I’ve sure come a long way on introducing solids since I began this parenting gig almost 10 years ago. By the time my third child came around to this stage, the processed crackers and store-bought biscuits were history, and instead I was making homemade blends of vegetables cooked in stock and taking a careful, considered approach to how and when foods were introduced.
So here are some things I’d like to pass on that I hope will help you as you put together your plan.
The most important thing for our family 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
If buying organic food is a stretch for feeding your whole family, consider buying organic food just for your baby, as the quantities are small enough that you shouldn’t notice much of a change to your overall grocery bill. It’s just worth the investment to give your baby a head start to optimum health.
When to Introduce Foods
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 homemade 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)
- Egg yolk
- Mashed banana
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
- Homemade casserole/stew
- Vegetable soups
- 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. We don’t do store-bought skim versions of any dairy with all our children.
Avoid until after 12m and then introduce slowly and one at a time:
- White potatoes
- Leafy greens
- All grains and legumes (babies do not have enough digestive enzymes to handle them)
- Citrus fruit and tomatoes
- Egg whites
- Raw berries (pectin can upset tummies)
- For more information on introducing solids the traditional way and being mindful of gut balance, I highly recommend Natasha Campbell-McBride’s book ‘Gut and Psychology Syndrome’.
- The ‘Weston A Price Foundation’ website has some useful information on introducing solids. But I couldn’t bring myself to do the liver thing.
- Nourishing Traditions is our ‘go-to’ book for all things nutrition and diet, and has a useful section on feeding babies and children. (You might also be interested in ‘The Nourishing Traditions Book of Baby and Child Care’ by the same author which is on my Amazon wish list!).
Bear in mind, 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.
Once you have your plan, print it off and keep on the fridge or somewhere handy to refer to easily.
All the best to you as you help give your baby a great start in life!