Unlike this still from the superb Tawainese film EAT DRINK MAN WOMAN, mealtimes with the Copen twins are anything but refined, especially now that we’ve introduced them to the wonderful world of (semi)solids.
We like it messy.
At about 5.5 months, we started with sweet potato, baked, then mashed and thinned with water. Slater took to the idea of eating off of a spoon quicker than Wallace, but now they are equally exuberant about the whole thing and get really excited when I start getting out their accoutrements. (As you can see, they each get their own plastic spoon which they play with while I sprint back and forth, feeding them with slightly smaller spoons that fit into their mouths a little easier.)
There’s a lot of different ways to start your baby on solids, and I wanted to do some sort of middle ground between the traditional way (purees, usually rice cereal as the entre) and something called baby lead weaning - where you basically give your guy or gal a very soft hunk of fruit or veggie and let them gnaw away as they like.
Either way, it’s generally best to do a trial period of about 3-4 days for each food you introduce, so that you can check for any allergies or intolerances.
Here’s what our menu has consisted of so far:
Food #1: sweet potato puree thinned with water - 3 days
Food #2: avocado, mashed - 2 days (The first time around, they didn’t love avocado, now they do. That’s another thing - if your baby doesn’t seem to prefer a certain food the first time they try it, no thang, just try again in a few weeks!)
Food #3: banana, mashed- 3 days (I used fresh bananas, which, a note about poop here: it can cause little black strings in the stool. Don’t freak out. I did. But you shouldn’t. Because it’s no big deal. PS I am not a doctor, so…but I really think it’s okay.)
Food #4: baby oatmeal prepared with breast milk - 3 days
Food #5: sweet potato mashed with avocado - 1 day
Food #2: avocado, mashed, take 2 - 1 day (And score. Avocado is now loved)
Food #6 baby oatmeal prepared with water and cinnamon - 1 day (They LOVED this - the cinnamon was a hit, but I think I used too much because it made the area around their mouths a little red.)
Food #7 carrots - 1 day and counting (Carrots seem like a revelation. They could not get enough. I buy organic carrot baby food because I got scared of nitrates, but I’m not entirely sure how real of a risk it is to just make your own.)
Once you’ve gone thru the trial period and noted that your baby doesn’t have any negative reaction, you can give that food whenever you please.
So far, I am only feeding them once a day, after the 2nd morning bottle. In the next few weeks will we slowly start doing two feedings.
At this age, their primary caloric intake should still be from breastmilk or formula so remember, “food is fun until they’re one!” (Um, then I don’t think it becomes UNfun, necessarily, it’s just, you know, suddenly more important.)