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Starting Solids at Christmas

Starting solids around Christmas can be a fun and festive experience for you and your baby. However it can also bring some extra worry and pressure too. Here are some tips to make the introduction of solids during the holiday season enjoyable:

1. Check in with How You Feel First:

- If you are feeling pressure and anxious about it - there is a reason for this! Give yourself some grace - if this is your first baby well you have never done this before! If this is a second, third (or beyond!) child, you have never done it with this child - all babies are different.

- Doing anything for the first time is always a bit more challenging and more so when you are doing in front of family and friends. 

2. Timing is Flexible:

- In terms of when to start your baby off on solid first it does not have to be six months on the dot! It is ideally around this time. We do want a full term baby to have started by seven months but this gives a lot of flexibility - for example if you are going away at Christmas for a week you can totally wait until you are back!

- For more of the low down on when to start and what I would not recommend starting on food wise check out my blog here.

3. Include Your Baby in the Celebration:

- Seat your baby at the table with the family during mealtime. This can help your baby feel involved and part of the festive atmosphere.

4. Festive Presentation:

- Make the introduction of solids special by presenting the food in a festive manner. For example, use holiday-themed baby utensils or place the baby's food in a small, decorated bowl.

5. Photograph/Video the Moment:

Capture the moment with photographs or videos. It's a special milestone, and documenting it will create lasting memories for you and your child - try to include you in it!! Parents always forget themselves :) 

6. Be Mindful of Allergens:

- Friends and family members may not be aware of allergenic foods and be quite keen for your baby to try all sorts of things - keep in mind there are some common allergens and care needs to be applied in their introduction.

- You can find more information on allergens in this blog as well as in my best-selling book - The Nourished Baby.

7. Be Prepared for Mess:

- Introducing solids can be messy. Don't forget to pack some bibs and have some wipes handy if going away. Be ready for the mess that may come with your baby exploring new textures and tastes.

8. Incorporate Family Traditions:

- If your family has specific holiday traditions around meals, consider incorporating them into your baby's feeding routine. This can make the experience more meaningful for the whole family - you might need to substitute some foods but that is ok! For example we will do Arjun's famous pancakes on Christmas morning (from Feed the Tribe) my Baby Porridge with Pumpkin makes the easiest grain-free BLW pancakes as a substitute for babies!

9. Stay True to Your Values:

- This might be the biggest thinking point of all. I see so many parents struggle to factor in how other friends or family members might feel at Christmas - this is across the board but especially with starting solids. If you do not want your baby to have a lick of chocolate - say no!

-This is your baby and you are their parent - teaching them it's ok to say no right from the start is so important. You may need to have a think about just what are your values around food first - this might be a little confronting but is something I highly recommend as you will use them to guide your children's eating....for a very long time!

 

Further Help and Resources:

My top resources and food products to help here are my Baby Porridge with Pumpkin mix and my DJK slow cooker mixes – which are all baby friendly from the start. You will also find lots of protein-rich baby food recipes in my cookbooks and free on my blog:

 - The Meat Question

- Best Milk for Babies Starting Solids?

- High Iron Mexican Baby Food

- The Nourished Baby

- Baby and Toddler Cookbook

- Baby Pumpkin Porridge

- My Podcast 

Merry Christmas!

xx Dr Julie 

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