Baby Starts Solids

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Romancing the Jar: Baby Starts Solid Foods

—by Zoe McNamara for 


I used to know that my little one was getting enough to eat when she was on formula. Night after night, I'd prepare a batch of bottles for the next day's meals. It became like clockwork.

It was easy to leave a neat row of bottles on the top shelf of my refrigerator for our nanny to serve at the appropriate times. That changed when my baby started attempting solid food (I say attempting, because it didn’t always end up in her mouth). Now I was less sure about mealtimes, but I faithfully bought the same brand of entrees, fruit sauces, snacks and juices.

The same foods were always packaged in the same way—no economy sizes to be remeasured and repackaged at home. Somewhere on the label or the box, there was always a message from the manufacturer about recommended daily amounts and serving sizes, and I got really good at serving up fabulous meals from different combinations of jars, packets and boxes. Have a look at these mealtime suggestions for baby on the go.

More about Starting Baby on Solids

More teeth came in, and with a wistful glance over my shoulder, I ventured out of the baby products aisle in search of grown-up foods I could incorporate into my little lamb's diet. I tried not to act worried when she gobbled the frosting off of a mini-cupcake, and showed the same enthusiasm for french fries, but I was relieved when she turned up her nose at chicken nuggets and then again at sweetened dry cereal.

Now that our well-baby visits have become even fewer and farther between, I really don't know what to do about quantities at mealtime. Surely our brand of choice has taken us as far as it can, and it's time for us to graduate to chicken drumsticks and peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwiches.

In my zeal to make sure I'm serving enough, could I be overfeeding? In my anxiety about overfeeding, might I be making the portion sizes too small? Could I, in my indecision about the whole thing, be laying the foundation for an eating disorder?

Zoe McNamara is the mother of a toddler and a five-year-old.

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