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What I wish I'd known about starting solids - Part 1

Do you feel close to boiling point when more of your baby's food ends up on the floor than in his mouth? Does your baby treat that lovingly prepared meal like the latest plaything? Don't get in a stew! BabyCentre mums have tips and advice that will give you a whole new perspective on starting solids.

What if my baby's not interested in eating?
"If your baby spits out everything you give him, take a deep breath and repeat the mantra: Food is for fun until you’re one."

"I thought my baby would lap up everything I gave him. Nothing could be further from the truth. One day your baby will eat next to nothing. The next day, your baby will eat you out of house and home. This is normal. Do not panic!"

"Some babies are fussy eaters but others aren’t. Two siblings can have very different food habits. I’ve got four children, my first and third are quite picky eaters, and my second and fourth will eat just about anything."

"Don’t make mealtimes into a battleground. If you offer your baby healthy food choices, it doesn’t matter if your baby only eats cream cheese on toast with peas for a week. Mealtimes should be happy times!"

"If your baby won’t try new foods, eat it yourself at the table and don’t offer it to your baby. You’ll be surprised at how often she’ll be desperate to try what you’re eating!"

"Trust your baby!"
What can I give my baby to eat?
"Despite what the purists will tell you, you don't have to go down the purees or baby-led weaning route. It is possible to do a little bit of both."

"Couscous is a brilliant food for introducing texture to your baby. It's cheap, quick and easy to prepare. Slightly overcooked, mashed-up rice is also great!"

"Leave snacks such as crisps and biscuits for as long as possible. Your baby doesn’t need them and won't miss them if you never give them to her."

"Don't let your own likes and dislikes prejudice what you feed your child. I can't stand eggs, but I give them to my son anyway and he loves them."

"If you haven’t got any fresh fruit in the house, tinned fruit (in fruit juice, not syrup) is absolutely fine."

"If your baby doesn't like runny purees, try thickening up the mixture a little bit and see how she goes."

"Try to keep in mind that ultimately, you’ll want your baby to eat the same as the rest of the family. So try to give your baby versions of the (healthy) foods that you'll be eating."

"I really hadn’t realised just how full of sugar (and expensive) most baby cereals are, and the same goes for baby yoghurts and fromage frais. Your baby will do fine on cereals such as porridge and wheat bisks, with plain yoghurt. You can always add fruit puree to the yoghurt to give it some flavour. Much cheaper too."

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