Starting Solids pt. 2 Introducing Tastes

I had a revelation. I realized that I have been stressing out about starting solids WAY too much. Little Owl doesn't seem to have reactions to things I eat, she is not colicky, and seems perfectly healthy. This doesn't mean I am not going to continue to be on the watch for signs of allergies, but I think I can relax a bit. 

What Not to Do

There are SO many different thoughts on starting solids. According to (where I go to see what the mainstream approach is...) babies are typically ready when they have "good head control, a growing appetite and interest in what you're eating." They say this will happen generally around 4-6 months. According to these standards Little Owl has been ready for quite some time, but I have been extremely reticent to try anything. I did give her a taste of Cod Liver Oil when she was around four months. I am not sure she liked it...

Cod Liver Oil is definitely not mentioned on as a first food recommendation. Of course they also recommend the first food being cereal and I am definitely opposed to that and here is why: According to the Weston Price Foundation :

An unfortunate practice in industrial societies is the feeding of cereal grains to infants. Babies produce only small amounts of amylase, needed for the digestion of grains, and are not fully equipped to handle cereals, especially wheat, before the age of one year. (Some experts prohibit all grains before the age of two.) Baby's small intestine mostly produces one enzyme for carbohydrates—lactase, for the digestion of lactose. (Raw milk also contains lactase.) Many doctors have warned that feeding cereal grains too early can lead to grain allergies later on. Baby's earliest solid foods should be animal foods as his digestive system, although immature, is better equipped to supply enzymes for digestion of fats and proteins rather than carbohydrates. (Source-I highly recommend reading this article)

Thanks to this information I can rule out baby cereals as a first food. But, now the question is... what to start? And when to start? Little Owl is close to 24 weeks now. She has been showing interest in food since around 4 months. I was hoping to wait to start her on solids when she could sit up but she hasn't seemed happy with that idea based on how much she freaks out when I am eating. 

Introducing Tastes

So I gave in. I started solids. Sort of. Want to know what changed my mind? I am part of a little momma's group where most of the babies are close to the same age as mine. About half of them have started solids in one form or another at least a little bit. One of the moms said that she was going to think of starting solids as "introducing tastes". When she said this a light bulb went off. 

Of course! Little Owl won't really be getting much down anyways. So all I have to think about is that I am introducing tastes. She will still be breastfeeding a LOT for a LONG time yet to come. The food is merely an introduction to the vast and wonderful world of food. I won't truly start solids (making it a larger part of her diet) until she can sit up because that makes physiological sense to me. I like the idea of baby-led weaning and she can't feed herself until she can sit up on her own. 

So what tastes did I introduce? This week she has had  soft boiled egg yolk with Celtic sea salt, fermented sweet potato, cod liver oil, homemade applesauce, and frozen banana. I am going to buy chicken livers for her soon to add to the egg yolk. 

It may seem like a lot but how much has she actually gotten down? Well... judging by how much mess I have cleaned off of her face, hands, the table, her clothes and bib, my clothes (I recommend wearing a bib yourself!), the floor and the plate it was on... maybe a teaspoon?

But she likes it. Mostly she just moves the food around on the plate and table. I don't want to force her to eat anything. She will figure it out when she is ready. I am helping her understand that when she smashes it with her hand she can then taste what's on her fingers. That's all. I am not coaxing, bribing, or becoming upset if she doesn't eat a certain amount. 

Why These Foods? And How?

The foods I am introducing first are not typical for most State raised babies. Most of my decisions for what to introduce comes from my previous belief that the best foods for us are the traditional foods eaten by our ancestors--those foods that Weston Price recorded indigenous tribes eating in his book Nutrition and Physical Degeneration.

These are my thoughts and practices. I am not a doctor, a nutritionist, or any sort of expert. So take what I say with a coarse grain of sea salt. If you are interested, here are some recipes I used. The good news: I like eating these things, too!

Soft Boiled Egg

Place an egg in water. Bring to a boil. Boil egg for three and a half minutes. For baby, separate egg white from egg yolk. Serve egg yolk with Celtic sea salt. (I am a huge fan of soft boiled eggs. Of course, I also eat the white.)

Fermented Sweet Potato

Bake two sweet potatoes at 300 degrees until very soft. Peel, mash thoroughly with fork. Stir in 2tbs whey and 1 tbs Celtic sea salt. Let sit out, covered  for 24 hrs. Place in air tight container in fridge. (For adults, serve with crackers!)

Frozen Banana

I am not crazy about giving bananas to Little Owl because they are't local, but man does it help with teething! Place a very ripe (aka brown) peeled banana in the freezer. She likes to suck on it. (I like to add chocolate chips to mine!)

Homemade Applesauce

My wonderful mother-in-law made us jars and jars of applesauce from the apples in our backyard. All she added was a bit of water to help the apples mush easier. It's simply delicious. (I like it with yogurt.)

The great thing about using these foods is that they are all stuff I enjoy, too! (Seriously, have you ever tried those baby foods in the jar... there is only one word to describe them: gross)


  1. Great post. I love all the options for real baby food. I am so used to thinking of baby food as yucky but the food you suggested sounds delicious. Introducing tastes sounds so much better than force feeding a baby food they are not yet interested in. Take a lot of the stress away. Thank you for sharing this very helpful.

    1. Thanks, D! I am all for the stress-reducing options. :)

  2. Feeding babies doesn't have to be hard, or expensive, or complicated... I love to see new mamas who are doing it right. :> My kids all loved avocado as a first food.

    1. Thanks, Rebeca! I just bought some avocados. I am waiting for them to ripen...


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