Sheryl Jesin

Fitness, food, family, fun and more!

Solids the second time around

39 Comments

Welcome to the November Carnival of Natural Parenting: Kids in the Kitchen

This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama. This month our participants have shared how kids get involved in cooking and feeding. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.


When I first introduced solids to my first son Dylan, when he was 6 months old, it was a BIG DEAL. For weeks I read up on solids – what to try first, how much to give, how many days to leave in between introducing new foods. I made big batches of all kinds of pureed fruits and veggies and froze them in little individual sized portions. Every morning Jake fed Dylan breakfast and he often had something at lunch and dinner too. Everything went really smoothly and Dylan enjoyed all of the purees I made, and gradually transitioned over to table foods at around 9 or 10 months.

Everything is more relaxed this time around. Benjamin also started solids right around the 6 month mark. Like his big brother Dylan, his first taste of food was a bit of mashed banana. However, unlike his big brother, Benjamin has mostly skipped over purees.   Instead, we place appropriate food on Benjamin’s highchair tray and he feeds himself.

Corn is a yummy summer treat for everyone, including babies!

For the first little while, not much food ended up in Ben’s mouth!  For example, I’d place some small pieces of cooked sweet potato on his tray, and he’d mush them around, make a mess, and perhaps lick his fingers a bit.  We also used a mesh feeder and put fresh summer fruits inside and he’d suck on the feeder, and of course make a mess!

Raspberries in the mesh feeder – messy but oh so fun!

As time went by, his pincer grip further developed and he got more and more food in his mouth.   Some favorites included peaches, raspberries, blueberries, and watermelon.   I found that his eating really took off at month 9.   These days (at month 10), I try to give Benjamin a little bit of table food at every meal.  He loves pretty much all fruits and veggies, and has also tried oatmeal, rice, and beans.   He also loves soups and my morning smoothie!  He even loves the sprouted lentils that I pick up at our local farmer’s market.  For liquidy things like soups and smoothies, I attempt to spoon feed him, but he usually doesn’t like it!   Instead, I put some food on the spoon and then give it to him, and he feeds himself.

So in an unintentional manner, I have been feeding Benjamin according to the baby led weaning method.  According to this method, a parent provides appropriate food for a baby, and the baby feeds him or herself.

I found this information on Wikipedia:

Baby-led weaning places the emphasis on exploring taste, texture, colour and smell as the baby sets their own pace for the meal, choosing which foods to concentrate on. Instead of the traditional method of spooning puréed food into the baby’s mouth, the baby is presented with a plate of varied finger food from which to choose.

Self-feeding supports the child’s motor development on many vital areas, such as their hand-eye coordination and chewing. It encourages the child towards independence and often provides a stress-free alternative for meal times, for both the child and the parents. Some babies refuse to eat solids when offered with a spoon, but happily help themselves to finger food.

Makes sense to me!  I’m happy that I’m encouraging Ben towards independence and developing his motor skills!    But truthfully, we are doing baby-led weaning because I don’t have the time or interest in preparing purees, and I also don’t have the time to spoon feed Ben!   Mealtimes are busy in our household and everyone has to fend for him or herself!

Who doesn't love a piece of freshly steamed broccoli?

I’m much more relaxed about food the second time around.   Partially because I’m busier this time with a 3 yr old to take care of also.   And I know that up until a year, a baby’s main source of nutrition should be breastmilk.  Since he still breastfeeds around the clock, I know he is getting lots and lots of the best source of nutrition!

How have you approached solids with your babies?  Have you found it different the second time around?


Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Hobo Mama and Code Name: MamaVisit Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Carnival of Natural Parenting!

Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:

(This list will be live and updated by afternoon November 8 with all the carnival links.)

  • Baking & letting go — Cooking with kids can be a mess. Nadia at Red White & GREEN Mom is learning to relax, be patient, and have fun with the process.
  • Family feeding in Child of Mine — Lauren at Hobo Mama reviews Ellyn Satter’s suggestions for appropriate feeding and points out where her family has problems following through.
  • Children with Knives! (And other Kitchen Tools) — Jennifer at True Confessions of a Real Mommy teaches her children how to safely use knives.
  • “Mommy, Can I Help?” — Kat at Loving {Almost} Every Moment writes about how she lets her kiddos help out with cooking, despite her {sometimes} lack of patience!
  • Solids the Second Time Around — Sheryl at Little Snowflakes recounts her experiences introducing solids to her second child.
  • The Adventure of Toddler TastebudsThe Accidental Natural Mama shares a few things that helped her daughter develop an adventurous palate.
  • A Tradition of Love — Kelly at Becoming Crunchy looks forward to sharing the kitchen traditions passed on from her mom and has already found several ways to involve baby in the kitchen.
  • The Very Best Classroom — Alicia C. at McCrenshaw’s Newest Thoughts reveals how her kitchen is more than a place to make food – it’s a classroom!
  • Raising Little Chefs — Chef Mike guest posts on Natural Parents Network about how he went from a guy who couldn’t cook to a chef who wanted to teach his boys to know how the food we love is made.
  • In the Kitchen with my kids — Isil at Smiling like Sunshine shares a delicious soup recipe that her kids love.
  • Papa, the Pancake Artist — Papa’s making an incredible breakfast over at Our Mindful Life.
  • Kids won’t eat salad? Try this one! — Tat at Mum in Search is sharing her children’s favourite salad recipe.
  • Recipe For a Great Relationship — Cooking with kids is about feeding hearts as well as bellies, writes Hannah at Wild Parenting.
  • The Ritual of Mealtimes — Syenna at Gently Parenting Twins writes about the significance of mealtimes in her family’s daily rhythm.
  • Kid, Meet Food. Food, Kid. — Alburnet at What’s Next? panicks about passing on her food “issues” to her offspring.
  • Growing Up in the Kitchen — Cassie at There’s a Pickle in My Life shares how her son is growing up in the kitchen.
  • Harvesting Corn and History — From Kenna at School Garden Year: The kids in the school garden harvest their corn and learn how much history grows in their food.
  • My Guiding Principles for Teaching my Child about Food — Tree at Mom Grooves uses these guiding principles to give her daughter a love of good food and an understanding of nutrition as well as to empower her to make the best choices for her body.
  • Kitchen Control — Amanda at Let’s Take the Metro writes about her struggles to relinquish control in the kitchen to her children.
  • Food — Emma at Your Fonder Heart lets her seven month old teach her how to feed a baby.
  • Kitchen Fun? — Adrienne at Mommying My Way questions how much fun she can have in a non-functional kitchen, while trying to remain positive about the blessings of cooking for her family.
  • Kitchen Adventures — Erica at ChildOrganics shares fun ways to connect with your kids in the kitchen.
  • Kids in the Kitchen: Finding the Right Tools — Melissa at Vibrant Wanderings shares some of her favorite child-sized kitchen gadgets and where to find them.
  • The Kitchen Classroom — Laura at Authentic Parenting knows that everything your kids want to learn is at the end of the ladle.
  • Kids in the Kitchen — Luschka from Diary of a First Child talks about the role of the kitchen in family communication and shares fun kitchen activities for the under two.
  • Our Kitchen is an Unschooling Classroom. — Terri at Child of the Nature Isle explores the many ways her kitchen has become a rich environment for learning.
  • Montessori-Inspired Food Preparation for Preschoolers — Deb Chitwood at Living Montessori Now shares lots of resources for using Montessori food preparation activities for young children in the kitchen.
  • My Little Healthy Eater — Christine at African Babies Don’t Cry shares her research on what is the best first food for babies, and includes a healthy and yummy breakfast recipe.
  • Two Boys and Papa in the Kitchen: Recipe for Disaster?MudpieMama shares all about her fears, joys and discoveries when the boys and handsome hubby took over the kitchen.
  • Food choices, Food treats — Henrietta at Angel Wings and Herb Tea shares her family’s relationship with food.
  • learning to eat — Catherine at learner mummy reflects on little M’s first adventures with food.
  • The Night My 7-Year-Old Made Dinner — Melodie at Breastfeeding Moms Unite! shares how her 7-year-old daughter surprised everyone by turning what started as an idea to play restaurant into pulling off making supper for her family.
  • Cooking With a High-Needs Toddler — Sylvia at MaMammalia describes how Montessori-inspired activities and a bit of acceptance have helped her overcome hurdles in cooking while caring for a “high-needs” child.
  • Kids in the Kitchen – teaching healthy food choices — Brenna at Almost All The Truth shares her belief in the importance of getting kids into the kitchen using her favorite cookbook for kids to develop healthy food choices now and hopefully into the future.
  • Make Milk, Not War — Tamara at Tea for Three remembers the daily food fights as she struggled to feed a picky eater.
  • teaching baby birds about good food. — Sarah at Small Bird on Fire writes about the ways in which her family chooses to gently teach their son how to make wise food decisions.
  • 5 Ways to Enhance Your Baby or Young Toddler’s Relationship with Food — Charise at I Thought I Knew Mama shares simple ways to give your child a healthy beginning to her lifelong relationship with food.
  • Toddler at the Table: 10 Creative Solutions — Moorea at Mamalady shares tips for preventing meal-time power struggles.
  • How My Child Takes Responsibility During His Mealtime… — Jenny @ I’m a full-time mummy shares how she teaches and encourages her 32 months old son on adopting good manners and responsibilities during his mealtimes…
  • megan — Kristin at Intrepid Murmurings shares six tips for overcoming some of the the difficulties of cooking with multiple young sous chefs, and a recipe they all can agree on!
  • How BLW has made me a better parent — Zoe at Mummykins shares how baby-led weaning has changed her approach to parenting.
  • My Budding Chef — Jenny at Chronicles of a Nursing Mom is no cook but is happy that her daughter has shown an inclination and manages to whip up yummy goodies for their family.
  • Kids in the Kitchen: An Activity for Every Age — Gaby from Tmuffin describes how she keeps her kids busy in the kitchen, whether they are one week old or two years old.
  • The Phantastically Mutlipurposed Phyllo — Ana at Pandamoly shares how Phyllo is used to create enticing dishes at home! Anything can be made into a Struedel!
  • Kitchen Kids — Laura from A Pug in the Kitchen shares her children’s most favorite recipe to make, experience and eat.
  • Independence vs. Connection in the Kitchen: won’t you please get yourself your own snack already? — Lisa at Organic Baby Atlanta wishes her daughter would just go make a mess in the kitchen. But her daughter only wants to do it together.
  • Grandma Rose’s Kitchen — Abbie at Farmer’s Daughter reminisces about her childhood and dreams of filling her kitchen with people, love, noise, and messes.
  • Healthy Food Choices for Kids — Jorje offers one way to encourage children to make their own healthy food choices at MommaJorje.com.
  • Cooking food to thrive rather than survive — Phoebe at Little Tinker Tales is trying to foster a lifetime of good food habits by teaching her children about the importance of avoiding junk, cooking healthy meals, and learning about the whole food process.
  • Evolution of a self-led eater — Sheila at A Gift Universe shares the story of how her son grew from nursing around the clock to eating everything in sight, without her having to push.
  • 10 Ways Tiny Helps In The Kitchen — Jennifer at Hybrid Rasta Mama explores the ways in which her toddler actively participates in kitchen-related activities.
  • The Complexity of Feeding a Child — Feeding children a healthy diet is no straight-forward task, but Lisa at My World Edenwild shares some general guidelines to help your child thrive.
  • Lactation CookiesThat Mama Gretchen shares a fun recipe that will benefit both mamas and babies!
  • The Best Books and Websites to Inspire Kids in the Kitchen — Need inspiration to get your kids in the kitchen? Dionna at Code Name: Mama rounds up some of the best books and websites that can serve as a source for ideas, recipes, and cooking with littles fun.
  • A 4-year-old’s smoothie recipe — Jen at Grow With Graces and her son set out to make a smoothie without the usual ingredients. She let him improvise. See how it turned out.
  • Independent Food Preparation (My Toddler Can Do That?) — Megan at Montessori Moments shares simple ways for children to prepare their own healthy snacks.
  • Follow Your Gut — Amy at Anktangle shares her philosophy about intuitive eating, and how she’s trying to foster her son’s trust in his own inner wisdom when he feels hungry.
  • A TODDLER-STYLE LUNCH + RECIPEManic Mrs. Stone photographs how to have messy fun during lunchtime with a helpful toddler.

39 thoughts on “Solids the second time around

  1. Pingback: The Night My 7 Year Old Made Dinner | Breastfeeding Moms Unite

  2. We did things in a similar way second time round too, we pureed most things for my eldest (I just thought that’s what you had to do), and I did attempt the purees at first with my second, but she was having none of it. Then I heard about BLW so we followed that- is so much easier too! I know what you mean about each man for himself at dinner times, they were completely manic here but luckily have calmed down a lot now Elise has reached 14 months. It looks like he’s really enjoying his food!

  3. Pingback: » Two Boys and Papa in the Kitchen: Recipe For Disaster? MudpieMama

  4. Pingback: Kids in the Kitchen: Finding the Right Tools | | Vibrant WanderingsVibrant Wanderings

  5. Pingback: Raising Little Chefs | Natural Parents Network

  6. Pingback: Kids in the Kitchen | Diary of a First Child

  7. Pingback: Grandma Rose’s Kitchen | Farmer's Daughter

  8. We started out with purees with our daughter but gave them up rather early on because she really didn’t appreciate (smart girl). So this next baby will be all BLW all the time

  9. Pingback: My Guiding Principles for Teaching my Child about Food | momgrooves.com

  10. Pingback: Recipe For a Great Relationship « Wild Parenting

  11. I am behind you 100% on being lazier. Um, let’s call it more efficient. ;) It’s funny, though, because I’ve been thinking along opposite lines with baby #2. With Mikko, I toed the BLW party line and felt guilty anytime I served a puree or wanted to try out a jar of baby food. With #2, I’ve decided life’s too short to waste on needless guilt and will try whatever he wants to eat. I imagine it will still mostly be small bites from our plate, but I won’t fret over being “perfect” so much! Balance in all things … even balance, lol.

  12. Pingback: Mummykins » Blog Archive » How BLW has made me a better parent

  13. I had a similar experience. My first kiddo did enjoy purees. My mom and I would make most of her food. With my second, I quickly saw he did not like purees and to be spoon-fed. He wanted the food we were eating!!! I think maybe it was because he could see his older sister and wanted to be like her! So we did, I suppose you would call it, modified BLW…I would give him appropriate table foods and he would feed himself, but he also enjoyed being fed yogurt, oatmeal and some purees like applesauce. With baby# 3 I am going to follow her lead…if she likes purees, we’ll do purees, or maybe a combo of BLW and purees…we shall see in 4 months :-) I think like so many other things in parenting, we have to follow our children’s lead and find a way to meet their needs while still keeping it true to our family goals.

  14. Pingback: Kids in the Kitchen: 6 tips plus a recipe! « Intrepid Murmurings

  15. Pingback: 5 Ways to Enhance Your Baby or Young Toddler’s Relationship with Food - I Thought I Knew Mama

  16. Pingback: A 4-year-old’s smoothie recipe | GROW WITH GRACES

  17. We did BLW for the most part with K, but I did help mash some things like meat. I’m interested to see how it will go with #2 – I know they often start earlier since they see older siblings eating! And I’m with you – I don’t feel like spending the time on purees ;)

    • Time is limited when you have a second child – I’d rather spend time preparing food the whole family can enjoy than just baby purees (especially since most of it ends up on the highchair, bib, floor etc).

  18. Pingback: Kid, Meet Food. Food, Kid. « What's Next?

  19. Pingback: Kids in the Kitchen - teaching healthy food choices |

  20. Pingback: Hybrid Rasta Mama: 10 Ways Tiny Helps in the Kitchen

  21. I started off with purees and baby cereal for our 1st but only did BLW with our 2nd. Needless to say, it was MUCH more fun with baby # 2. I am now a true believer in BLW. I rave about it any chance I get and I even do presentations on the topic to mom & baby groups.

    I was hard core, I never mashed anything up & never used a spoon (but left one for him to play with). Though when I present, I suggest doing whatever combination works for you (as the caregiver).

    I wrote about it recently too:

    http://redwhiteandgreenmom.blogspot.com/2011/11/blw-exercise-in-trust.html

    http://redwhiteandgreenmom.blogspot.com/2011/11/blw-questions-tips.html

  22. Pingback: learning to eat » learnermummy.com

  23. Pingback: Our Kitchen is an Unschooling Classroom. - Child of the Nature Isle

  24. Pingback: Toddler at the Table: 10 Creative Solutions « MamaLady

  25. Pingback: Kids won’t eat salad? Try this one! | Mum in search

  26. Pingback: Crunchy-Chewy Mama » Blog Archive » Kids in the kitchen (better late than never!)

  27. Im still on baby number one, but we too, have happened on baby-led weaning out of convenience more than anything else :)
    Jesse LOVES broccoli too!

  28. Pingback: Montessori-Inspired Food Preparation for Preschoolers | LivingMontessoriNow.com

  29. Pingback: independence vs. connection: won’t you please just get yourself your own snack already? | Green Baby Atlanta

  30. Pingback: independence vs. connection: won’t you please just get yourself your own snack already? | Organic Baby Atlanta

  31. Pingback: Kitchen Kids «

  32. Pingback: Bitter taste | Angel Wings and Herb Tea

  33. Pingback: More Milk Cookies

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