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Feeding your baby solid foods

Starting your baby on solid foods is exciting, scary, and very, very messy. To get started you will need bibs, cloths, and spoons with a rubber tip. If the area that you have your highchair in is carpeted cover with a splat mat or bath towel. If you have any allergies or intolerances and/or your child has any known allergies or intolerances, you do not want to start with those foods.

A great food to begin with is rice cereal. I tried making this myself and my baby hated it, gagged, cried, etc.  the store-bought kind on the other hand was gobbled up in seconds. If you plan to make it yourself here is a simple recipe:

Baby Cereal

Ingredients:

1/4 c. rice powder (brown rice ground in blender or food processor)
1 cup water

Directions:

1. Bring liquid to boil in saucepan. Add the rice powder while stirring constantly.
2. Simmer for 10 minutes, whisking constantly, mix in formula or breast milk if desired
3. Serve warm.

With all foods it is recommended that you introduce the food early in the day in case there is an allergic reaction and that way you are awake to catch it. Also, it is best to introduce one food at a time, waiting four days before adding a new one. I personally found it easiest to introduce one per week and then I was really sure that there were no reactions.

After you have introduced rice cereal it is best to move onto vegetables, then fruit. If you introduce fruit first babies will crave that sweetness and may reject vegetables all together.

All early baby foods should be cooked and pureed to a thick soup-like consistency. The exceptions to the rule are: avocados and bananas because they can easily be mashed with the side of a fork. Otherwise get out your steamer, peeler and cutting board, clean, peel and chop veggies into cubes, steam for 20 minutes and puree with your blender or handheld adding the water from steaming to create the right consistency. Pour your puree into, ice cube trays, muffin tins, babycubes and freeze for future meals. You will be surprised how much puree you will get out of a carrot or two.

Great starter veggies include:

Peas, Carrots, Squash, Sweet Potato, Green Beans

Great starter fruits include:

Apples, Bananas, Pears, Peaches, Avocado, Pumpkin