Monday, June 24, 2013

Baby Asher Begins Solids - 4 1/2 Months

With babies, I guess you have to follow suit with the same philosophy that people tell you to with your birth plan - you can plan all you want, but you have to be ready to roll with the punches and be prepared for the unexpected.

Just 2 weeks ago I was all for waiting the full 6 months to start Asher on solid food. Then, his 4 month sleep regression hit, he went through a MAJOR growth spurt, and he was watching us eat our food like a hawk. With STTN already out the window (he's back to STTN now, knock on wood) and his eating so much of that ridiculously expensive hypoallergenic baby formula, I figured why not?


Baby Asher was showing the following signs of readiness:

  • Is over 4 months of age
  • Good head control
  • Can sit with support
  • Has doubled his birth weight
  • Eating 32+ ounces per day
  • Losing tongue-thrust
  • Chews on toys, fingers, etc.
  • Stares at food longingly


Why? From my research I have found that...

*Babies can't digest grains because their bodies do not produce the enzyme necessary to do so, pancreatic amylase, until 1-2 years old or when their first molars come in. Supposedly this can throw off the balance of bacteria in their digestive tracts and cause lots of problems including food allergies. Even after 1 year, some recommend limiting all grains until their molars come in.

*Feeding white rice based cereal is the equivalent of feeding your baby spoonfuls of sugar.

*The recommendation started with an advertising blitz in the 1950s and there isn't any actual scientific evidence that starting with cereals is necessary or best.

*Starting with carbohydrates may prime baby's palate for processed carbohydrates and can lead to obesity and other health problems later in life.

*Many rice cereals contain cancer-causing arsenic.

I did find Happy Baby Happy Bellies Organic Brown Rice Cereal which is sourced from California and regularly tested for arsenic (and has never shown any). It's available at Publix! It also has probiotics in it which is a plus. I haven't given any to Asher yet and need to do some more research on the whole digestion of grains subject before I do. Any advice is welcome!

What about iron? From what I've read, babies may need additional iron (mostly breastfed babies) starting at 6 months. This can be attained through the solids, so we will work in iron containing baby food options at that time. Lentils, chickpeas, tofu, meats, even sweet potato all offer iron. Our use of iron-fortified formula is a plus for us. Also, excess iron can cause problems, too, so those iron-fortified cereals on top of iron fortified formula could end up harmful.


He loved it! If you choose to start your baby off with banana make sure it is ripe (almost over ripe) or it can lead to constipation. It makes a great first fruit because it is soft and sweet and full of wonderful nutrients.

His first solid foods have been/will be:

Sweet potato
Butternut squash

I'm not opposed to the store-bought baby food. The best from what I have researched is the Happy Baby brand which is organic and does not have any added sodium. Be careful that in the grocery store they stock the Sprout organic brand right next to the Happy Baby pouches and they look exactly the same! I bought a whole bunch of the Sprout ones by accident. Not that they're bad, I actually gave Asher the carrots today. But they do have a little sodium in them - not much, but it's there.

I plan on mostly making homemade baby food for Asher. Hopefully this will result in better tasting, more nutrient rich food for him. I found a book on making 100 days worth of baby food in 2 hours and will get steamin' and mashin' (or blending) when it comes in. I also have another book with baby food recipes, although most are for down the road when he is a little older. More on homemade baby food to come!

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