In less than just two weeks Crosby will be six months old and it will be time to start introducing solid foods into her diet. I cannot believe she is nearly 6 months old! I remember thinking I had so much time before I introduced her to food and here it is upon me now. Some people do introduce food a bit earlier to their babies (between 4-6 months) but we have decided to wait the full 6 months because there are some dairy, fish, and egg allergies on Scott's side of the family and my sister was just recently diagnosed with celiac disease. While there is no way to prevent Crosby from inheriting any of these genes that could cause the allergies, I have been advised that breast milk only for the first full six months is the best shot at protection against such issues. So, I have stuck with it and hope it is giving Crosby the best start at a good healthy diet.
We are headed on another family holiday soon and so as soon as we return from that trip, I will begin the food adventures. In order to prepare for Crosby's first foods, I have been scouring the shelves at the grocery store and doing quite a bit of reading online. When I took Crosby to the pediatrician back in the US (at 3 months of age), the doctor gave me this leaflet as a guide to introducing foods into Crosby's diet:There is quite a list of items to avoid - some until she is ONE year old and others to avoid until she is TWO years old. The other bit of advice listed there (and also given here in the the UK) is that babies should be introduced (early on) to only one food at a time, most especially if there is a history of allergies in the family. I have seen various advice on the "wait time" in between foods - anywhere from 2-4 days before introducing the next "new" food is what I have read.
Now comes the confusing part for me. Here in England, I have not found any plain baby food at the grocery stores - just one food item at a time in baby food form. So, unless everyone makes their own baby food, how is it possible to introduce just one vegetable or one fruit at a time???? (*Minor exception - Ella's organic pouches have just released plain apples, plain pears, and plain mangoes)
Ella's Kitchen offers a mixed strawberry & apple pouch as a "first food" which is another point of confusion for me since the US pediatrician said no strawberries until age 2. Here, a first food is between 4-6 months. Confusing, right?
And then beyond the "First foods," come the stage 2 foods which are more like little meals for babies. I never thought about the foods in the US before until I started looking at the foods here. These baby foods seem to be very culture specific.
Hence the Fish Pie with mash (very British) and the Beef Stew with Spuds. Sounds like pub fare to me!
Annabel Karmel is considered to be one of the baby food "experts" here in the UK. She is widely known and her books are all over the baby shops and bookstores here. After reading her website, I am now just more confused on which standard I will follow for introducing foods to Crosby. As a prime example, the first photo from my US pediatrician says fish should be avoided until a baby is over 1 year of age. However, Anabel's website has this recipe and information under the foods for 6-9 months age: