We were adamant about exclusively breastfeeding our youngest daughter until she was six-months-old. Family meals got quite interesting when she began moaning and humming at the smell of our cooked food. At five and a helf months, she started lunging towards our plates and fussing terribly when denied. According to her attitude, skip the baby mush please it is spoon and fork time.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that all children be exclusively breast and/or formula fed until six months of age. But what is the best way to add solids to your infant’s diet? Some six-month-old’s have a mouth full of teeth and can chew chicken. Others, like ours, have no teeth and can barely hold down oatmeal cereal. How do you manage being your infant’s nutritionist?
Per America’s favorite pediatrician, Dr. Sears, infants should sustain from eating solids until the following:
- Their intestines mature at six months.
- The tongue gag reflex diminishes.
- Babies are able to sit-up unassisted.
Per his recommendation, the achievement of these three major milestones usher in a new era of food adventure for our little ones and us.
Because our daughter exclusively breastfed, when began her off with oatmeal cereal. It is recommended to be spoon served only, but we put it in a bottle with breast milk and water. She hated it and would not drink more than an ounce. We then converted it into a bowl with a little bit of breast milk. She loves it this way and has a bowl for breakfast every morning.
Her first food was carrots. I prefer starting our children off with vegetables in order to accustom their palettes without the manipulation of sugar. This worked for her older sister who now loves vegetables. Well she did until she discovered cookies. The younger daughter, however, hated the carrots, and preferred peas instead. This is still a win for the vegetable-based diet, but it also proves that no two babies are alike even if related.
When adding solids, it is recommended that you try one food per week. The purpose of this is to highlight any foods that may trigger allergic reactions. Food allergies can take up to five days to appear. Adding new foods one at a time makes it easier to identify the cause of an allergic reaction.
We are now four weeks into starting solids. We have learned that our baby loves peas, squash, oatmeal, and carrots not so much. Her daily diet consists of breast milk in between meals, about four ounces of spoon fed vegetables, and a morning bowl of oatmeal. We are gradually adding more foods to her diet each week. Our biggest challenge now, is preventing her sister, the toddler, from slipping her chicken off her plate. She likes the idea of sharing the things that she loves with her baby sis.
What’s your 6-month-old eating? We’d love to know.
Clarissa Joan is a spiritual life coach and editor-in-chief of The Clarissa Joan Experience. She resides in Philadelphia, Pa with her Husband, their two girls, and a yorkie named Ace. Clarissa is also an expert in impact investing. She is the Communications Associate at Impact America Fund.