Feeding a baby is “easy,” all they need from birth to six months is formula or breast milk. Once you start them on solids, shit starts to get real, literally. I honestly had NO idea how to introduce solids to Jimmie. I asked our (former) pediatrician and she said, “Ideally, they should be eating all solid meals by the time they’re one.” Oh gee, thanks for that tip, Doc!
We started feeding Jimmie rice cereal the day after he turned six months. We did that for a few days, gradually increasing the amount. We then introduced veggie purees and after that we introduced fruit purees. (He quickly switched from rice cereal to oatmeal within two or three weeks.)
It takes forever to get through every.single.veggie.and.fruit. Jimmie would eat about 2 ounces of puree once or twice a day when we first started solids for the first month. After 7 months he would usually eat a whole container once or twice a day. Every time we introduced a new food, we would only give a few spoon fulls to make sure there wasn’t a reaction. After a a month and a half of experimenting, Jimmie started to eat finger foods. His first finger food was pancakes.
Once Jimmie started eating finger foods we gave him: avocado, sweet potato, toast, wheat pasta, turkey/ chicken meatballs, and bananas. We started slow with finger foods and gradually added more foods to his eating list. (I was terrified of him choking.) Around 8 months, Jimmie started eating 3 “meals.” He would have oatmeal (mixed with 2 ounces of formula/puree) then a bottle (5 ounces) for breakfast, a puree and bottle (6 ounces each) for lunch and dinner, and then a bottle (7-8 ounces) before bed. (4 bottles a day.) We would give him his solids first (puree, finger foods) then his bottle or else he would not eat anything after his bottle. It is usually recommended to do it the other way around, but this worked for us.
When Jimmie was 9 1/2 months, he got the stomach bug and his whole eating schedule changed.He didn’t want as many bottles, therefore we started giving him more purees and finger foods. He started getting one 8 oz bottle for breakfast then eating some cheerios/banana while I ate my breakfast, eating a full lunch of solids (which included oatmeal with formula mixed in) and a full dinner, he also had a bottle for snack at 2:30 PM (6 ounces), and an 8 oz bottle before bed. We dropped his snack bottle at about 10 1/2 months. When I say all “solids” this includes purees. (At this time, we started giving Jimmie a Beachnut 3rd foods puree with his dinner because he had the hang of chewing by this point.)
11 -12 Months
Jimmie now pretty much eats whatever we are eating. (We dropped his breakfast bottle when he was just over 11 months.) Sometimes if he has to eat before us, we go out to eat, or we have pizza, we make him his own little meal. Interesting things he eats are: homemade beef bulgogi, tofu, and shredded bbq chicken. He also eats eggs, pasta with red gravy, and strawberries. (All three of these were introduced after he turned ten months.) Before Jimmie was ten months I would dip his pasta in veggie purees.
A typical day of eating now goes like this:
Breakfast: between 7 and 7:30
1/4 cup oatmeal (flavored with a few spoonfuls of fruit puree and 3 oz of formula)
1/2-1 whole Kashi 7 Grain Waffle
Fruit (a quarter of a banana, a few strawberries, kiwi, or cantaloupe)
Snack 1: after first nap
Crackers, graham crackers, puffs, or Cheerios
Whole wheat toast (with hummus, fruit puree, or cheese)
Plain whole milk yogurt with fruit puree mixed in/4% cottage cheese with puree mixed in
Avocado (other fruit) or leftover veggies from the night before
(Jimmie will also have leftover pasta for lunch or taco meat/chicken if available instead of a “sandwich.”)
Snack 2: after 2nd nap
Crackers, graham crackers, or Cheerios
Dinner: between 4:30 and 5
Whatever we’re eating (or tofu or a meatball [I make them in bulk and freeze them])
Veggie (either a puree, green beans, or broccoli)
Fruit (either a puree or finger pieces)
Bedtime Bottle: (7 oz) at 7 pm
Sometimes Jimmie wants more food than we make and will yell for more. Sometimes he wants less than he normally eats and pulls off his bib when he is done. Sometimes he throws a fit a meals (a lot of times) and throws food on the ground. Most times he won’t drink more than a few sips of water and/or milk (and it is really, really frustrating). We introduced whole milk shortly before Jimmie turned 11 months to transition him off his bottle. I started giving him water when he was 6 months old. (He hates juice, which I think is weird.)
We have a pretty good eater (thus far) but he is far from perfect. Every day is different. Some days it takes him 40 minutes to eat because he wants more, more, more and other days I’m crying along with him when he refuses to eat anything but his waffle or knocks my hand away when I try to feed him from a spoon. Jimmie ALWAYS has to hold his own spoon when we’re feeding him with one. If he throws his spoon, we HAVE to pick it up before we continue or else he will shake his head no and close his mouth.
Here are some meal examples:
I’m not saying this is the right (and only) way to feed your child. But this is what worked for us. Happy eating!