about me

    Emily Malone

    culinary arts grad. nutrition facts lover. vegetarian chef. marathon runner. country music maniac. failed dog trainer. barre fanatic. loving mama.

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    A Look Back.

Starting Solids.

So we finally did it.  After putting it off for the past two months, we finally broke out the baby spoons and let our little guy start exploring new tastes and textures.  Even though I’ve been told that babies can start solids now between 4 and 6 months, I really found myself leaning closer and closer to the 6 month mark.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that babies be exclusively breastfed (if possible) until six months, and it felt best to me to follow that suggestion.  Many moms and babies start earlier than that, and some start even later!  One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned so far as a parent is that there is no room for judgment of others’ choices – every baby and family is so different.  I love hearing what other families choose, even when it differs from what works for us.

Cullen will hit that six month milestone next week (gah!), and since he’s been showing all the signs of being ready, I knew it was time.  We started with an organic baby oatmeal – just 1 tablespoon mixed with breastmilk.  The verdict?

He absolutely loved it!  I’m not sure if he actually liked the taste or not, but there is no question that he liked the experience. 

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He’s obviously very new at this, so there is a lot still coming out of his mouth and onto his bib, but I’m impressed at how much he seems to like so far.

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I mentioned this over on Babble too, but I’m finding the whole solid food process to be somewhat overwhelming.  I think because we are such health nuts ourselves, and we take our food choices very seriously, starting a good base of nutrition for Cullen feels really…important. 

We haven’t made any definitive decisions going forward, and for now our plan is to try to approach solid food casually and without too many rules.  We do plan to raise him as a vegetarian, and I’ll write more about that as our journey into solids continues and develops.

For now, I’m planning to do a mix of purees as well as baby-led weaning (where he can feed himself small bites of solid food) over the next few months.  Although he seems pretty happy to have our help…

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I still have so much to learn about this process.  We’re starting off with basic oatmeal cereal, and from there I think we’ll start doing some simple fruits and veggies.  In the meantime, I’m trying to read up and learn when to increase the number of feedings, variety of foods, and how to make sure he gets the right balance of nutrients (although his primary nutrition will still come from breastmilk until he’s at least one year old). 

Casey and I take our own health and nutrition pretty seriously, and we’re always reading and researching to make sure we’re making the decisions that makes us feel most comfortable – both ethically and physically.  Now that Cullen is depending on us to make those choices for him, the gravity of that weighs heavily on my mind. 

It’s easy to get worked up about all things parenting.  And so like I do with many other parenting decisions, I’m doing my best to just relax and enjoy it (which is, of course, easier said than done!).  I think part of why this feels overwhelming to me is that I sort of feel like I failed at the whole bottle thing.  I wasn’t consistent enough with it from the beginning, and it backfired in my face.  Five months later, I still can’t get him to drink from one.  And so with starting solids, I want to make sure we’re consistent and committed to it now that we’ve started.

I have no doubt that I’m totally overcomplicating the process, and thinking about it way too much (it’s what I do!).  But I have so many questions that are still unanswered – When do I increase feedings?  How do I know how much to feed him?  When do we add 2nd and 3rd feedings?  Do I feed solids before or after nursing?  I’m planning to ask my pediatrician all of these at next week’s appointment, and make decisions based on his advice.

One thing is for sure – while the decisions themselves may feel daunting, the process sure is fun.  I love watching Cullen make goofy faces while he eats, and seeing how excited he gets every time the bowl comes near.  Sometimes a little too excited…

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I’m waiting until after we move to get a high chair and start making our own baby food, but once we do, I’m excited to share Cullen’s adventures into the wonderful world of delicious food. 

It’s sort of hard to believe he’s crawling across the room, no longer wants to be held very often, and is now eating off a spoon!  My baby is growing up way too fast…

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So we’re just enjoying the moments as they come and go.  As much as I loved him as a tiny newborn, I’m finding that each new stage and milestone makes our lives that much more fun and exciting.

For other parenting posts, check out the parenting page.  For more posts on starting solids, visit Babble!

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100 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Sana     at 1:16 pm

Bahahah, I love Cullen’s face as he is eating! So into it!


Hallie (@ChasingHallie)     at 1:21 pm

He definitely looks like he is into it. We tried with M at 5 months and she wasn’t too thrilled with it (though she is showing all the signs) so we are going to wait a few more weeks.

I am totally overwhelmed by it too though and feel like all I have are questions and no answers. ahh!


Jesse (OutToLunchCreations)     at 1:22 pm

That is so exciting you are trying solids! I know you probably get a lot of advice from readers but I thought I would throw in my two cents since I just learned about infant nutrition in my holistic nutrition class. In class, the teacher recommend staying away from gluten, dairy and anything you or Casey are allergic to until he is at least 18 months. This way his immune and digestive system are more developed and if you introduce them too soon he may develop an allergy.


Alice     at 1:26 pm

I know! Lucia is a few weeks older than Cullen so always at the same stage :-)
Although we’re doing pure BLW for n


Alice Reply:

Now as its working out really well. I too had all these questions but so far it’s been really natural – like how do you know when to breastfeed? Either you offer and they don’t want or you know the signs; well I’ve found the same with solids. Some days she wants more and some days less but as you said the nutrition really comes from milk so just chill and repeat the ‘food before one is just for fun’!! They say to offer food when hungry but not starving, so we do it about half an hour before a feed is due (


Alice Reply:

Can’t write on an iPhone! Or actually just when we are eating so she gets used to sitting at a table with others.
Either way ENJOY it, he’ll be at school in a blink!


Melissa @ HerGreenLife Reply:

Knowing (and repeating to myself) that most of the nutrition between 6 and 12 months still comes from breast milk (or formula) really helps me relax about introducing the foods and letting my little guy set the pace. It’s an insurance policy, in a way.

I’d rather let him explore and enjoy at his own pace than over-analyze and possibly set the stage for food battles in the future.


Kelly@Runmarun     at 1:28 pm

Loving the foot doused in oatmeal! So cute! Solids are overwhelming- my baby is almost 7 months and we’ve only done rice cereal so far…I am definitely okay with taking my time on this.
Don’t feel too badly about the bottle thing- we tried for a LONG time to feed my daughter one and she just never took to it. Eventually I gave up trying because it was so frustrating! Looking forward to hearing more from your adventure with solid foods.


Molly     at 1:44 pm

My sister had so much trouble with the bottle she ended up going straight to the sippy cup. Her sons never would take a bottle and seemed to like the fact that they had some sort of control in the handles of the sippy. Of course there was a couple months of throwing it around before they drank from it much but it might help in the long run to go ahead and introduce it when you bring out the high chair! Great post and you are right…follow your instincts and do what works for you! Have fun!


Jayna     at 1:45 pm

With my oldest I INSISTED on waiting until 6 mo to introduce anything solid (or juice). . . I heard somewhere that doing so earlier has been linked to diabetes later in life. With my second though starting at about 4 months she was READY. I held her off for three weeks before breaking down and she never let us forget it. With both of them I would do solids about a half hour or so after they finished their morning bottles. . . or at our dinner time. (or BOTH) I would just feed them until they were done, not worrying if we finished a jar/bowl or went through THREE. A few pieces of advice I heard (one of which your doctor will tell you if they haven’t already) 1) wait three days in between introducing new foods- this will let you know if they have any food allergies when you introduce something. 2) start with a vegetable- NOT a fruit. I started both my kids with peas. . . a sweeter vegetable, but a vegetable none the less.

All that being said- I have one that loves his fresh fruits and veggies and balks at meats, and the other who doesn’t want it if it’s not some form of protein (meat, cheese, beans, tofu). My pedi told me to just keep providing a healthy and well rounded diet and they will eat what their bodies tell them they need.


colleen     at 1:47 pm

Oh solids! what an experience. messy but good and confusion. All three of my kids were so different when it came to solids. Those different stages are so freakin confusing – throw in a bottle or breastmilk and forget it.

We watched our kids for clues. My oldest did all stages, my middle son did stages 1-2 and skipped 3, my youngest went from stage 1 to 3s. Though, for all three we would do their afternoon feeding like normal but for dinner it was solids with a little milk (after bathtime – cause as you know solids end up every where – feet, toes, ears, hair, nose, floor, etc.).

Also watch Huey and Indy, they will quickly learn when Cullen gets solids. You will never have to clean the floor under Cullen. They will do it for you :)


Candy     at 1:51 pm

I don’t think you should beat yourself about the bottle refusal. Our first took a bottle no problem and our second refused to take one and we ended up going straight to a sippy cup. I feel like I didn’t do anything differently for #2 that I did for #1. Just two different kids with two different personalities!


Jessie @ Graze With Me     at 1:53 pm

I JUST posted about this very same subject yesterday! I totally agree, it is so overwhelming. And I’m an over-analyzer as well so it just gets me nervous starting something as important as solids.

But to answer a couple of your questions: Start w/1 feeding a day @ 6 months, 2 by 7 months and 3 by 8 or 9 months. He will naturally cut out a nursing session on his own or will stretch the time between sessions. Just feed him on demand if your schedule allows. I usually wait until about an hour or two after nursing to offer solids (BLW). As long as she’s not tired & not starving it works great!

Good luck & have fun!


Laine     at 1:55 pm

My sisters gave their babies small pieces of avocado and sweet potato to pick up and eat in the beginning. (isn’t having a pincer grasp one of the “i’m ready to eat” signs?”)

They also could never get their kids to take a bottle, and just did sips from a tiny cup.


Melissa @ HerGreenLife     at 2:04 pm

We’ve pretty much used baby-led weaning exclusively since right around the 6-month mark. It started slowly, and it felt like he might never get the hang of it, but sure enough, at the 9-month-mark, he’s a pretty self-sufficient eater.

We provide him with a wide variety of [vegetarian] foods that are fairly easy to pick up, and he usually takes care of the rest. If we’re eating something that doesn’t work so well as finger food, we offer it on a spoon or fork and let him help hold and guide it if he wants.

It’s been a fun process overall, and it seems that our little guy enjoys food as much as his mommy and daddy :)


emily     at 2:17 pm

I’m in school to be an RD and I just finished a pediatric internship rotation and I’m still totally freaked out about feeding my (far far in the future) child! The main thing that is important is to introduce only one food at a time. That way if there is any adverse reaction you can easily identify the culprit rather than having to guess between multiple new foods.


Rachel     at 2:28 pm

I have to admit that I am SO excited about this post. Our little one is right behind yours and I’m so interested on how to ease him into eating organic and healthy like we do! I can’t explain enough how much I look forward to reading baby food recipes and any other discoveries you make!


Alexis     at 2:32 pm

Funny story for you about the bottle thing. I never took one either, would have nothing to do with them. I went straight from the boob (bless my mother, she continued to nurse until I was a year!) to a sippy cup. Then one day when my dad was “babysitting” all day, my mom came home and found her almost 2 year old walking around with a bottle. My dad was standing there all proud of himself and told her he knew how much she wanted me to take a bottle and he finally got me to use one! She obviously wasn’t as thrilled haha, saying “um yeah, 2 years ago! WHY would you give her one now??” She still brings that story up every now and then haha. Women never let anything go:)


Alyson     at 2:38 pm

We weren’t vegan when I started feeding solid foods to my first three babies, so my only tactic was the advice my pediatrician gave me: start with vegetables. He told me not to start right off with fruits, but get them used to the non-sweet stuff first.

That worked fine, but I just went with my gut for babies 4-7. I started with things like scooping out nice, ripe avocado and giving it to them, and spooning in weak miso soup with mashed tofu. It was so much fun for me giving them table foods right from the first, because I could find so many things on our table that were baby friendly. :)


Megan     at 3:23 pm

Okay, I’ve been reading for a while, but I had to leave a comment on this post. By little lady was born in June and I love feeding her solids, but I totally understand the fear. I have recently become a vegetarian and am very aware of the food I put in both our mouths – how daunting indeed! As a side note B hated her highchair so we went right to a booster (just used the bumbo until she had a bit more control) and I love it, it fits on one of our chairs and is easy to get in the dining room without have another piece of baby clutter.


emily     at 3:40 pm

We started solids at 6 months, added the 2nd meal at maybe 7.5 months, and the third meal at 9 months. I definitely recommend waiting til 9 months to add the third meal b/c they really do consume less breastmilk after the third one is added (and I agree Breast Milk should be the main source of nutrition) – and I’ve felt my supply go down.


Rachelle     at 3:42 pm

First off, don’t beat yourself up about the bottle. Some babies take to it, and others don’t… you didn’t necessarily do anything wrong. Give yourself a break!

Second, I doubt you need another book, but jusst in case, one book I found useful was Super Baby Food by Ruth Yaron. I just really liked all the recipes she had (lots and lots and lots). I made my own whole grain cereal for my son and it was SO much easier than I thought it would be (I just ground a variety of grains & legumes in a dedicated coffee grinder). Granted, reading the book made me feel a bit inadequate, but I ignored that and moved on and took what I could and would use.
For us, I started WAY to early (but that might be b/c my son HATES food) at 5 months and I wished I’d waited till he was begging for food from our plates (but I am not sure he ever would have reached that stage). I sure hope baby#2 likes to eat more than my son does… it really is NO FUN fighting over every single meal.


Rachelle     at 3:50 pm

Another few good resources are wholesomebabyfood.com and the weelicious blog.


Leatitia @ The Sweetest Year     at 4:07 pm

This is the book every new mothers get in Quebec. It has EVERYTHING you need to know about your babies. How to breastfeed, how to start solids, what to introduce first, how much, when, what. Everything. This book is written by doctors and nurses from Quebec (Canada).


They suggested giving solid food 30 minutes to one hour after nursing. Start with one tbsp and add another one if the baby is still hungry. You should not introduce more than one new food every 3 days in case of allergy!


Leatitia @ The Sweetest Year     at 4:10 pm

This link to the book is a bit more user-friendly :)


Robyn (girlonraw)     at 4:15 pm

Grest post!

I, too had those same anxieties over when to feed, how much, etc etc but don’t worry, use your mummy intuition and remember as #blw says, it’s about exploration and playtime and the reason it’s called baby ‘led’ weaning is because it’s up to them. Now Manus is 13minths old, no two days are ever the same. Sometimes he will load up at each meal time and others he eats less, even if it’s the same meal.

Also ‘save our sleep’ give you a good guideline routine for milk feelings vs solids but if you are demand feeding then play it by ear I’d say. Kristen of http://Www.kristensraw.com told me she never really worried about when she fed her bf bubba Kamea opting to just share her food as she grew curious and she’s almost 2 and still bf. I’m seeing them for dinner on Sat night so I’ll get to see it in action :)

Good luck!


alison     at 4:49 pm

i totally understand the whole unanswered question thing… my baby is seven months and after researching and asking tmy Dr. I felt like I still had no real answers…I started feeding solids a month or two ago because he was obsessed with food…he eats a ton, way more than recommended, but he’s not fat so it seems to be working. I just follow his lead with the amount of food and use the charts on wholesomebabyfood.com to determine which foods to give. As for when to add a feeding, I added his third feeding today–i really didn’t want to but he just seems so dang hungry right after breastfeeding..and he seemed very happy to get it. And he is way different in his eating than my other son who could care less about solids.. so i think that you should just follow his lead and trust your gut and yu will be fine!


sylvs     at 4:51 pm

Oh I was waiting for this post, Emily I have only one piece of advise and that is follow your mummy intuition. Its the best thing you can do, every child is different every lifestyle is different its choosing what works for you. For health reasons I’m considering not feeding dairy, just a question for anyone out there did any of you avoid dairy products?


Jennifer (The Gourmetour)     at 4:53 pm

So cute! I’ve heard that babies LOVE avocado because of the soft texture, you should try that out!


April Reply:

I just started my ‘almost 6-month old’ on avocado (Day 3) and the jury is still out:) Gonna break my heart if he doesn’t like it cuz it is my ABSOLUTE favorite food of all time:)
Great post Emily, love it!


Alex @ Raw Recovery     at 4:58 pm

It feels like just yesterday I read about your delivery!!


Danica @ It's Progression Not Perfection     at 5:12 pm

I love that you two are so particular about giving your baby whole/healthy foods–it’s inspiring! You’re starting him off on the best note possible!


Amanda     at 5:17 pm

Hi Emily! I have been reading your blog for quite some time now, but this is my first post! First of all I am obsessed with your blog and check it daily, hoping for something new :) i am vegetarian and i’d say 90% of the time vegan. I am 23 weeks pregnant with our first (a BOY ;) ) and am already worrying about how will I know what to do when the solid food time comes?! My sister in law made alot of their own baby food, they eat very healthy, she got alot of her information from Dr. Fuhrman’s disease proofing your child. I haven’t read it because i feel like I have a TON of baby books but I plan to soon. I’m not sure if it gives recipes but i know it talks about how to feed your children the best you can. He has another book, which changed my life, Dr. Furhman’s Eat To Live. I loved that book and can’t wait to read Disease proofing your child. Hope this helps. I’m sure ill be reading back through all of these post when the solid food time comes for us! :)


sylvs Reply:

Im also a vegetarian and 90% of the time vegan,I’d like my baby to be on the same diet, Are you planning to feed your baby dairy?


Amanda Reply:

Well like I said I still need to do my own reading/research about it but as of now I don’t plan on giving him dairy for quite some time. I am not against him ever having it though once he is older. I am hoping I will have no problems breast feeding him for most of his nutritional needs. It is all still a little overwhelming to me and I’m sure I have alot to learn! :)


georgia prentiss     at 5:24 pm

My “baby” will be 40 in Nov. He has yet to take a bottle(except some beer after he turned 21) Went from breast to cup. Is very happy, healthy and the great father of a three year old- who also never took a bottle. Each child is his own person and we as parents deal with them as they are. If in your heart you know you did the best, all will be well. Enjoy Cullen every minute of every day as you have for the last 6 mos.


Emily     at 5:36 pm

Neither my brother or I ever took a bottle, we turned out just fine!
I recently started reading Bringing Up Bebe: One American Mother Discovers the Wisdom of French Parenting and it talks a lot about the expectations of American parents and for the most part, how they are self (or socially) imposed. It’s a light read, you should check it out!


kelly Reply:

That was a great book! A very interesting and valid thought on American parenting.


ANH     at 5:48 pm

You guys are GREAT at being parents…don’t stress so much!! Cullen is so lucky! And his blue eyes are so pretty in those pictures!


Angela @ Happy Fit Mama     at 5:52 pm

We waited till just about 6 months to start with solids with our twins. It can be pretty daunting but they’ll let you know what they like. Like most everyone else who has commented, we went with avocado,banana and sweet potatoes for their first real food.

Oh, and don’t worry about a high chair just yet. We didn’t actually start using ours till they were closer to 8 months. The Bumbo worked great!


Samantha     at 5:55 pm

I am not even a mom and I can totally get why it would be overwhelming. I was talking to a mom who’s very young child has naturally gone vegan (in a meat eating family) and I was sharing what I had figured out in a balanced ADULT vegan diet, but even I said to her, I don’t even have a concept of the caloric needs of a kid, let alone all the developmental ones.

That being said, I know you will do great and actually I foresee an entirely new section to your recipe collection.

I bet sooner than you can imagine he will mostly be eating a lot of what you guys eat which will give him a lot of natural variety and nutrition.


Brittany (Healthy Slice of Life)     at 6:18 pm

Aw! He totally looks like he is just taking in the whole experience. I love watching them learn new things. The only thing I know I’ve read for sure is that nursing comes first (since that’s where they get there main nutrients from), then feed solids after (like maybe an hour or so after).
Other than that, I think it’s up to what works best for you! I can’t wait to follow the journey. H has been loving it.


Melissa Bills     at 6:24 pm

Our son is two and is a vegetarian. Everyone (outside of my husband and myself) worried extensively about whether or not he would grow properly, get the right vitamins, etc… People in the grocery store even comment on how glowing his complexion is and how bright his eyes are, the doctor says you can tell he’s a vegetarian by how clear and great he looks, and while other kids will only eat “chicken” nuggets, he’s devouring paneer tikka masala, creamy garlic avacado, and won’t turn anything away. I’m so proud you’re taking this path and happy to hear it! You’re a great mom. :)


Amy Kaye     at 6:29 pm

Congrats on the solid foods! I know you are just getting started and have a long way to go with introducing him to a wide variety of foods… but I just had to share this recommendation! I do research on picky eating in toddlers and we’ve found that the “authoritative” parenting style has the best outcomes with child food acceptance. I’m fairly certain you won’t have any problems with this, but since I don’t have my own child, it’s the best advice I can offer!


Adrianne     at 7:15 pm

So excited to follow your adventures on this! We waited until 6 months to start solids too and then skipped right over cereal to veggies. I couldn’t find any compelling reason to give cereals as a first food, so I started with avocado (I know, technically a fruit). We’ve now incorporated lots of veggies and a couple of fruits and my daughter has loved it all!
I too was worried about how much and when and all of that and didn’t really get many answers from our pedi, so I’ve just been following my daughter’s lead and so far that has worked really well. At almost 7.5 months, she is eating solids twice a day, once for “lunch” and once for dinner. Since I make and freeze my own in ice cube trays, it’s really easy to start off with a small amount (one cube) and increase as she “demands” it. I know it seems so overwhelming, but trust me when I say that it will all just fall into place if you follow Cullen’s lead. Good luck and be sure to keep us posted!


Nicole     at 8:25 pm

I’m not a mom and have no idea what it’s like to get a kid to start eating regular food, but just remember, eventually we all figure it out! ;)


Diana @ frontyardfoodie     at 8:48 pm

Aww! So the food adventure begins!

We started my son on food at 6mo with sweet potatoes. He loved them. I wanted to get him going on all the amazing flavors out there while keeping things super nutritious at the same time.

I upped his food pretty slowly. I’d say it wasn’t until he was about 10mo old that we started doing a lot more. I totally followed his cues though and kept breastfeeding as much as he wanted as well. I got pregnant when he was 11mo so I know my supply dropped heavily the next four months until it was completely gone and during that time I just kept upping food. Now he’s 19mo and crazy about his meals. He eats more than me some days!


Courtney@Translating Nutrition     at 12:35 am

I’ve just started reading a new book called french children eat everything by Karen LeBillon. It talks a lot about how the french approach eating solids, and how they use it as an opportunity to train the child’s palate for a variety of foods. Found it a fascinating approach! You may enjoy reading it too.


Maya     at 5:26 am

I was raised basically using the baby-led-weaning approach, and so I think it’s coming naturally to us… I started my daughter on solids about a month early (bad mom, I know!!) because she seemed SO ready and was grabbing food out of my hands and starting to eat it all the time. She LOVES everything we’ve given her so far, except for the horseradish sauce she swiped at passover seder. :O One of her favorites is broccoli– just defrost the frozen broccoli and let him such on the florets! She found avocado frustrating at first because it would slip out of her hands so much.


Christine Hazard     at 5:48 am

Hey, read this website. She’s an expert on nutrition and she just wrote a post on baby’s first foods and I thought of you… http://mariahealth.blogspot.com/


Beth     at 5:59 am

So exciting! Looks like he loves oatmeal. We just tried solids, besides rice cereal in breastmilk, yesterday and she loved it! The faces they make are so stinkin cute! What an experience that does bring up so many questions.


Allison K     at 7:20 am

I am two weeks away from my due date and weaning/solids is something I have thought about through my whole pregnancy! I am super interested in Baby Led Weaning. I guess I need to get through lots of other stuff first!!!!


Heidi from BundlesofHugs     at 7:22 am

How exciting! We introduced the cereal to our kiddo when he was about 5 months. At first it was fun and exciting but more food came out than went down. We just took it easy and gave him a little each day so he could learn to swallow the texture. You’ll get the hang of making baby food and how much to give him in no time. They tell you when their are hungry (grumpy baby). Just take it easy and enjoy the ride this process is all too fun. Since he is approaching the 6 month stage you could try going straight to the sippy cup or cup with a straw and skip to the whole bottle period.


Sarah G     at 7:59 am

I’m sure your pediatrician and allllll the other readers will tell you their thoughts, but I can’t contain myself! I have to say that with my first baby, I was so happy to get the advice to always nurse BEFORE feeding. Since I wanted to nurse to at least one year, it was important to me that she continue to get a rounded diet, so to speak, and not to fill up on peas then my milk supply go down because she’s not hungry. Also, I jsut added the meals one at a time as our schedule seemed to fit. At first, the early afternoon was open for exploration and adventure, so we added our first “meal.” Then one day a few months later I realized there was an opening at breakfast time that would fit into every day…. Anyway, you’ll find your rhythm and I love reading about it! Thanks so much for sharing.


kelly     at 8:18 am

This has nothing to do with feeding babies:) But I was wondering if you would do a post on being mostly dairy free and any benefits you’ve found – separate from being a vegan. Thanks!


Bridgette     at 8:49 am

I cannot wait to hear about all of your baby food making experiences!!! I have so much fun with it, but I know you will be so creative :)


Katy @ MonsterProof     at 9:05 am

Enjoy! I’ve really enjoyed the freedom that eating solids has given us. We did the combo puree/BLW route, but be forewarned that post people say it’s a bad idea because it can confuse their swallowing habits. This was our path if you need more to read ;) http://monsterproof.blogspot.com/2012/03/this-little-piggie.html


Angie K     at 9:36 am

Starting baby’s on solids is so overwhelming! I have been struggling with this for a few months and find it hard to find exciting recipes for my little guy. I am also making my own food, veggie/bean/fruit based. Please share any tips or ideas you come up with along the way.


Erin @ Girl Gone Veggie     at 9:38 am

Cullen is such a cutie! I’m so glad he’s liking his first foray into foods! And I definitely understand the aprehension about what to feed a baby, and I’m not looking to have one for years! You’re setting up their entire future, predetermining them to tastes and preferences and lifelong eating habits. That’s a big responsibility!


ErikaMC     at 9:50 am

Our little guy is 8 months and I have yet to start solids. We’ve given him solids maybe 4 or 5 times just to see how it went. It went fine but I just don’t feel like he needs anything more right now. He is gaining weight and sleeping better than ever. At first I was (and probably still am) very intimidated by solids. How much? How often? etc. But I think I have it figured out for when we do start. I froze all of our vegetables from the garden last year so I have plenty on hand for when the time comes. I am constantly questioned about him eating yet and everybody has been negative about the fact that I haven’t started yet – I don’t care what they say… my baby is happy!


Linda Reply:

My daughter didn’t start solids until after 8 months either. It wasn’t a deliberate choice – she refused all baby food! She didn’t start eating solids until it was something she could pick up and hold in her hands (e.g. peas, cubed cooked carrots etc.). She’s a happy healthy 6 year old now, so not to worry.


Joanna @ Midwestern Bite     at 11:46 am

We just started solids over the weekend. The timing was perfect because the local grocery was offering a free pound of organic pears! We skipped the oatmeal/rice stage and moved straight to fruits. So far the pears have been popular, but the prunes not so much. I look forward to reading along with Cullen’s food adventures as Petey learns too!


Elizabeth     at 12:35 pm

I think it’s great that you research the topics a lot, as do I but definitely don’t over think it. I think the best guidance I got besides books and internet searches was my pediatrician. I felt at ease when he wrote down what a typical day would look like with feeding amounts, etc. I have tweaked it to fit our little one/our life and schedule but it helps a lot. We started with oatmeal and then after a few days we did fruits and veggies (2oz. twice a day)Now he eats yogurt and oatmeal for breakfast and fruits veggies and meat at lunch and dinner. We have always done the 3 day test rule, you introduce a new food and wait 3 days in case of any allergies. For my sanity, this has been great (so far no allergies) but it’s peace of mind in case something would happen, I could narrow it down to what food caused it. Good luck and can’t wait to hear about this journey :)


Amanda     at 12:58 pm

Hi Emily,

We’re a vegetarian family too and we’ve been raising our now 18 month old daughter vegetarian. I’ve been following your blog wondering if you’d go that route too – I look forward to reading your blog from the perspective of vegetarian parenting. :)



Julie     at 1:02 pm

You are so right – every new stage & milestone will be so much fun! It just keeps getting better & better! (My daughter is 12, & I don’t know where the time has gone.) I’m sure you hear this all the time, but Cullen looks so much like his dad!


Brittany@FloydsKitchen     at 4:24 pm

Dear god he is cute. He should be in a commercial!


Jennifer     at 8:14 pm

As a nanny, I decided to take a nutrition class to help first time parents I nanny for since they seemed to have questions on what and when to feed their baby. My college nutrition professor just went over nutrition for babies and kids, and she says it is not recommended for children to be vegetarians because they will not get enough amino acids. No doctor will suggest a child be a vegetarian and will try to get you to change your mind. The only way to get EVERY kind of amino acid your body absolutely needs is through animal products and meats, and it is very crucial for growing children to get these.


Jane Reply:

Please go away, vegetarian societies are the most healthiest and your professor is a bloody idiot. Everything has protien in it so get over it!


Jennifer Reply:

Not true. Not going to get in an argument with a commenter on a family blog, but for a child, you can’t get all of the combinations of amino acids their body and brain needs to grow without animal product. I appreciate your vulgar comment. have a nice day.


Jane Reply:

Vulgar? its ignorent comments like yours that are making people overeat and choose unhealthy foods due to this crazy idea that we need to gorge on high protein foods which in turn have shown to create health problems and disease in high amounts(go read a book like the china study & many others). Im sorry but both my kids aged 9 and 11 are vegan and have met all there milestones and are healthy, so tell me where did they get there amino acids from, if plants don’t have any? How do you think large populations in India who are vegetarian produce? How did Alicia Silverstone have a baby on a vegan diet and many others? comments like yours are just limiting and plain stupid.


Jennifer Reply:

I didn’t say plants didn’t have ANY amino acids…they don’t have ALL of the ones young children need starting out. Yeah, your kids are old enough to have that kind of diet, it isn’t healthy for BABIES to be vegetarian. Did I make it black and white now? I don’t want to have this conversation anymore. thanks!


Marissa     at 6:16 am

You probably already know this, but I just wanted to make sure to remind you that you should only introduce one new food at a time and then wait at least 2 weeks to see the reaction before introducing another one. My parents didn’t do this, and I got very sick. Turns out I was allergic to wheat, corn, milk, and soy! But they didn’t know this because they introduced all these things right after the other… so I had to go on hypoallergenic baby formula until it was all out of my systerm, and then we had to start all over again to see what I was sensitive to. So, yeah… its SO much easier if you do it right the first time, haha!


Jen     at 6:17 am

Hey Emily quick question unrelated to this post! What “coarse ground mustard” do you use/recommend for all of your tasty salad dressings? We seem to have the same palate and I would love to try to get the one you use. Thanks so much for being an amazing blogger!!!


Coreen     at 7:32 am

Here’s a great baby feeding resource


Something a lot of people don’t know is that you can introduce meat alternatives after the usual rice/oats/barley.

I’m very interested to hear your adventures in raising Cullen as a vegetarian.


Allpointswhole     at 7:50 am

I waited until 6 months too and my baby’s first food was avocado. The worst part was that cloth diapering became harder


Kathy     at 10:59 am

You will probably find that Cullen will most likely set the timing of when he is ready to try something new. So, if you just pay attention to his signals, you’ll do fine. As you said, all children and familiies are different, and sometimes when a child is ready to move to the next level, he will be the one to tell you. Don’t stress about it, it will all work out wonderfully. and I can’t believe he will be 6 months already. He is growing so quickly.


Mary     at 3:59 pm

Have you read Real Food for Mother and Baby by Nina Planck? If so do you find it helpful?
Also – are you attending La Leche League meetings so that you can bounce your questions off other moms and La Leche League leaders?


Kat     at 6:24 pm

I completely agree with you that the choices you make for your baby are not the choices that are right for every baby – being a parent is like…i don’t know…scary/exciting/involved/the list goes on. Congrats on the first solids !


Heidi - Apples Under My Bed     at 9:13 pm

Great post! All this is ahead of me. You seem to be doing really well, lovely :) I hope I can breastfeed for as long as you too!!
Heidi xo


Robin     at 7:49 am

I love the foot picture! I agree, starting foods is so exciting but also a high anxiety time. I actually started researching nutrition when my daughter was this age, and ultimately ended up quitting my job to go back to school full time to become a dietitian! It’s crazy what an impact one small person can have on your entire life :)


Kelly @ Cupcake Kelly's     at 8:36 am

I now your going to get tons of advice. So I will give you one thing that really helped me when making my own food/starting solids. The baby brezza. You can make a weeks worth of mushy food, and you can for example peel some carrots and put them in the machine and it steams them and blends them.

Now that B doesn’t want mushy food I use it just to soften harder foods like root veggies and apples so that he can eat them in smaller pieces but not as mush.


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