Between the ages of 4-6 months, your baby may decide it's time they helped you redecorate... your walls, that is, with pureed food. Yes, it's during this magical developmental stage that they will begin to transition to food they can touch, taste, spit, squish and throw.
Luckily, Love Mae is here to duck and weave alongside you, answering all your questions about introducing solids to your little Jackson (Pollock).
We hope you enjoy introducing your little one to the wonderful world of post-boob food. Our recipes and tips will have you transitioning them seamlessly from magical mushy stuff to gourmet grazing platters and beyond. 
Bamboo Baby Feeding Sets - Solids for Baby

When should I introduce solid food?

When your baby is around six months old, you will need to start them on solid food (in puree form) as they will be getting to the end of the iron stores they were born with and will no longer be getting enough iron and other nutrients needed for growth from breastmilk or infant formula.
The six-month mark is an average, however, and many babies show signs of needing to start solids from four months – it's fine to do it earlier, but always consult with your doctor or community nurse.

What are the signs my baby is ready for real food?

We like to go by the 'baby bird' test  – if your baby has fairly good head and neck control, is constantly eye-balling what's on your plate and responds to a passing spoon of food with an open mouth and 'aark, aark' noise (OK, that last part may not happen), then it's time to get the food processor out and starting steaming. See our delicious puree recipes below for some great ideas to start with.
Other signs of readiness may include lurching out of their pram to swipe at passing ice-cream cones and weaning themselves off the breast (although the World Health Organisation recommends babies are breastfed with complementary food until they are two years old.) 

What are the best first foods for baby?

Your baby should ideally have pureed food when you start introducing solids. As soon as they are used to the feeling and texture of pureed food in their mouth, you should progress to lumpier textures and then on to finger foods by around eight months.

We know fresh pureed foods aren't always an option for every meal, Brookfarm Bloom is an organic baby cereal we can wholeheartedly recommend. Made with only the best natural ingredients, introducing just a touch of fine ground tree nuts in a nourishing blend of organic wholegrains. 

Brookfarm Bloom Cereal Benefits

  • 100% organic
  • No added sugar
  • No preservatives
  • Peanut free
  • Fine ground organic tree nuts and organic wholegrains
  • Natural flavours from freeze-dried fruits
  • 3 varieties with gluten free varieties available
  • Added Iron and Thiamine sourced from organic quinoa sprouts
  • Easy to prepare

Bamboo Baby Feeding Set for Baby's First Meal

When you are giving food with more texture, it might be best to start by holding the baby bowl and spoon yourself so you can monitor any gag response. Obviously, they will only tolerate this for so long before commandeering the cutlery for their own purposes (refer to notes on Redecorating).
Finger foods, like gently cooked vegetable batons, fruit and soft bread, help your baby learn to chew and develop muscle tone, which will in turn assist with speech development. See, carrot sticks really are clever!
By the time your baby is 12 months old, they can start eating food with the same texture as the rest of the family's. Now all you have to do is have dinner on the table by 4.30pm!

 Homemade baby food recipes 

Pumpkin Puree

Naturally sweet, babies on a food discovery journey usually take to pumpkin readily. It also delivers a range of antioxidants, minerals and may even help your baby relax and sleep better as it contains tryptophan that helps the body produce sleep-inducing serotonin. Who doesn't love a drowsy baby with a full tummy? #sleepbanking
Suitable for: 4-6 month old babies
Makes: Approximately 185ml or 12 ice cubes

Ingredients:
1 large chunk of pumpkin seeded, peeled and cut into 5cm squares. 
Place the pumpkin in a steamer basket set over boiling water, cover and steam until it is tender through, 15-30 minutes depending on the variety of pumpkin. Remove from the steamer and let cool slightly, then puree in a food processor or  food mill. When the puree is cool, freeze it in ice-cube trays. When they are frozen, store in air-tight freezer safe containers. The cubes will keep for about two months.   

 

Dried Apricot Puree 

Dried apricots deliver a good measure of iron and carotenoids.
Unsulphured apricots are best.
Suitable for: 4-6 month old babies
Makes: Approximately 185ml or 12 ice cubes
Ingredients:
250g dried apricots and 125ml of water Place the apricots and water in a small, heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Cover and bring the liquid to the boil. Reduce the heat so the water is simmering and cook until the apricots have absorbed all the water and softened substantially 15-20 minutes. Check the apricots occasionally to be sure they're not sticking to the bottom of the pan. Remove the pan from the heat, transfer the apricots to a food processor or food mill and puree. Let cool, then freeze in ice-cube trays. When the cubes have frozen, store in air-tight freezer safe containers. The cubes will keep for about two months.

This recipe was served up on our Bamboo Baby Feeding Set and you can shop the full baby range here.
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