Blog by Katie Thomson, MS, RD | Co-Founder of Square Baby
So exactly HOW do I introduce solids?
Wondering if your baby is ready for solids? Check out “PART 1” of Introducing Solids for advice, tips, and 5 HELPFUL SIGNS your baby is ready to start eating purees.
Which foods should I introduce first?
The Academy of Pediatrics stresses the importance of offering a variety of textures and foods, especially fruits, veggies, and pureed meats to help baby develop their palate, get essential nutrients, and learn to love a variety of foods. But they also note that there is no “perfect order” to introduce foods.
PARENT TIP: Remember that baby may take 10-15 times to accept or like the food. Try not to get discouraged. Stay with it! It’ll pay off. Your little babe WILL become a foodie!parents everywhere & academy of pediatrics
We recommend trying single-ingredient purees that are easy on their young tummy and high in nutrients like carrots, sweet potatoes, squash, green beans, peas, banana, avocado, mango, peaches, and even pureed meat or poultry.
Square Baby has 6 Single Ingredient purees perfect for 4-6 month-old babies. They are smooth-textured purees that are organic, preservative-free, and freshly made in small batches. Check out Square Baby single-ingredient puree options!
Our “Lil Sweet Potato” (pictured above) is a great first food to try. It’s rich in Vitamin A, C, and Potassium which help promote good vision, healthy skin, normal growth and protection from infections. Plus, it also has a smooth, velvety texture that babies love. #doublewin!
If your baby has been primarily breastfed: pureed meat or poultry may be a great first food because they provide iron and zinc in a more easily absorbed form than plant-based foods. Babies are born with sufficient iron stores (from mother’s blood while in the womb), but those reserves naturally deplete by about 6 months of age so it is important to look for foods that are rich in iron. Meat and poultry are also rich in protein & B vitamins and are easy on the tummy — making them another great first food.
Check out our “C” Square Meals — Mango Coconut Chicken, Apple Curry Chicken, and Harvest Feast — all made with organic chicken bone broth. Bone broth is a great source of protein and is known to help support a healthy gut and immune function, among other benefits.
Public Service Announcement: we proudly use THE BEST BONE BROTH – Roli Roti Butcher’s Bone Broth. It’s locally-sourced, super gelatinous (packed with nutrients and natural gelatin), and made of only organic chicken bones & carrots. No salt, preservatives, or additives.
Tips from our Registered Dietitian:
- Make sure meats are pureed to a smooth texture and be careful to watch for bones or fragments.
- To puree: add water, breastmilk/formula, or bone broth with no sodium added. It’s important to NOT use regular broths because they are typically very high in sodium.
Vegetarian? We’ve got you covered.
Check out our “A” Square Meals (protein is from Straus Family Creamery whole milk Greek yogurt) and “B” Square Meals (protein is from sprouted green lentils or beans). We also have Vegetarian options that provide Iron & Vitamin C, which helps the body absorb iron (fun fact!).
What about infant cereals?
You may also decide to add a little oat, barley, quinoa, rice or multigrain cereal to breastmilk or formula to introduce the idea of eating from the spoon with a more familiar flavor. Look for FORTIFIED CEREALS that provide iron, zinc, calcium, Vitamin E, Vitamin D3, B vitamins, and other essential nutrients.
What’s the deal with allergies?
Recent research has found that introducing allergens should happen EARLY and OFTEN. The Academy of Pediatrics has changed their recommendations — they used to caution introducing allergens and told parents to wait until 1 year for milk, 2 years for peanuts, and 3 years for fish & tree nuts.
Now, the AAP encourages introducing allergen foods EARLY (4-6 months) to help PREVENT ALLERGIES from developing. And also to provide these foods OFTEN to help a baby’s immune system get to know and stay accustomed to the foods. It’s like their immune system is building up a tolerance in order to prevent an allergy.
“The eight most common allergenic foods are milk, eggs, fish, shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, wheat, and soybeans…if you have a family history of food allergies, talk to your child’s doctor or nurse about what to do for your baby.”Academy of pediatrics
Though it’s not totally necessary, you can try introducing one food at a time and wait a day before introducing another food — this allows you to watch for potential reactions or intolerances with a certain food.
Single-ingredient purees like Square Baby’s “Lil Peach”, “Lil Carrot”, “Lil Mango”, “Lil Pear”, “Lil Sweet Pea” and “Lil Sweet Potato” are a great way to introduce baby’s first bites.
Single-ingredient success! What’s next?
Start combining foods for a healthy, balanced, delicious meal.
Our Square Meal System was designed to offer balanced, “square” meals that offer baby 100% of their daily recommended servings of fruits, veggies, whole grains, and various proteins. We’ve also incorporated healthy fats, herbs, and spices to encourage the development of an adventurous lil eater!
Get started today and set your baby up for a lifetime of healthy eating!
Stay tuned for “PART 3” of INTRODUCING SOLIDS to learn more about balanced eating and how Square Baby makes it super-simple to provide your baby with 100% daily nutrition!