Monday, November 29, 2010

Switching to solids one solid at a time...

It's been a month and if actually have lowered our baby jar food purchase to 1 - 4 every 2 weeks just in case of an emergency. I have to admit just the thought of feeding table food to a baby with only 6 teeth makes me nervous mostly due to the fact that he/she only uses those teeth or gums to chew!

I first started with a Mexican "caldo" which consists of chicken bouillon, chicken breast, carrots, celery, cilantro, tomato, onions, potato, sweet potato or garnet yams, zucchini, chayote squash, corn, pasta stars or letters or "wheels". As you can see it has lots of fresh ingredients and it is made from scratch so easy just add water, salt and pepper to taste. Even adults love it!

Took a piece of chicken and shredded it with my fingers until I had little bitty pieces of it and served it in a bowl with the veggies and pasta and some of the liquid. My then 10 month old son took to it very easily! specially because I cut up everything into little bite size pieces for him. The liquid helped make everything smooth and soft for him to be able to chew even with just gums!

Since that day when I served him the "caldo" he's been on mostly table foods, we've fed him string cheese into bite size pieces, toast with butter (to soften it), mashed potatoes, yams, carrots and even a Cuban dish called "arroz con pollo" meaning rice and chicken cooked together in the rice steamer. It is very easy to make and consists of white rice, chicken, tomato, onion, garlic, olive oil, as well as herbs and spices to taste. It is delicious and easy to make. Not to mention quick and you don't have to stand in front of the stove watching it simmer!

It is important to keep in mind that some babies (just like ours) don't like the texture of certain meals, fruits or veggies such as banana. Our son gags when he is offered a little piece of mashed banana. So keep in mind this is normal since babies are acquiring their taste and at the same time deciding what they like and what they don't like. Moreover, remember that what you feed your child in his first 3 years of age will determine his eating habits for life.

To further explain, when our now 5 year old daughter was born prematurely at 34.5 weeks and weighing only 3.12 lbs! yes you read right. We decided that we were always going to listen to our pediatrician. Why? well even though there are some things you learn through experience, he is the expert. He went to school and was certified by a board to be a Doctor. Yes there are moments when it seems we as parents know more than they do, specially since every child is different and their parents know them best.

So he told us to hold off on the fruit juices until she was 3 as well as with candy, "junk" food and soft drinks. Fast forward to now and our daughter doesn't like soft drinks or anything with a fizz, she doesn't enjoy candy or ice cream, but she does love her chocolate. She mostly drinks water and will choose an apple slices instead of fries! Now if you know us, my husband and I aren't the picture of healthy. We are heavier than we should be. I must add we are getting better at making healthier choices.

We wanted to teach our children to choose healthy and not make the same mistakes we did, we are now changing our eating habits so that we can set an example by doing so ourselves. ;-)

Whenever you decide it is time for your child to start table foods will be the best time, because remember you know your child best!

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