A reflection of my experience introducing solids through a combination of baby led-weaning and using whole-food organic savory purees. Pin this post for later here.
Let’s be real: being a MOM is hard!
I always imagined myself to be that mom that would spend endless amounts of hours in the kitchen preparing homemade baby foods. I also always had a vision that my future children would love everything I ever served. Boy, was I wrong!
One tough lesson I learned was that perfect can be the enemy of the good. At no time is this more apparent than when I’m feeding my kiddos.
AND now that I’m a mama of two, I can safely say that yes I agree that we do things totally different with baby numero 2! I also can say that as a mom, you know what’s best for your baby, and don’t feel pressured or bad if you do things on your own terms a bit or go off the grid with the traditional feeding recommendations (obviously in a safe way!). I totally did!
My little guy, Cruz, is now 8 months old and well past the suggested age of introducing solids (6 months) so I thought I would update you on my experience of what that looked like and give an update of what feeding Cruz looks like now! I hope you enjoy, and can’t wait to hear about your personal experience.
Disclaimer: This is not medical advice. Always consult a pediatrician’s feeding recommendations and use your discretion to the best of your ability when needed.
Current Infant Feeding Recommendations
The American Academy currently recommends that breast milk or formula be the sole source of nutrition until about the 6 months of age. Current signs that your baby might be ready to try solids might include interest in your food as well a physical milestones such as sitting with no support, good head control, and has lost the tongue-thrust reflex (meaning baby doesn’t just push foods out of his mouth with his tongue.
You can learn more about when to introduce solids by visiting:
My Personal Experience: Since our family moves a lot, you can say I’ve seen my share of pediatricians and health practitioners, and basically none of them seemed to be on the same page.
I’ve been encouraged by nurses and physicians to start both of my babies either on rice cereal, sugary purees and even juice prior to 6 months, all of which are contraindicated by current recommendations. So I always recommend to do your own research so that you can make your own educated and informed decision for your baby!
I used my education as a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist combined with my own research to make the best decision for my babies.
My Experience with Purees + My Most Recommended Brand
Since I didn’t do BLW 100% with Cruz, this isn’t to say I just fed Cruz sugary purees and refined infant cereals all the time like I mentioned above. I did a combo of BLW & whole-food purees this second time around. I either made some myself or purchased organic natural whole-food savory purees.
Let’s be real, making purees can take a lot of time. As a mom of 2, 2 years old and under, I don’t have tons of spare time to make purees while also feeding and caring for myself/ hubby and preparing my picky toddler her meals all day! Although I know homemade is best, is isn’t 100% possible.
As a Registered Dietitian with an interest in blood sugar control for balanced hormones and maintaining a healthy weight, I had a difficult time finding store-made purees that I felt good about giving Cruz. I kept running into one problem. Those pouches were mostly fruit, sometimes veggies (sometimes even sugar!) and rarely kept Cruz happy for long.
That’s when I discovered My Serenity Kids Pouches, and I felt such a relief knowing that I had this option that didn’t leave me feeling guilty and left me with time to care for myself as well as handle other responsibilities.
I firmly believe that babies don’t actually need grains as a starter food – gasp, right?! Meat and veggies are a superior source of iron over synthetic iron found in fortified grain cereals. Also babies don’t actually develop the enzyme necessary to digest grains, amylase, until later in life, around 1 year.
There are many things I love about My Serenity Kids pouches, but I especially love that they’re solely made of ethically sourced meats, organic veggies and healthy fats which babies need for brain development, to stay fuller longer, and to help them grow strong and healthy.
A diet rich in savory meats, veggies and healthy fats can help your baby sleep better, have regular bowel movements, and have less gut/tummy issues.
Cruz’s favorite flavors are Grass Fed Beef with Organic Sweet Potato and Kale and Organic Squashes with Olive Oil! I love that they’re great to take on the go so I always have something nourishing and wholesome to offer Cruz.
Baby Led Weaning Approach
Now onto a this popular approach which is trending now for good reason. In summary, baby led weaning lets the baby be in charge of what makes it in their mouth and what doesn’t! There are so many benefits to baby led weaning including:
- simplifies feeding for parents (as it frees up your hands)
- promotes appetite control for your baby
- protection against obesity later in life
- allows baby to explore taste, texture and aromas of food on their own terms
- time saving (just feed your baby what your eating in a safe way)
- studies have shown better long-term health outcomes for BLW infants
- may make your child a less picky and fussy eater as they grow
There are many signs that you must recognize prior to it being able to start baby led weaning, and it can be slightly terrifying when starting for the first time. For more information, support and complete training on baby led weaning, I recommend Allegra Gast, RDN, IBCLC of aloha-nutrition.com.
My personal experience: I first introduced single solids such as mashed avocado or banana with Cruz in addition to My Serenity Kids puree pouches! My first baby I went all out baby led weaning at 6 months, and I think I partially didn’t go 100% in with BLW this round was because I lacked the time and energy to monitor Cruz properly while feeding, didn’t feel like cleaning up the mess all the time, and wanted to ensure he actually was actually getting food in his mouth so he would be satisfied between meals and milk feedings.
Sample BLW Ideas + My Fave Time Saving Product
You can find a variety of baby led weaning recipes online, but the great thing about BLW is you can usually serve your infant the same thing you’re eating with a few simple tweaks (like omitting added salt and sugar in recipes).
Here are a few ideas for introducing solids with a BLW approach. You can do a combo of any of these ideas to put together a quick easy meal (ideally healthy fat, protein, and fiber):
- roasted veggies (cut long ways for easy grasping) such as sweet potato, squash, carrots
- soft cooked veggies such as green beans (skins removed), broccoli, or cauliflower
- soft cooked apples or pears
- scrambled eggs
- ground lean beaf, turkey, shredded chicken
- shredded cheese or cubed cheese smashed between fingers
My fave time saving BLW product is Raised Real Products. They come frozen using all natural whole food ingredients. They can be mashed, pureed, or just warmed up and served as is.
Raised Real products are so convenient and easy when you need a quick BLW meal option and only have 5 minutes to throw something together. Use code BAILEEHART at www.raisedreal.com for $20 off your first 24 meal box.
8 Month Feeding Update and Current Schedule
At 8 months old, Cruz is eating 3 meals a day and having about 25-30 oz formula (stopped nursing at 6 months) as his primary source of nutrition. Cruz enjoys a combination of whole foods and pureed foods, especially on the go.
4 - 5 am - bottle and back to sleep
6:30-7 am - wake and bottle
8 am - breakfast
9 am - nap
10 - 10:30 am - wake and bottle
11:30 am - lunch
12:30 - nap
2:30 - wake and bottle
5:00 pm - small bottle & sometimes cat nap
5:30 pm - dinner
7:00 -7:30 pm - bedtime routine
8:00 pm - bottle and bed
*This is just an idea of our day to day routine. I always go based off of sleep and feeding cues rather than following a strict schedule which is what I always recommend.
I hope you enjoyed the update and enjoy trying some of my favorite products!
What are some of your must-have infant feeding products or gadgets? Comment below and let me know.
Disclosure: I received free products in exchange for my honest thoughts and opinions on both mentioned brands. Some of the links are affiliate links, meaning I make a small commission if you click through and make a purchase. I appreciate any support and hope you enjoy the products.