Introducing Solid Foods : Tips, What to Buy, and Which Foods to Try First

Two weeks shy of Liam’s six month birthday, we decided to introduce solids. We were beyond exciting about sharing this new experience with our son and it did not disappoint… Liam loved eating from his very first spoonful! It was a bittersweet moment for me, though — it was both exciting and terrifying to see my baby boy get a little bit bigger right before my eyes.

Here are a few items we ordered ahead of time in order to prepare for solids. We love all of these items and highly recommend them for your baby’s first foods:

  1. Plastic spoons – these are super affordable and convenient (pack of 6). For something as simple as a spoon, I don’t think it’s worth splurging. As long as it is soft and fits baby’s mouth…
  2. Munchkin Fresh Food Feeders – haven’t tried these out yet but have had my eye on them since putting together my registry! Can’t wait to put apple or tangerine slices in them for Liam.
  3. Kushies Waterproof Bib – perfect for when you plan on giving your baby a little more freedom in his high chair. Things might get messy…
  4. Kiddo Feedo Freezer Tray – These are amazing. They each hold 2-3 oz of food and can be frozen, microwaved, and even baked! I like to make batches ahead of time and this is a great product to do so.
  5. Boon Squirt Baby Food Dispensing Spoon – perfect for when you’re on the go and want to minimize the mess.
  6. Plastic bowls – Like the spoons: affordable and convenient.

Here is also a list of the foods we tried, in the order we tried them. Our pediatrician suggested we introduce everything once Liam turned 6 months, but we feel more comfortable sticking with fruits and veggies for a while (Puréed turkey meat, no thank you.) We have plenty of time to get to protein.

We like to include solid food time as an early part of our bedtime routine (right before Liam’s bath) so he knows that dinner time means it’s time to unwind. It seems to help Liam get ready for bed.

Here are the foods we’ve tried so far:

  1. Banana (Liam’s favorite)
  2. Pumpkin (Surprisingly loved it as well)
  3. Mango (Very sweet, so we only gave him a taste. Loved it, though)
  4. Sweet Potato (Loved it – We mix in a little water to make it more puree-like, and add cinnamon!)
  5. Avocado (One of his least favorite)
  6. Carrot (Did not like it at all unless mixed in with banana or apple)
  7. Tangerine (He didn’t seem bothered by the sour taste at all!)
  8. Apple (I gave him a bite of organic unsweetened apple sauce and he loved it)
  9. Zucchini (did not like it on its own, but great mixed with apple sauce)
  10. Green Beans (not great on its own, but fine with some apple sauce)
  11. Butternut Squash (Liam loved it! Even more than sweet potato…)
  12. Beets (Beets were so messy! And stained literally everything… It looked like a horror scene in our household.)
  13. Pear (Liam loved pears! Like apple, it is a great mix in for veggies as well.)
  14. Kiwi (This was a hit as well. Liam loves to chew on kiwi in his fresh food feeder.)
  15. Red Pepper (He loved it both in purées and raw in his fresh food feeder.)
  16. Peach (Same as red pepper! Loved it!)

Our staples are apple, sweet potato, zucchini, and butternut squash. For the apple, I buy organic, unsweetened apple sauce and add it to veggie purées mostly. Making homemade apple sauce is really easy as well! For the other veggies, I simply steam them for 5-10 minutes (zucchini steams a lot quicker than butternut), then mash with a fork or blend in our Ninja blender. Voila! Just make sure the food is warm, not hot, before serving. I love to add spices to my purées (especially cinnamon, which Liam loves.)

Since Liam seems to prefer fruits (duh), we decided to stick to veggies for a while, only adding a tiny spoonful of apple to sweeten the mix if he doesn’t like the taste. That way, he gets the best of both worlds! Update: Liam loves everything now! A foodie, like his mama 🙂

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Some tips before starting solids and what to expect:

  • The first month or two are only for fun so don’t expect solids to count as feeds. Your baby should still be getting all of his calorie needs from breastmilk or formula. The goal here is to introduce your baby to new textures and tastes to open up his palate. Around 18 months, most babies go through a phase in which they reject a lot of foods they previously liked. The goal of introducing a lot of different foods is to make sure this phase isn’t too difficult. The more foods he likes, the less creative you’ll have to be to make sure he eats his meals.
  • It is a good idea to feed your baby solids about an hour (give or take) after nursing or feeding him. You want to make sure he is not starving or overly full before meal time.
  • If baby has some trouble eating from the spoon you are offering him… try your finger. It is familiar, warm, and softer than any spoon you can purchase.
  • If your baby rejects a food, don’t jump to conclusions just yet — it can take up to 14 days for a baby to like a particular food! For Liam, this was so true. He only liked zucchini after 3 days… and now, it’s one of his favorites!
  • Introduce each food on its own first and give it two days to make sure your baby does not have a food allergy. Better be safe than sorry!
  • Avoid salt (50mg or less per serving), too much sugar, cow’s milk (not before age 1), and honey (may cause infant botulism). Be careful with nuts, wheat, and eggs (food allergies are quite common).
  • Expect some…um…different looking/smelling stools. Especially if you’re breastfeeding and are used to pretty harmless diapers, expect your world to drastically change. More compact, thicker, smellier. To avoid being graphic… I’ll leave it at that.
  • Now that you have introduced solids and baby knows what real food is, don’t expect to be able to eat a sandwich in peace! He will want a bite of all of your meals going forward and will show it by either grunting or using his arms to get your attention.


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Johanna Riehm teaches in the department of Communication and Media at Manhattanville College and in the department of English at Mercy College. She teaches courses in the history of communication, public speaking, and social media, as well as creative and technical writing workshops. Johanna’s work has been featured in Graffiti Literary Magazine, The Write Place at the Write Time, The Bangalore Review, Cactus Heart Press, and the LaMothe Review. She is working on her first longer work, a creative nonfiction novel called We Carved Our Names in Tamarind Trees.

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