I have had many requests to share Grace’s journey to solids and this is an article I have been writing for many months. It’s a long one, and it’s not in perfect order because I still haven’t got my brain back, but that’s a story for another time. I hope this acts as a gentle supporting guide when it comes to introducing foods to your little one. There is a lot of information online, and some I personally find quite militant and fear based, so let me also remind you that mumma knows best. I have personally loved and continue to love our journey, founded by science but always very intuitive in nature.
Firstly, I want to share that we started Grace on solids at 4 months, which is not what you may have been told, but to help with context, here’s what shaped this decision.
- I was my healthiest yet when Grace was conceived, having worked on my gut health for a number of years, plus undertaking my three-month conception cleanse directly prior to her conception date. You can read more about that here.
- My pregnancy was incredible, without complications.
- Grace was born on her due date, in an intervention free, four hour home birth, meaning there was the minimum amount of stress surrounding her entry to the world.
- Grace was born vaginally, setting up a strong microbiome.
- Grace is a very healthy young lady, who has barely had a sniffle since birth, and even when she has had on occasion, a couple of hours of snoozing with her oil burner and the right essential oils kicks it completely. She has her mother’s immune system.
- From a very early age Grace was showing a lot of interest in our food and drinks. She would watch Ian and I closely and follow every mouthful or sip we would take, from hand to mouth. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.
One last thing before I go on, please remember that this is G’s journey to solids and our personal educated decision, but it doesn’t have to be yours. You can also disagree with me without my choices being wrong. So now that I’ve got that out of the way, here’s what we did:
Four to Six Months
We started with single puréed vegetables, the first being pumpkin from Granny’s garden in Launceston. Grace would barely have eaten a teaspoon – it’s solely for the experience, not nourishment at this age.
G’s second food was mashed avocado, with the goal of getting some healthy fats onto her plate. Fats are essential for their developing brains and as they start to eat more volume, add as much nourishment as possible to each meal. I also chose avocado for the pure convenience of it being a quick mash for a ready-to-go purée. Because, life.
From here, every three to four days we individually introduced vegetables including zucchini, broccoli, green beans, celery and carrot. I don’t believe there’s a right or wrong order here, and we introduced the specific vegetables that we were eating at that point in time. There’s no baby food in my eyes, just food.
I absolutely love and support the idea of egg yolk being one of bubs first foods. The long-chain fatty acids are incredible for optimal development of the brain and nervous system. So here’s what we did next:
Grace’s Egg Yolk
- 1 free range organic pasture fed egg
- 1 pinch gluten free baking powder
- Place egg into a saucepan of boiling water with a pinch of baking powder.
- Bring water to the boil, and cook egg for 4½ minutes.
- Tip out boiling water and run cold water over egg until it is appropriate to touch.
- Peel off shell, slice in half and remove the egg white. Transfer yolk to a small bowl and start with a small amount to start.
Notes: egg whites are an allergen and shouldn’t be given to baby at this stage. More on this to come.
Next up was bone broth, which I added to the vegetables G had already been loving e.g. pumpkin in bone broth, zucchini in bone broth. We were also started to combine vegetables e.g. pumpkin and zucchini in bone broth.
By this stage Grace was having a teaspoon or more of vegies, avocado and/or egg yolks daily, so we started to introduce fruit. G’s first fruit was banana, another not-so-conventional decision, but it worked for us. Mashed avo and banana quickly became a favourite, especially before I started to get more organized / understand the volume of food that such a little person could eat!
We added in pear and apple in between all of her staple foods and continued with combinations of the above – G absolutely loved egg yolk and pumpkin mash!
Six to Eight Months
At six months old we celebrated with dadda’s bolognaise sauce. A little rouge as it contained multiple ingredients, so don’t tell the internet police. If your little one has had quite a different start to Grace, or any food triggers up to this point, leave this out for another two to three months.
We also tested Kultured Wellness coconut yoghurt, at less than a teaspoon to start because it’s very high in beneficial bacteria. For convenience and travel purposes I also tested CoYo coconut yoghurt. Some of the purists don’t love CoYo, due to the inclusion of citric acid as a preservative, but again: because, life.
At six months a bub’s iron requirements increase greater than what breast milk can provide, so we started to get a lot more meat onto G’s plate. Ian will tell the story better than I, but when I meant to order lamp chops I bought G kilos of lamb cutlets and she absolutely loved her delicacy at $4.50/mouthful. At the time it didn’t even register that my bill was twice as much as usual #mumbrain! Only the best for my little love 😉
I made a Lamb & Vegie Purée and shared this on Instagram at the time. So many of you loved it, which totally warmed my heart.
Lamb & Vegie Purée
- 4 cups grass fed bone broth
- 500g grass fed lamb, diced
- 2 organic zucchinis, approximately 350g, finely diced
- 400g pumpkin, peeled & finely diced
- 250g organic cauliflower, finely diced
- ¼ cup Melrose Health grass fed ghee
- Add all ingredients to a large crockpot with a lid and cook on low for 30 minutes.
- Remove the lid and cook for another 60 minutes, or until most of the liquid has evaporated.
- Allow to cool then transfer to a high speed blender and purée until smooth. Makes seven cups.
G also loves variations of this e.g. pasture raised chicken (we buy Milking Yard Farm), zucchini, carrot, bone broth, ghee. Keep it simple – pick a protein, three veg, broth and ghee. I haven’t made one she hasn’t loved yet.
We also added in:
Scrambled eggs + grass fed ghee quickly became a staple, and as I eat this most days, I just add an extra eggs and we share breakfast or lunch. I introduced the whites around seven months – again, not so conventional but I had only positive signs, and buy the best pasture raised eggs money can buy. If you have any concerns at all, please wait until 10 months to introduce the whites.
Liver paté – continuing with the iron theme, I bit the bullet and made Grace’s Liver Pate. Don’t get me wrong I love paté, it’s just not something I usually make myself. Time or money, as I always say. Here’s what I did:
Grace’s Chicken Liver Paté
- 200g organic pasture raised chicken livers
- ½ cup homemade or organic chicken broth
- 2 teaspoons Melrose Health grass fed ghee
- 1 pinch of sea salt
- Add all ingredients to a medium saucepan and bring to the boil.
- Reduce the heat to a simmer for 20 minutes.
- Pour mixture into a heat stable blender and blend until smooth. Add a touch more broth of boiling water if you need.
Note: livers are extremely nutrient dense so please start small such as a teaspoon or two. It’s great mixed through your puréed vegetables. I recommended livers once or twice a week to start, so freeze the remaining into ice cubes trays for future use. This batch will then last you a good couple of months!
Smoothies were a huge hit by these stage too! I started with frozen organic zucchini, frozen organic blueberries, organic banana, cinnamon, avocado and water. Freezing leftovers in ice cubes trays and feeding via the mesh feeder quickly became a very popular teething strategy! I also love a smoothie to sneak some superfoods in – G doesn’t know she’s also consuming cod liver oil and probiotics! I tested chia seeds a couple of weeks in and started making chia puddings with fermented banana. The magic ratio is three tablespoons of chia seeds, one cup of liquid e.g. coconut cream and one to two bananas. Stick to one banana if you’ve not fermented yet, and you’ll keep the sugars nice and low.
Because it’s summer in Melbourne we tested mango but my girl is more into her vegies – she played with it more than she ate it. We’ll come back to this over Christmas I’m sure.
We then wanted to expand G’s repertoire to include more of the standard foods that Ian and I eat each week, with a continual focus on microbiome health of course.
Kimchi – I started by dipping my fingers in the juice and testing the tiniest amount. The evolution from here has been slow as it’s quite spicy. I give her tiny pieces of vegetables but note to self: I must buy some sauerkraut for us next, so G can get more involved.
Grass fed snags – we only buy our meet from Church St Butcher or Braelands Beef & Lamb and the sausages are the best of the best. For Grace I simply cut open the sausage and give her a small amount of the internal meat with her meal.
Almost 9 months
We went to NZ and dined at both an incredible winery and restaurant. Grace tried salmon terrine, rare grass fed steak and one duck fat chip. She’s quite the connoisseur!
Our version of toast is Judy’s Organics multi-seed loaf. Grace eats roughly ¼, twice/day. It’s good to keep her occupied while I heat up her purée, otherwise ‘Grace the turkey’ can appear! 😉 It’s quinoa based, which is a good pseudo-grain to introduce somewhere between eight and 10 months. Note: it does contain chunky seeds, so please make sure you’ve introduced them via smoothies, seed butters or seed meals/flours, and please watch bubs carefully with this one.
Grace is weaning naturally now, so we focus on regular water intake for her and one day could look like this:
Breakfast (one of):
- Chia Pudding
- Frozen smoothie via the mesh feeder
Play – breast milk – nap
- ¼ slice Judy’s bread
- 1 egg scrambled in grass fed ghee
- Assortment of vegies that we’re eating e.g. celery stick, cherry tomato
Play – breast milk – nap
- Lamb & Vegie Puree
- Assortment of vegies that we’re eating e.g. steamed broccoli, carrot
- Note: if we’re just having veggie purée, I either add paté or Grace chews on cooked meat, usually from our leftovers.
Bath – story – breast milk – bed.
In case you’re wondering, overnight we are currently at one to two feeds. So we’re down to an average of four to five feeds/day. Earlier this week she only had three feeds in total as she slept through the night, but that’s a rarity.
Now we’re heading into the world of allergens, making sure G is exposed to every potential trigger food before her first birthday. We could have definitely started earlier but we actually rarely eat many of the top ten allergenic foods (aside from peanut butter), so starting from nine months has been more a function of our household than G’s specific age. Stay tuned and I’ll share more on this as our journey evolves. Please let me know if there’s any specific foods you’d like to know more about and head to instagram to join in on the conversation.