I can remember it like it was yesterday, walking down the diaper aisle. The many choices and the sheer amount of boxes.
Sizes, brands, and boxes.
I thought I was over all of this. That was until I walked down the baby food aisle for the first time.
Pouches, jars, and cereal.
The choice between the three was the first choice that I had to make. As my eyes widen, trying to make the best choice for my son, he looked up at me. He knew what was coming. He could see all the yummy fruits, vegetables, and even pureed meats. It was then that he said his first sentence at the young age of 6 months, “Daddy, I want something with bacon in it.” Of course, I kid, but if he had his choice, I would bet there would be some form of bacon in his first food.
As we continued to walk down the baby food aisle, I still couldn’t help but wonder, where do we start our baby at? The pouches, while nice and convenient on the go, the jars will be “cleaner.” I believe as I talked to my 6-month old baby I even used hand quotations as I said it.
Without a clue as to what I was doing (searching the web on our smartphones was slow and painful) I picked up a jar of carrots. I had no idea that starting a baby off on vegetables was the way to get them started on a new solid food diet. Here is what I wish I knew on that first trip down the baby food aisle.
When you start your baby with veggies first, you are expanding their palates to become an essential part of being great eaters later. While there is nothing wrong with fruits, the sugars will turn your sweet loving child into a sugar craving cave person. OK, that might be an exaggeration but starting with vegetables first, your child will be open to new flavors later in life.
Pouches or Jars… It doesn’t matter!
As I stood in the baby food aisle it was incredibly daunting, I found myself going through every scenario of my child’s new adventure into solid food. While traveling pouches would be nice, at home, jars would be much more convenient and easier to store in our pantry. In the end, it doesn’t matter which option you go with as long as your child is enjoying what they are eating… and ate their veggies first to get both the nutrients they need as well as the exposure for later in life.
Accept the baby food mess
I turned around in the baby food aisle and had a face full of bibs, kitchen utensils, parent face guards (I don’t know if this is a thing but it should be), and floor mats. Again, the choices! I was confident in my parenting ability that we were going to be the parents whose kid wasn’t going to make a mess. Yeah, I was wrong. Bibs make cleaning up the baby easy and no matter what utensil you use, there is a high probability that your child will fling it out of your hand and onto a wall. Just accept the mess.
Having been through that “first” trip down the baby food aisle twice at this point, I wish that I would have known these three things in choosing the new diet for your baby. Having two kids who started off with carrots, peas, and sweet potatoes first, they have grown up being kids who are willing to eat whatever we place in front of them. Also, the pictures that you get of your baby with carrot puree all over their face are ones that are instantly shown love on social media.
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Full Disclosure: Earth’s Best did compensate me for this partnership, however, the thoughts and opinions expressed in this post are my own.