We started E on tasting food when she was about 5 month old. It is however recommended to start at 6 month old but because E showed a lot of interest in our food so I started letting her taste first. I did not do much research on preparation of food hence for the 1st few tasting sessions, I bought food jars from Mothercare. I read that we should start with fruit first then vegetables.
Hence my first jar I bought was Country Apple Puree. 1 jar was considered A LOT as I only gave her a spoonful to taste each time. The food jar could not be left opened too long hence I disposed it after 2 or 3 days the most.
Babies however do have the tongue-thrust reflex which pushes food out of their mouth. This is a reflex that ensures they do not choke. It does not reflect that they dislike the food. It is also recommended that they are able to sit up and have a strong neck control, this will ensure they the chances of choking is minimal. As I tried to feed E abit by abit, and most of it gets pushed out of her mouth, the only thing I told myself was “KEEP TRYING!” it is true! When you first introduce solids, it is very important to have patience and keep trying. It will definitely get messy so be prepared for that. Do note that until they reach 1 year old, their main meals still come from Breastmilk/Formula Milk. So do not stress if they do not feed on solids very much.
Prior to starting on solids, I bought a lot of cloth bibs to help with the excessive drooling due to teething. These are great for soaking up the drool and they look good! But when it come to solid feeding, these do not work well. The puree gets smeared on the bib and E’s hands will be messed up
with all the puree which she spit out. I was very much into Ju-Ju-Be and hence I decided to try the Be Neat. It is a waterproof, washable bib with magnetic snap closure. It also reversible and has a little pocket to catch food droppings. I also love that it can hang on my fridge so I can grab and go when I need to feed her. It is not cheap but it has saved me a lot of times when E vomits merlion style and the vomit is caught in the pocket. Phew. Saves me from cleaning the floor and highchair. So far I own 4 Be Neats and Im loving it!
Ju-Ju-Be is available on local retailers :
Pupsik Studio, Maternity Exchange, Tiny Tree
It is also important to select a suitable spoon for your little one. When we first started, I used a very shallow spoon I bought from Mothercare. It allows me to feed her bit by bit and she won’t choke. However as she grew older, and able to take bigger spoonfuls, this spoon has now retired! So please do select the right size spoon for your little one! We are currently using Tommee Tippee spoons (SGD6.90) which is easy to grip!
I read about Calibowl and I wanted to try. I was impressed with the fact that it has a anti slip base and patent pending lip around the top of the bowl which is designed at an angle which pushes food onto your utensil avoiding any spillage and overflows. This helps me to scoop up food with 1 hand and less mess. I also intend to use this bowl when E learns to self-feed. I also bought the suction base version so she won’t be able to throw the bowl off the high chair when the time comes for her to self-feed! HaHa. Other than the Calibowl, I also used a Grinder bowl when I started E on porridge. This helped to cool down the porridge while the grinder portion helped to further mash the porridge so she can swallow better . Since then I have also bought Combi bowl with handle for her tea-time yogurt treat as it is easy to hold. Recently I also bought the Skip Hop bowl which is very colourful and attractive, she has been into Owls lately and so I bought the Owl design. This helps in making her finish her food because she can see the Owl face only after she finish all her food!
After researching abit more about meals, I stopped food jars, I read that some are made out of mostly water. I wanted E to have nutritious home cooked food and so I started reading up more about the type of food she should eat at each stage of her life.
It is important to note what are the type of food you can feed at each stage as some food items may cause allergy such as eggs, so be sure to do the 3-day test and do be cautious especially if parents do have allergy to certain food. I also read about making our own soup stock so I started boiling and freezing soup stock for use when I cook her porridge. It is indeed very tasty! I typically use a double boiler to cook her porridge as I don’t want to boil it direct as the nutrients will be lost. This will however take longer time but it ensures the nutrients are locked in so well, anything for my babygirl. Even if it means staying up till 10 or 11pm to cook and prepare! I usually cook about 2 day’s worth of meals and then I will freeze it. When it is time to eat, my helper will heat up the quantity needed over the stove. This also relieves her of the stress to cook as she is usually alone with my baby at home. Ohhh woes of a full time working mom, I really wish I could cook her fresh meals everyday!
I have a standard set of tools I use when cooking to help in preparation of ingredients. One for sure I definitely must have is the Tupperware Turbo Chopper. This helps me to chop up the ingredients such as carrots into smaller pieces so it cooks faster when I double boil. It also ensures the taste goes right into the porridge and it is so flavourful! It is so effortless to use it too!
When E started to be able to sit on high chair when we dined out, I always bring out a placemat (Silicone Cloudy Placemat SGD26.90) and some snacks for her. I started with teething rusks which are usually hard biscuits to soothe tender gums. It also usually come in a stick form so it is easy for babies to grasp and chew. But I realised this caused rashes around E’s mouth so I stopped. I started feeding her Baby Bites which she loves! Slowly I also introduced fruits such as blueberry and grapes. These 2 fruits can cause choking so it is recommended to cut into smaller pieces for them until they can handle it on their own. I also fed yogurt and I started with baby yogurt such as Petit Miam which I bought from NTUC finest.
When is a good time to start feeding water? We started when she started on solids, but in limited quantity. I tried sippy cups which are quite similar to drinking from milk bottles but she didn’t quite like it, then 1 fine day, we thought of just trying straw cup. We mimicked the action of sucking the water from the straw, and then suddenly she did it! But she took up a big gulp of water so of course she choked abit. But after that with abit of practise she is able to handle the straw herself. Hurray! Only after being a mother that you realised a straw cup is not just a straw cup. There are so many different straw cups! After some research, I am now using anti-leak and weighted straw with removable handles. These are important for me because I wanted her to be able to handle the cup by herself which means even if she held it upside down, the water should not leak out and because she may tilt it at an angle, with a weighted straw, she will still be able to suck up the water. Removable handles are great for when I need to bring her cup out, it will not add to the bulk. I am now using Lollacup which is a super cute design and with the mini brush which comes with it, it is easy to wash! I also bought Innobaby Straw Cup which is very good but the handles are built in so I mostly use this at home.
Psst, Lollacup is available at Mothercare and Innobaby is available at Motherswork!
It is important to select a suitable high chair. Some of the criteria we looked at was that it has to be space saving, solid material so that there wouldn’t be a chance where she will be in the high chair and for some reason it collapses. It is a plus point if it can be used for a long time. After deliberation, we selected the Stokke Tripp Trapp in a nice shade of walnut which matches our home theme. The seat and foot plate is also adjustable as and when they grow. This chair is also meant for the little one to join us at the big dining table! However, most of the accessories are optional and hence sold separately. We purchased the baby set and tray for now, but as she grows, we can remove them so it is like a regular chair for her. There is also an option to purchase the harness to keep the baby in! We haven’t bought this for now but we should soon. I love this chair, it is very stable and the legs does not take up much space compared to the Ikea one. It is solid wood and I love the fact there is a foot plate so baby gets to rest their feet. For some reason I do not like the high chairs where baby feets are dangling. When adult eat their meals, our feet are also nicely grounded on the floor right?
E is now 9 months old and we are feeding 2 solid meals of porridge a day. I will be writing on my recipes so far, I have also started making ikan bilis powder! That will be in my next few posts!
Tata for now!