I’ve sure come a long way on introducing solids since my first child. Gone are the processed crackers and store-bought biscuits, in exchange for homemade blends of vegetables cooked in stock along with a careful, considered approach to how and when foods are introduced. The results seem to be speaking for themselves: I have a thriving healthy little lad on my hands, and the dairy intolerance that was there for a good part of his first year seems to have subsided, if not completely disappeared (still monitoring). I’m taking my time with introducing certain foods, and he’s still having a good amount of milk from me.
The most important thing for us is that we choose only organic foods for these reasons:
- More nutrition
- No harmful chemicals, pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, and other toxic residues.
- Free from additives and GE-free
As to what foods we introduce and when, I have used guidance from Weston A Price, GAPS diet, and the Baby and Toddler book.
I introduce single foods and watch for any reaction over a few days before introducing the next one. I also prefer to cook vegetables in broths/stocks.
Here’s the basic plan I’ve followed, give or take a few compromises here or there.
4m + (minimal solids; ie. 1-2t per day)
6-8m (single foods to start with, then gradually introduce blends, as well as meat and oil)
Cooked vegetables: sweet potato, carrots, parsnip, beetroot
Raw pureed fruits: pear, banana, avocado, apple
Cooked fruits: apple, dried apricots, peach, plum
Meat: Cooked and pureed lamb, beef, chicken
Broths: added to meat and vegetable blends
Oils: coconut and olive oil
Cooked vegetables: broccoli, peas
Dried fruits (small amounts): dates, raisins (soaked and blended in with other fruit)
Cooked berries (if tolerated)
Slowly introduce tastes such as ginger, garlic, onion, spices
A little of the juice from homemade fermented vegetables mixed with food
We introduced certain types of dairy slowly about this stage, such as kefir and yoghurt and a little butter, as our baby appeared intolerant to dairy from when he was a few weeks old (eg. nappy rash, green poop, unsettled when lying flat, reaction would occur about 4 hours after I’d eaten any). We did a little cheese with him about 11 months. And we don’t do any processed dairy with any of our kids, such as store-bought skim yoghurt, cottage or cream cheese, etc.
Avoid until after 12m and then introduce slowly and one at a time:
All grains and legumes (babies do not have enough digestive enzymes to handle them)
Citrus fruit and tomatoes
Raw berries (pectin can upset tummies)
I was aware around 9-10 months with my baby that the dairy intolerance was most likely to do with gut flora issues rather than a genuine dairy intolerance. I tested this according to the GAPS diet book (a few drops on the wrist overnight) and no reaction occurred. So I’ve been mindful of that in recent weeks and have taken steps to prepare food according to the GAPS Diet guidance given for GAPS babies. Gladly for us, our little guy doesn’t have any issues with behaviour or development. It’s more about giving him a good start in life with the right kind of balance of foods.
For more information on introducing solids the traditional way and mindful of gut balance, I highly recommend Natasha Campbell-McBride’s book Gut and Psychology Syndrome.
Also the Weston A Price foundation website has some useful information on introducing solids. Although personally, I couldn’t bring myself to do the liver thing.
And of course, this is all just a guide based on what’s worked for us. You might have a different set of needs to consider for your little one.
I hope you find something useful in what I’ve posted so you can make intentional decisions for your little ones as well.
My health disclaimer here.