It is recommended by the powers that be that children are introduced to solids at the age of 6 months. There are some additional guidelines one should take into account (they can sit, they can swallow, they want food), but generally the benchmark is 6 months.
When Fiona was 6 months old, we tried to introduce her to solids. I bought the first of three avocados we went through before she finally ate, and made the first of the best virgin guacamoles (ie- mashed avocado) I have ever made. She didn’t want it. It took about 10 days before she was ready to accept our food offering and it’s been all downhill since.
She loves food.
In the beginning I tried to go by the food guidelines the pediatrician gave us but that went out the window quick. I have found that a combination of food guidelines and baby led weaning is what has worked for us. It’s been two months and there has not been food she has tried that she hasn’t liked.
Except pre-packaged baby food.
She doesn’t like that. (I don’t even like that…ewww) So I make all of her food.
Since she started eating, Fiona’s meals have been homemade with ingredients that are mostly seasonal, local, and organic. I’ve become somewhat of a pro at the whole baby food making thing. Frankly, I love it. And she loves it too because her food tastes like food. To be honest, I wouldn’t feed her something I myself wouldn’t eat. Except rice or beans. I hate them but she has to eat them. She also eats cut up table food. I am usually pretty good about letting her try whatever we are eating (as long as she wants it) so she can learn to be an adventurous eater.
One thing though that I decided early on was that I would not introduce her to meat. I mentioned this at Gymboree during discussion the other day and some of the moms were looking at me like I was crazy because apparently nobody can be vegetarian since birth.
Well, Fiona has been. She does eat cheese and yogurt, but until she can go to the store and buy herself a piece of steak, she is not going to be eating meat. There is really no need for that. I also can’t imagine being a vegetarian trying to raise a carnivore child. I have read the discussion boards and ultimately it seems that it always comes down to the inescapability of meat in our culture, and whether or not the child will feel excluded from that culture.
To me, that doesn’t feel like a good enough reason.
I wish I knew parents of vegetarian children. I would love to know how they manage.