The girls started eating solids at 6 months. Like everyone else, we started with very soft foods that were easy for them to “gum” with theirs gums and swallow. What made us unique is that we never mashed or liquified the foods.
We didn’t buy even one jar of baby food. We started by over-cooking, but not burning fruits and veggies. Think well-cooked apples in the oven, carrots on the stove, sweet potatoes, etc. Then we moved to naturally soft foods. Things like peas, ripe bananas, avocado, and green beans. All things they love now. We progressed food every 3-5 days, trying things even some things we wouldn’t eat- egg plant, mango, kiwi, papaya, and squash. They have tried manythings at this point.
The benefit of rotating and trying so many foods at an early age is that we were able to monitor the tots for any signs of allergies. We are lucky to have found only small allergic reaction thus far to strawberries (rashes covering the body). In the final stage (roughly the last 3 months), we decided that they could eat whatever we eat. This has really simplified things as we no longer have to cook separately for the girls. Wait, I miswrote, we don’t feed them any dry meats that we eat (i.e. grilled pork chops) as we have seen first hand that they create strong choking hazards.
Of course, feeding them is not as simple as setting food on their plate and watching them gobble it up. There are some days when the girls are selective. They want to be picky eaters, and have started not eating things they once seemed to really like. We have found the best way to mitigate this, is have only 4-5 offerings, and if they don’t eat it, they don’t eat it. They won’t starve, and we will try again in a few hours, or at the next meal.
In addition to no mashed or liquified foods, we are unique in that we strongly encouraged them to feed themselves from day 1. Breaking their dependency on us to eat has been very helpful thus far! We are able to throw the food on their tray and they will figure out a way to shovel it in their mouths (if it aggress with their picky palettes). This has made clean up very messy, and ocassionally there is some wasted food. Probably about 1/4 of the food we give them is refused, or thrown at Simba (they have learned that he likes gobbling up their food …. coincidentally, Simba pukes more often than the pre-kids eating solid food days).
They girls are even able to eat yogurt and cottage cheese with their hands. This is definitely messy! The one major downfall to our methodology though? I’m predicting a tough transition to eating the “proper” way. Maybe a little late, but now is time to transition to the next phase — breaking out the fork and spoon. Watching them try to hold the utensils is quite comical. And good luck getting any food on those things. Kamryn is doing quite well for only having a couple days of training with a little help. Kendal can get maybe one or two pieces of food in her mouth, but quickly gives up and holds the utensil with one hand while filling her mouth with the other.
I’m sure like any new thing, this will take time, patience,and practice, but we are hopeful that they catch on quick.