As parents, we have a natural need to make sure our child is well fed. When our child does not eat, we feel like we have failed.
I knew that I wanted to avoid processed foods as much as possible and get her eating real food like veggies, fruits, nuts and dairy, but I was a victim of the need to feed. Here is our journey starting solids with our first child…
We started with oatmeal and had a hard time getting her to swallow each bite, but after a lot of persistence, we got her eating oatmeal and then homemade purees. Once she got going, my baby would eat anything in puree form or out of a pouch. I thought that we had figured this baby eating thing out – then came the transition to actual solids.
We tried all of the easy foods that we knew she already loved like sweet potato and bananas. She refused to put anything in her mouth that wasn’t a puree. We read tons of articles and talked to our pediatrician to find tricks that would help. She would eat really thick purees with chunks of meat and veggies, but none of these foods on their own or in bigger chunks. We presented the same food over and over and over and over and over…you get it. A LOT.
Then one fateful Saturday morning, we gave her banana that was cut into slices (and then quarters) and she ate it! Boom! Finally, she was willing to try food that she had to mash in her mouth. I felt so hopeful but then we went back to work trying to find any other solids that she would eat.
We introduced every softer solid that we could think of…avocado, sweet potato, peas, pear, egg, melon, kiwi, etc. She rejected everything besides bananas for weeks. After a lot of persistence, she started eating pear and kiwi. But that meant that she was only eating fruits, so we continued to give her purees and pouches with veggies in them. This damn need to feed our kids!
Light bulb moment
The amount of hours that I spent thinking about what to feed her is embarrassing. One day, the amazing idea came to us to try vegetable soups as a transitional food and it worked! She loved nearly every (low sodium) organic vegetable soup – garden veggie, minestrone, black bean, white bean, anything with beans. The soups helped us finally figure out what she liked and start the real transition to eating adult foods. We stopped the pouches and purees completely.
Now, she is eating many more healthy foods like organic sweet potatoes, beans, cheese, almond slices, carrots, and green beans often dipped in our secret weapon…organic ketchup.
I will just start by saying that I have NOT figured this out and would love advice from other parents. Eating has been our struggle as you can see by our story. Let me know your tips, so we can all do better the next time around.