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Starting Rylee on solids was pretty scary for me. Well to be honest everything scares me, but solids were definitely intimidating. I think my main concern was allergies. What did I look for? What were the signs she was having a reaction? What if the reaction, if any was severe? When I turned about 14, I started noticing every time I ate an apple my lips began to swell and my throat, tongue and lips would be very itchy. Then I started noticing it with other fruits like kiwis, pomegranates, plums, and pears. As you can imagine, I was nervous that Rylee would be allergic to these fruits as well.
When it came time to start her on solids, we made a big mistake! At Rylees 4 month check up, we asked her doctor when she should begin solids. The doctor recommended when she was 5-6 months. Against her advice, we started her at 4 months anyway. I must say, we kinda felt pressured. We were hearing from our moms that at 3 months we were already on solids and she should be eating more, we came out just fine… you know the rest. We were fine and nothing did happen to us. Growing up, I always thought babies ate around 3 months because that’s what I saw, but I guess we were wrong.
Rylee is exclusively breastfed, so trying cereal in the bottle wasn’t going to work. So her first food was cereal, spoon fed. She made the cutest disgusted face, had three spoons and was done.We tried once a day for a week, and as each day passed, she was eating less and less. She would throw her hands up and down and turn her face. After that first week we stopped. We waited two weeks to try again, and still she just didn’t want anything to do with the cereal. We thought that it might just be that she didn’t like the cereal. I had read that starting babies on cereal wasn’t necessary and we could jump right into vegetables. So we went and bought two butternut squashes. She didn’t take to those either. We also tried sweet potatoes, but still Rylee didn’t seem to want the solids. We decided to stop trying until right before she turned 6 months. This is when we started to notice her being more interested in our foods and drinks. We went to the store, bought some peas, and to my surprise, she not only was opening her mouth to the spoon (which she hadn’t done before), but kept coming back for more. Her first day eating the peas, she had two servings.
Since having the peas, Rylee has done really well with eating solids. I think we kept waiting for her to start throwing her hands up and turning her head away. I felt like each day I was holding my breath hoping she would take the food, and she has. When we finally gave her her first fruits (apples) and there was no reaction, I felt such a big relief and to see her enjoy them so much made me so happy. Looking back it’s not as scary as I imagined. So moms if you are nervous I understand, but now you get to watch your baby really grow and become their own person. I love seeing what she likes and dislikes. Watching her face to each new taste and new textures. I know all to soon she will be eating food with me and daddy all by herself, so I am just trying to remember all these moments as best as I can. Sometimes, babies aren’t so by the book. I think the best thing to do is to wait until they are ready, they will let you know. I am glad now that I’ve learned to look for her signals in her development. Shes growing more and more, faster and faster each day. As much as I’d like to think we are teaching her, she is teaching us so much as well.
Rylee’s solid food menu…so far!
Butternut Squash: I Cut in half. Placed faced down on baking sheet with a inch and a half of water. Baked for 40 minutes at 400 Degrees. Once cooked, I scooped out the “meat” and put into Black & Decker BL2100S 12-Speed Blender with Glass Jar. I added small amounts of breast milk (if you aren’t breast feeding, the water from the baking sheet or formula works as well) into the blender until desired texture. I put the squash into my Fresh Baby So Easy Baby Food and Breast Milk Trays and put into the freezer. Once they were frozen, I took them out and put the in a zip lock bag and back into the freezer labeled with the date. They can be stored in the freezer for about two weeks. I stored all her vegetables this way.
Sweet Potatoes: Washed potatoes and poked holes all around. Wrapped in aluminum foil. Placed in over for 40 minutes at 400 degrees for an hour. Like the butternut squash, I scooped the meat out and placed in blender. Added breast milk.
Peas: We bought one of the microwavable bags. Followed the instructions on the bag and then after blended with breast milk.
Carrots: I washed the carrots and peeled them. I cut them up and placed them in my Norpro 175 Stainless Steel Vegetable Steamer and into a sauce pan that had about 2 inches of water. I let them steam for 20 minutes. I put them into the blender and using the water from the pot, blended into puree.
Apples: The apples were tricky because I knew I couldn’t freeze them after I blended them. With the apples I did two a day in the morning and she would eat them at room temperature. Just like the carrots, I cleaned, peeled, cut and steamed them for the same amount of time and blended using the water from the pot.
Pears: Same as the apples, I did two a day so they would not get bad. Steamed and pureed the same way as apple.
Now we will begin mixing different foods together and we are going to start on finger foods to help strengthen those little teeth she has!