Solids do not mean solids, what it really means is pureed and very, very soupy, liquidy foods, and your baby is going to start to eat these foods at about 4 to 6 months of age. If your baby starts at 4 months, she will likely be in this stage of having these very pureed, soupy foods, for about 2 to 3 months so from 4 months to about 6 or 7 months. If, on the other hand, she doesn’t start until 6 months, she’ll be in this stage one of these pureed, very soupy foods from month 6 to about months 8 or 9.
So that’s really what stage 1 means it’s the first stage for your baby to be enjoying these pureed or soupy foods. So, now let’s talk a little bit about what kind of foods you’re going to want to give your baby. The rule of thumb, according to the AAP, is that you must introduce each new food for approximately 3 to 4 days before you introduce another new food, and with each new food you should check for any signs that your baby is not tolerating the food such as diarrhea, vomiting, or rash in which case you should stop giving the food in question immediately and contact your doctor right away.
So, the tradition with these first foods has always been a single grain fortified baby cereal like rice and then a little bit later on barley or oatmeal, another single grain, and this is what a lot of people including me with my first baby start out with.
Make sure, however, if you are starting with fruits and veggies that you check with your doctor that you don’t need to do something in the way of iron supplementation because one of the good things about these cereals is that they are fortified with iron and at this stage the baby’s iron levels can be dipping a little bit. Here is a sampling of pureed foods you can begin to give during the first stage of introducing solids: sweet potatoes, butternut, winter squash, carrots, avocadoes that are well smashed, peas, green beans, peaches, pears, apples, bananas, mangos, plums. Also begin to introduce meat at this stage such as chicken, which is a great source of zinc and of iron. Again, in a very thin pureed form. No Kentucky Fried Chicken just yet people, I’m sorry, but your baby is going to think all of this stuff is yummy!
What kinds of foods at this stage should I stay away from?
Doctors usually recommend that you steer clear of fish, eggs, and nuts until after the first year because these foods can cause allergic reactions. Also, they say no cow’s milk until after the first and stay away from honey because it can be a source of bacteria. Now like many things in the baby world, this too is debatable.
Some people do actually think it is okay to give babies fish at this stage as long as the fish is not high in mercury such as swordfish or shellfish. So what do I do if I really decide if I want to make this food for my baby? The way to do this, the key to making your own food for your baby is single foods in tiny, tiny small amounts and then you freeze in small amounts in safe, plastic, ice cube trays for freezer or small glass containers. Steam the food until it’s very soft and then puree it in your Cuisinart blender until there are no lumps. When it comes to meat what I do is I boil chicken until it’s very soft and then I throw it in that Cuisinart too. Put on some awesome music to pass the time.
Remember you’re really just introducing these solids just one by one at this point and each one for 3 to 4 days. Make sure you put on the date, I use blue nonstick tape or I just take a little label that I have left over for some files, and personally, I try to use this within two weeks, then I defrost it overnight in the fridge when I’m going to use it and I take it out that morning and I try to use it that day because I really believe that fresh is best. So best of luck introducing all of these things to your own little baby and watch my show on stage 2 and stage 3 solids for more information on finger foods and more things that you’ll be doing with your baby as the months go by.