Nikita is going to be 6 months old this weekend and I will need to start her on solid foods. How exciting! I feel like I’ve been given a clean slate and asked to draw on it. Till now I’ve never had to worry about whether she is having nutritious food or not since breast milk has all the nutrition she needs. But now its on us to make sure she gets a balanced meal!
I’ve been reading up a lot lately on starting babies on solid food – what to feed, how much to feed, the consistency etc. I find myself incessantly mulling over what should be her first food. Should I go with the traditional rice cereal or should I start with sweet potato or apple puree. I haven’t quite made up my mind yet. Most likely will start with rice cereal. Anyway I guess the order doesn’t really matter. Well, that is not all the decision making to be done. Ah! if only life were that simple. Lol.
The next thing to sort out is should I buy iron-fortified rice cereal from the supermarket or should I try and whip up my own at home. Initially I was concerned that feeding home made rice cereal will deprive Nikki of iron. But having read up further on the subject I am convinced that extra iron is not necessary and in fact may be harmful for babies. Its amazing how much this iron-fortified stuff has been marketed.
Here is what I am going to start with. Later on, I’ll try doing something similar with other cereals like barley, buckwheat, quinoa too.
Adding just one extra step in making rice cereal – wash the rice and leave it for drying in a strainer . Once fully dry, roast it for 2-3 minutes before grinding it into a powder.
As for vegetables and fruits, I am going to start off steaming/boiling, pureeing and then freezing it in freezer trays. I am really excited and must add – a tad nervous (the dreaded constipation, night wakings and who knows what!) about starting solids. What an experience it will be for Nikita having only tasted breast milk all her life – well maybe I should say breast milk of different flavors. And what an experience it will be for me – feeding. Will she be eager to eat? Will she like it? Will it be a joyful experience or will I come to dread it?
25th is a Sunday. Nikita is getting her 6 month shots on Monday, the 26th. So I am thinking, maybe I’ll hold off until the weekend after her shots to start her on solids. And of course I want Vikram to be present too for the big moment! So I think Oct 1st it shall be!
Let the meals begin!
Here are the Feeding Supplies that I’ve got so far
I looked at several high chairs and narrowed it down to these 3 – OXO Tot Seedling High Chair, Graco Swift Fold LX Highchair and phil&teds Poppy Highchair. Even though I really liked the OXO Tot seedling High Chair, it has a pretty large footprint. I wanted a fold-able high chair to stow away between meals so I opted for the Graco Swift Fold.
Other Useful Links:
2. A Splat Mat for the High Chair
My apartment has carpet flooring and I felt a splat mat to catch messes will be a must-have!
3. Infant Spoons -for baby’s soft gums
5. Freezer Trays
I am going to try Storing Homemade Baby Food Using the Ice Cube Tray – Freezer Bag Method. Any freezer trays would do. I wanted one with lids. So I got these.
6. Freezer Bags / Freezer Storage Containers
I am sure that things are going to get super messy when starting solids. These are some of the bibs that am going to start off with and see how they hold up.
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8. Things from your kitchen – Food processor/ Blender for pureeing vegetables/fruits, Strainer, Steamer/Cooker for steaming.