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I remember the day we first gave Bastian solid food. My husband and I were so excited! We had been putting Bastian in his highchair for a little over a month during meal-time to get him interested in what goes on at the table. We waited to try solids with Bastian until he was 6 months old. I decided that introducing vegetables first would be the best option for us. I made my own sweet potato puree and was sure he would love it. We were so excited to see him gobble down his first bites of real human food…but after one bite he was done. We were so sad! I thought to myself, 'he will never eat!' 'I have a picky eater!'

I guess this happens to every first time parent, but don't worry, our kids will get the hang of it. It took a couple of weeks for Bastian to start liking solid foods. The key to success is to keep trying! Every night we would sit down to dinner and offer him food. Slowly he became more and more excited about eating. Even if your little one only takes one or two bites, that's okay!

When your baby is first starting out eating solids, the runnier the better. You can add water or breast milk (if you breast feed) to your purees to make them thinner and easier for baby to swallow. They should almost be the consistency of soup. I also waited 4-5 days before introducing a new food. This helps you identify where an allergy comes from if they develop one.

The foods we started with were sweet potato, avocado, butternut squash and peas. Bastian didn't love them all at first, but we kept offering them. To this day, one week he loves something and the next week he doesn't want anything to do with it. So don't give up on a food, thinking your little one doesn't like it.

Once Bastian got the hang of eating solid food and began to enjoy it, we started giving him two meals a day. Every time we would eat in front of him, he would put his arms up and kind of whine. That was a sign to me that he wanted more food. We started introducing fruits like pears, bananas and apples. I always put the fruit in with the vegetables so that he got a "balanced" meal. I also didn't want him to get a sweet tooth early on and not want vegetables anymore.

After about a month I started offering him small bites of food on his tray. We started with freeze-dried fruits like strawberries. These melt in your mouth and don't require much "gumming". He wasn't quite sure what to do with them or how to pick them up, but over time, he got the hang of it. It actually made dinner time easier for us. We could eat, and he was entertained by feeding himself.

Now-a-days, Bastian is an eating machine. He eats three meals a day and a snack. I still try really hard to make sure he is eating healthy, wholesome foods. It is hard, but so worth it. I keep frozen peas, carrots and green beans stocked in my freezer. It's quick and easy to just stick them in the microwave to thaw out. I usually put a small amount of butter with them to make them extra yummy. I also bought these reusable squeeze containers that I keep in the freezer. I blend yogurt, fruit that is going soft and a leafy green like spinach or kale. I make a batch of 8 at a time and then freeze them. Bastian loves them, and they are perfect for a quick snack when we're out and about.

A few of my meal time must-haves are these bibs, a splash mat, small ramekins, an on-the-go snack container, and a dog to clean up the mess would be nice too...

Introducing food to your baby is something that many parents really look forward to. I still get excited for Bastian to try a new food. Food has such nostalgia and can bring us right back to a special time or place in our lives. It's our job, as our kids's parents, to feed them wholesome, healthy food and have them grow up enjoying these foods. It's also our job to have a little fun sometimes and eat things like cookies and pizza :) 

Amalia Van Bloom

amaliamisc.wordpress.com

Amalia is ParentSavvy's local style expert. She has lived in Omaha for five years with her husband, son and two cats. She enjoys being a new mom to her son, born last April. Amalia is a graphic designer and crafter extraordinaire.  She blogs on her personal experiences at amaliamisc.wordpress.com. ...

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