How To Start My Baby On Solid Foods: Part 3
STARTING SOLIDS: WHAT'S NEXT?
Wondering if your baby is ready for solids? Read our first blog post of the series How to Start My Baby on Solids Foods, Part 1 for advice, tips, and 5 helpful signs your baby is ready to start eating purees.
Has your baby mastered single-ingredient success and ready for more introduction of allergens? Read How to Start My Baby on Solid Foods, Part 2!
After your baby has mastered single-ingredient foods and even 1-2 combinations of foods that are easier on the tummy and familiar to your baby, it may be time for more complex meals.
If your baby has had success with foods such as:
- Sweet potato, butternut squash
- Peas, carrots
- Peaches, pears
- Apple, mangos
- Oats, quinoa
- Meats & bone broth
Keep reading on how to advance to stage 3 on our Square Meal System.
BUILDING BABY'S PALATE
The Academy of Pediatrics recommends providing baby with a variety of fruits, veggies, grains, proteins, and healthy fats to help build their palate and provide them with essential nutrients.
USE MORE COMPLEX COMBINATIONS
At about 8 months, your baby's tummy will be ready to take on some new foods like cauliflower, white beans, broccoli, etc. Start with smaller amounts to see how they tolerate them (translate: might not want to give your baby a 4 oz serving of "just beans" -- because gas is no fun!)
Our Stage 3 Square Meals were scientifically designed to offer babies a variety of flavors, textures, aroma, and consistencies. As they develop their motor feeding and swallowing skills and palate, they may be ready for more complicated meals.
While some babies start this stage earlier or later, please remember do what works for you and your family.
Most importantly, please consult with your pediatrician or healthcare provider before advancing to more complex meals!
With our Square Meal System, baby is getting:
- 100% Balanced Nutrition (100% of their Daily Recommended servings of fruits, veggies, whole grains, and various proteins)
- Healthy fats
Mix and match from a variety of meals in our Square Meal System including our top favorites from our Stage 3 Menu:
- Blueberry Crush
- Spinach Dahl
- Salmon Mash
- Avocado Greens
8 MONTHS SQUARE MEALS
For instance, our "Spinach Dahl" is a super-delish 8+ mos Square Meal -- you'll feel like a rockstar parent when your baby gobbles down spinach, sprouted green lentils, pear, tomato, bell peppers, sprouted brown rice, avocado oil, and Indian spices like curry & cumin!
It's the perfect mix of sweet and savory and introduces spices to add warmth (and nutrition!) to the meal. Above all, it's got a little more texture to help your baby get ready for table foods.
Our Square Meal System was designed to be foolproof and interchangeable - meaning any 2-3 Square Meals per day offers 100% of your baby's daily recommended servings of veggies, fruit, whole grains, and protein.
Feel good knowing your baby is still getting 100% Daily Nutrition. Above all, we make it super easy.
We nerded out on all of the science and geeked out on the math. Secondly, we've developed the recipes and measured down to the gram to assure you we're offering complete daily nutrition with perfectly balanced meals.
For instance, our "Peachy Oatmeal" is a great 6+ mos Square Meal to start with (see picture above). For instance, it's perfectly balanced with organic peaches, carrots, whole milk Greek yogurt, and gluten-free oats. This puree has a nice smooth texture to bridge you from single-ingredient smooth purees to more adventurous, chunkier Square Meals as they grow.
USING A SPOON
While introducing your baby to new flavors, textures, and consistencies is important, so is teaching your baby to eat from a spoon. Eating from a spoon helps babies develop proper feeding and swallowing skills and good eating habits that will set them up for a lifetime of healthy eating.
Unfortunately, families have become busier than ever and pouches have begun to replace spoons in many mealtime occasions.
We totally get it - pouches can be a convenient, on-the-go option when you're in a pinch. They aren't all that bad (we're parents, too!), but there are many milestones and healthy habits that are learned when baby eats from a spoon!
- Baby develops proper motor development skills like hand-eye and hand-mouth coordination
- Skills in moving food to the back of the mouth, learning how to chew and swallow
- Baby develops a healthy relationship with food
- Encourages healthy mealtime habits with family
- Embraces sensory development
- Offers opportunities for various textures
When choosing a first spoon for baby, we recommend using a spoon baby can firmly grip with a flexible handle and that can easily scoop up their first flavors! We love using our friends at Choomee, but there are some amazing baby brands to choose from!
As your baby grows, you'll want to spoon-feed various textures so they can grow up to enjoy all kinds of textured foods. For instance, Square Baby purees come in smooth, thick, and chunky textures so your lil babe will be ready to transition to table/finger foods, which is an important milestone.
Our favorite "chunky" Square Meals are:
- Avocado Greens
- Salmon Mash
- Turkey Tacos
Practicing Baby Led Weaning (BLW)?
While baby led weaning is a method of starting finger foods and having baby "lead" the way, it's not the only way. Many of our Square Baby Families incorporate both methods of feeding.
In fact, purees is an important texture for babies to learn and practice with because it's a texture that continues into adulthood (think yogurt, creamed soups, applesauce, etc). That is to say, do what feels right for you and your family.
Want to incorporate both purees and BLW?
Here are a few ways we incorporate our Square Baby purees with BLW:
- Use purees as a dip, spread, or topping (Example: Avocado Greens...on anything!)
- Use a yogurt alternative (Try our Blueberry Crush!)
- Transform it into a smoothie
- Make purees into popsicles or teethers (Example: Purple Carrot or Peachy Oatmeal)
- Use purees as a nutrient-dense sauce (over pasta or rice)
- Try adding table foods with our purees (Example: add whole peas, diced veggies, pulled chicken or roasted salmon)
Visit our baby led weaning recipes here!
STARTING SOLIDS: PALATE DEVELOPMENT
Did you know only 10% of children consume the recommended amounts of veggies per day? Introducing a variety of veggies early and often is key to palate development.
It's also a great time to start introducing more complex meals with adventurous foods and flavors like curry, mint, cinnamon, turmeric, and ginger and introducing. By adding herbs and spices, it will to continue to broaden their palate and add flavor and brightness without adding any sugar or salt.
You'll find unique, delicious meals packed with nutrition and flavor. For example, Spinach Dahl and Minty Green - both with powerful antioxidants and high-dense nutrients.
Minty Greens is as refreshing as it sounds! Most importantly, it's a nutritional powerhouse loaded with broccoli, spinach, green peas, quinoa, green lentils, avocado oil, apples, and of course, mint.
Our top Square Baby favorites packed with herbs and spices are:
STARTING SOLIDS: HOW MUCH FOOD DOES MY BABY NEED EACH DAY?
While babies develop at different rates, so does the amount of baby food they eat. Meanwhile, this can be challenging to plan meals ahead of time. According to the Academy of Pediatrics, babies around 8-12 months of age may eat around 2.5 cups to 5 cups of solids (in addition to their breastmilk or formula) per day of an assortment of food groups (fruit, veggies, whole grains, protein).
Babies need a balanced meal with fruits, veggies, whole grains, and premium proteins for proper brain and growth development. This can feel overwhelming to keep track of.
We make it easy to feed your baby the right amount of the right foods at the right stage. For instance, an 8-12 month old will be eating about 3-5 Square Meals per day, depending on your babies age and how much they eat. So, you can sit back and enjoy the feeding! Keep Calm and Nom Nom.
Read our blog "What is the Square Meal System" to learn more about how Square Baby makes "100% Daily Nutrition" a no-brainer.
STARTING SOLIDS: HOW TO GET STARTED WITH SQUARE BABY
Our Nutrition Promise has always been the same - to offer balanced, Square Meals to your baby. Most importantly, every meal is nutritionally balanced with veggies, fruit, whole grains, and various premium proteins.
For example, Square Baby offers over 55 different organic ingredients to provide you with variety of flavors, colors and textures including:
- Steamed & roasted fruits and vegetables.
- Whole grains.
- Various proteins like beans & lentils, chicken bone broth, eggs & fish.
- Healthy fats like avocado oil, coconut milk, Salba chia, avocados, and salmon.
- A variety of fresh and dried herbs and spices.
We offer 2 weeks of 100% Daily Nutrition, customized to your baby. Choose from a variety of meal box subscriptions including 14, 28, 42, and 56 meal boxes.
In short, Square Baby was born to make parents' lives easier.
100% Daily Nutrition.
100% Balanced Meals.
Delivered to your door.
Click Here to Get Started.
~Katie and Kendall, cofounders
This blog post is for information purposes only and shouldn’t be used as personal, health, nutritional, or medical advice. Always consult with a physician or pediatrician before making any decisions about your child's health or readiness for various foods.