I wrote a post similar to this one HERE, but whenever I post an Instagram story of Piper eating, I get a few questions and comments about how she eats, so I figured I'd do another little post to share some more!
I always feel like I need to do a little disclaimer before these posts haha, but as we all know, I am NO pediatrician, child nutrition expert, etc. I am just sharing what I have done with Piper and what works for us! Also, Piper has always had a pretty big appetite, and I've never had a hard time trying to make her eat in general (yet! Fingers crossed she stays this way), so I empathize with mothers struggling to get their children to just EAT, but unfortunately I don't have any personal experience with it.
I was lucky enough to be able to nurse Piper until she was 9 months old, and began introducing solids to Piper around 4 months. I know there is the whole pureed food vs. baby led weaning approach, and women feel very strongly one way or the other, but I did a mix of both! I went off Piper's vibe and what felt right, and it just seems to work. I think the very, very first food we ever tried was a little rice cereal mixed with my breastmilk, but we mainly did avocado, banana, yogurt, and mashed sweet potato with pureed broccoli and carrots, pureed pumpkin, and then cut up avocados, soft sweet potato fries, oatmeal, pears, eggs, Kodiak pancakes with natural peanut butter etc.
I wish I could remember milestone ages, and specifically when she switched to what type of foods, but they all just blur together now haha. When she started getting teeth, and her gag reflex wasn't SO strong, we gave her foods that she actually needed to eat and couldn't just swallow. Things like steamed broccoli (cooked until it was pretty soft still), peanut butter sandwiches, spaghetti squash, berries, Banza pasta, etc. As she got better at eating, and more teeth came in, I gave her a little harder and harder foods. I always made an effort to give her some type of protein (meat, peanut butter, cottage cheese, yogurt), vegetables (sweet potato, spaghetti squash, broccoli, carrots), and healthy fats (coconut oil, peanut butter, avocado) with every meal. I wasn't always perfect, but I think trying to balance it out from the get-go really helped!
I stopped nursing Piper at exactly 9 months old (we wanted to start trying, and I hadn't started ovulating yet due to nursing, so after MUCH thought, I weaned her), and she actually went straight to whole milk. Now, Piper has whole milk first thing in the morning, and last thing at night. She loves it and always requests her "mulk" when I get her out of her crib. She also has about 4-5oz of juice before her nap in the day. Her doctor recommended this because she was having these really hard, painful poops and she would cry in pain. Once I started giving her a little juice every day she's had zero problems. The rest of the day she drinks water.
- 1 egg, 1/2 avocado and berries
- Oatmeal with natural peanut butter and berries (she also loves zucchini oats)
- Kodiak pancakes with natural peanut butter and berries
- 1/2 avocado on toast and berries
- Smoothie: spinach, berries, and greek yogurt
- Siggis yogurt with natural peanut butter and berries
- Annie's mac & cheese with sliced cucumber and avocado
- Sweet potato fries, peanut butter and toast, sliced apples
- Siggis yogurt, cucumber, turkey slices
- Cottage cheese, sliced apples, sweet potato fries
- Banza pasta, pasta sauce, steamed broccoli
- Quesadilla (sprouted tortilla and cheese cooked with coconut oil), cucumbers
- Whatever we eat. She's exposed to tons of different foods and flavours this way.
- Nomva probiotic smoothies
- Sliced apples
- Veggie chips
- Cheese string
- Roasted veggies (she likes brussel sprouts, broccoli, sweet potato, and peppers)
- Sliced cucumbers & hummus
THINGS THAT HELPED US
Again, I am noooo pro at this, and this has been my only experience with getting a baby to eat "healthy" foods. Every child is different, and I think we really lucked out with Piper because she's *generally* pretty chill, BUT there are some things I was very consistent/adamant about which I think has really helped:
- BE CONSISTENT!! They say it takes like 14 tries, on average, of exposing a food to a child before they'll accept it. Keep offering! Piper didn't just magically start eating these foods. There are absolutely meals and days she throws EVERYTHING onto the floor and refuses to touch what I make. I just keep offering it to her over and over, and she eventually accepts it and eats it regularly. Even foods she spits out and won't touch - you can bet it'll be on her plate again next meal.
- LET THEM FEED THEMSELVES!! If you've watched my Instagram stories, you've seen Piper eat haha. It's MESSY. Like, reeeeeally messy. She's no lady when it comes to how she grubs, but I think it's so important to let her interact with food, and feed herself. I obviously don't know any different, but I think this has helped with what she eats. **I strip her down every time she eats because she's ruined way too many outfits haha.
- LEAD BY EXAMPLE!! Often Piper will refuse to eat something until I eat it first, or show her how "yummy" it is. We also share a lot of food, and she'll eat right off my plate. If I want her to eat healthy foods, and be exposed to good options, then I need to be doing it myself.