We all take a different approach to feeding babies solid foods.

When Elka was 5.5 months, I had a dream about feeding her an avocado. I woke the next morning, and offered her some mushed avocado – she ate the whole fruit!

The avocado was indicative of Elka’s general style of eating. Most food offered is usually eaten in its entirety and little food gets refused.

We spoon fed for a while – the menu included:
Avocado
Sweet potato
Pumpkin
Various grains, like quinoa
Pear
Banana
And a mix of any of the above.

At some point I introduced yogurt, at some point some cottage cheese, then some ground beef or chicken.

Within about two months, I began feeding Elka soft solids – things like cooked carrot, cooked zucchini, slices of avocado or tomato. Most pieces went into her mouth, and were chewed (Elka grew teeth at two months!) Some went onto the floor – this is usually an indication of ‘Had Enough’ or ‘Time to Play’ – we joke that Elka thinks the floor is a bit hungry. Some days, Elka is apparently more in need of food than the floor.

I admit I have never read any brochures, pamphlets, books etc about what babies should eat. In the food respect, I really do follow my instinct, and Elka’s cues. She seems to like most things, and is upset by little, so I am pretty relaxed with what I feed her. Elka probably eats a greater variety of food than most babies in her baby group. My friends tend to follow a more Steiner approach – introducing foods very slowly, and avoiding things like gluten or dairy for the first year or so. I occasionally feel a little guilty that I am not more fastidious with what Elka puts in her mouth. My approach reflects a little the fact that I am also relaxed about where things Elka puts in her mouth have been. The idea of sterilisation to me is a little taxing, and indeed foreign. I know some parents would find this revolting, but my theorisation goes along the lines of ‘the more germs Elka is exposed to, the greater her immunity’. And so far Elka has barely been sick.
Of course every parent should do things in their own way, and true to their own beliefs. This is just what works for me and my partner.

So, in all, we are blessed with a baby who eats enthusiastically, and healthily. One might suggest she inherited her appetite and her gusto for food from her father. In that respect at least, we are pretty certain Elka didn’t come from the milkman!

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