When the pediatrician told us we could start introducing solids at 4 months, I was ecstatic. This was one of the things I looked forward to the most while pregnant. We started off with homemade purees of single fruits and veggies, and slowly moved into mixtures. I tried my hardest to wait three days in case they had allergies, but honestly I after a couple of weeks I just couldn’t keep track and they ate what was easy and available. Luckily, they didn’t suffer from any allergic reactions. In order to stay sane I bought these great storage containers that I could freeze and use throughout the week because making fresh purees for two babies, and having to figure out dinner for Chad and I was hellah stressful. I also bought store made purees in jars and pouches to keep up with the baby demand and because it made it super easy to be out and about during meal times. There are some great options out there!
Slowly but surely, at about 5-6 months Cali and Gianna started sprouting teeth and this meant more opportunities to play with different flavors and textures. I gave them teething wafers, scrambled eggs, and pureed to a chunkier consistency. I also started giving them Puffs before and after their meals so they could practice their pincer gripping skills. Of course now that’s all they want to eat sometimes but they have developed superb fine-motor skills. At about 8 months I started incorporating proteins into their purees. Up to this point, there wasn’t much they wouldn’t eat. A couple times a week, usually at their last feeding and before bath time, I would let them get messy and have some sensory play with their food. It’s really amazing to watch them discover on their own but the mess was, and is still, overwhelming and I can’t handle letting them do it for every meal, every day.
At about 9-10 month I started moving into a 3 meal a day routine, and tried to sit down and eat with them as much as it was possible to. At this point I was comfortable with small, bite size pieces of fruits, veggies, proteins, and carbs. If you’re looking for food ideas for all ages, this is a great site. Now at 11 months it feels like we have a pretty standard schedule for feedings and it’s been amazing to watch them develop their own palette.
Up until a few weeks ago, feeding has been relatively smooth. I mean between the endless sites and guides on what to feed each month, and the different techniques to choose from, you would think feeding a baby solids would be a walk in the park. What I found out instantly is that what might work with one, doesn’t always work for the other. This applies across the board when you have more than one child no matter how far apart in age, but since it’s happening simultaneously for me it’s hard not to immediately compare (I know, it’s a big NO NO to compare but I’m only human!) and become frustrated. For example, Cali is easy peasy – she opens her mouth wide, tries everything I give her with no hesitation, loves to be fed, is patient when I’m preparing or heating her food, and is rarely interested in getting her hands in it and making a mess. The only thing she spits out is avocado. The kid is a DREAM when it comes to eating! And then… you guessed it, Gianna is the complete opposite. She’s so different, her favorite food is avocado (I am NOT even kidding you). She has made me break out all the techniques, and prepare tons of different food combos, textures, and flavors. She barely opens her mouth unless its something she knows she loves (like avocado, Ritz crackers, puffs, pancakes, or cheese), spits things out all the time even though seconds before she was eating it, screams at me when her food isn’t served fast enough, and must try to feed herself at all costs which always ends up in a huge mess. Even though she’s not as easy as Cali, I love watching them eat together and interact over a meal. They both love to eat and have so much fun exploring food. The best thing I could have done was to have them try lots of foods and techniques early on (so thank you Gianna aka The Boss Baby). Now when I feed Gianna, I always give her something she can grab and eat on her own while I feed her a more substantial amount with a spoon or fork. I always offer Cali the grab and eat option but I know she’s always ready and willing to take food from me. There are great resources out there when it comes to recipes and monthly guides, but in my experience the most important ingredients are patience and flexibility. You can have feeding plan in mind but prepared and open to take cues from your little one(s) too in order to have fun meal experience.
In case you were wondering, this is what our feeding schedule looks like at the moment. I am working on reducing the amount of formula by incorporating more snacks through out the day. This will happen eventually but feeding these two is very time consuming and overwhelming, not to mention trying to coordinate their nap schedules with all of it (which deserves a whole post on its own).
- 8 AM: 6 oz of formula
- 9 AM: Breakfast
- 11 AM: 8 oz of formula
- 1 PM: Lunch
- 3:30 PM: 8 oz of formula
- 6:30-7 PM: Dinner
- 7:30-8 PM: 6 to 8 oz of formula