer box is great for this as it can be use to store, freeze, reheat and directly serve to bub. The OXO Tot Baby Blocks freezer containers come in 60ml and 120ml size and is BPA, Phthalate and PVC free. It is also leakproof!

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Littlelock Glass Food Containers

If you prefer glass version of containers which you can store, freeze, reheat and serve bubba's food, the Littlelock containers are perfect for this. It is available in 120ml and 210ml size and comes in pack of 3.

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Wean Meister Freezer Pods

One of the most popular products for weaning is the Wean Meister freezer pods. It is made from a flexible and durable silicone and food comes out easily with an easy push. The  freezer pod each has 9 cavity of 75ml. They are easy to clean and also comes with a lid to prevent freezer smell seeping through baby's food. No longer need it for freezing solid? Don't throw your freezer pods away! You can use them to bake mini muffins and to make healthy ice blocks. We still use ours to date. Gotta love products that are long lasting and multi functional.

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At  what age did your little one start solid? Did they like solids straight away? (Mine spat out their rice cereal when they first tasted them hahahaha...). Also how long until your child ate the same food with the rest of the family? My eldest had his own food until he was over 1 year of age but my youngest insisted that she had the same food with the rest of the family when she was 10 months old (by pointing at our food and shaking her head when offered her own!).

 

 

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Pumpkin Soup

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Autumn is well and truly here. Summer was so hot and gorgeous and the warmth at the start of summer always excites me for the long hot days that are coming, the after-school/work beach swim and dinner eaten in the backyard. Bliss.  However I adore autumn. Cooler weather, mellow afternoons, autumn leaves and snuggles whilst watching TV (anyone else sit 2 metres apart from each other during hot summer nights? LOL).

 

Another reason why I love autumn is soups! I love soups. They are easy to make, cook in one pot (less washing up!) and suit the whole family, including bubba.

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Pumpkin soup is my fave, however I find we get hungry not long after we have finished eating it. These days I bulk up my pumpkin soup with potato and sweet potato to make it more filling.

When my babies were tiny I didn’t put the salt and pepper in until I put aside their portion.

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 kg Pumpkin (I have used kent, butternut and both seem to work just as well), peeled and chopped
  • 1 medium Sweet Potato, peeled and chopped
  • 1 large Potato, peeled and chopped
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and chopped
  • 1 Leek, white part only, sliced
  • 1/2 an onion, sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 1.5 L Chicken Stock *(see note)
  • 1 cup milk
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon mixed herbs
  • Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • 2 tablespoons oil

 

Method:

Heat a heavy based large pan.

Add oil and sauté leek, onion and garlic for 2-3 minutes until leek and onion become transparent.

Put pumpkin, sweet potato, potato, carrot into the pan.

Pour in chicken stock to cover the vegetables.

Cook until vegetables are soft, add more stock/water if required.

Use hand blender to puree (careful for splashes - it is hot!)

Pour in milk, add mixed herbs, stir (simmer/low heat) until desired consistency

(if you have younger children, you may want to put theirs aside before you add salt and pepper)

Serve with grated Parmesan Cheese (I add sprinkles of dried chilli to mine!)

 

So easy to make and stores easily in the fridge or freezer for later on in the week. Enjoy!

See our baby food storage selection here if you like! (Click Here)

 

Note:

I make my own chicken stock because when my babies were little I found the ready-made one to have quite a high sodium content. I find them easy to make so I have continued to make it myself.  I pretty much buy chicken bones (carcass) from the chicken shop, put them in a saucepan, cover in cold water, bring to boil and once boiled, reduce heat to low and simmer for 1-2 hours. I have left them simmering for 2-3 hours until the bones are soft therefore the stock tastier, but generally after 1 hour it is ok to use.

 

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