When your little one is ready to transition to solid food, it can be exciting but also a bit overwhelming and confusing. As a first time mom, or even when the second or third child arrives and you forget everything you did with the first (!), we hope you find this simple Q&A a helpful guide to introducing your baby to the wonders of food’s taste and textures.

Katie Thomson, founder of Square Baby organic food, answers some common questions below about baby’s nutrition. She is a fellow mama of two boys, a Registered Dietitian and an expert in crafting balanced and nutritious meals for babies.

Is my baby ready for solids (baby purees)?

Each child is different, so timing really depends on your baby’s own rate of development. Generally, when infants double their birth weight (at 13 pounds or more) they may be ready for solid foods. This is typically at 4 – 6 months of age.

Other things to keep in mind are:

(1) Is your baby showing interest in food? This helps! ;)

(2) Is your baby able to sit in a high chair or feeding seat with good head control? This is important.

Please talk to your pediatrician about your baby’s readiness for solids.

What if my baby doesn’t like certain food?

Keep trying!  Research shows that babies may take up to 15 trials to develop a liking for new foods.  Don’t give up. We know it can get frustrating, but it’s worth the effort.

Whoa! Why is my baby’s stool ___?

American Academy of Pediatrics says it well: “When your baby starts eating solid foods, his stools will become more solid and variable in color. Because of the added sugars and fats, they will have a much stronger odor too. Peas and other green vegetables may turn the stool a deep-green color; beets may make it red. (Beets sometimes make urine red as well.) If your baby's meals are not strained, his stools may contain undigested pieces of food, especially hulls of peas or corn, and the skin of tomatoes or other vegetables. All of this is normal. Your baby's digestive system is still immature and needs time before it can fully process these new foods. If the stools are extremely loose, watery, or full of mucus, however, it may mean the digestive tract is irritated. In this case, reduce the amount of solids and introduce them more slowly. If the stools continue to be loose, watery, or full of mucus, consult your child's doctor to find the reason.”

source: https://www.healthychildren.org/English/ages-stages/baby/feeding-nutrition/Pages/Switching-To-Solid-Foods.aspx

Can I introduce allergens to my baby?

Per the American Academy of Pediatrics* : “There is no evidence that waiting to introduce baby-safe (soft), allergy-causing foods, such as eggs, dairy, soy, peanuts, or fish, beyond 4 to 6 months of age prevents food allergy. If you believe your baby has an allergic reaction to a food, such as diarrhea, rash, or vomiting, talk with your child's doctor about the best choices for the diet.”

In fact, recent research shows that early allergen introduction can help PREVENT food allergies by up to 80%.  Talk to your pediatrician about your baby's readiness to start allergens.

Check out www.PreventAllergies.org and this blog with leading allergist, Dr Katie Marks-Cogan for more information: https://squarebaby.com/preventing-food-allergies-in-my-little-one-a-qa-with-dr-katie-marks-cogan

*Source: 1/16/18 https://www.healthychildren.org/English/ages-stages/baby/feeding-nutrition/Pages/Switching-To-Solid-Foods.aspx

Square Baby’s meals refer to certain terms like "healthy fats", "fiber", "extra greens" – what does these mean and why are they important?

We designed these filters to help you find the products that meet your baby's dietary needs and preferences.  Because we love transparency, here is how we defined them:

"Healthy Fat":  contains 1+ gram of fat from whole milk Greek yogurt, avocado, avocado oil, coconut milk, salmon, or eggs (USDA recommends ~30g of total fat needed/day, but most will come from milk/formula)

"Extra Greens": contains green veggies like spinach, broccoli, green beans, peas, etc.

"Probiotics": contains whole milk Greek yogurt with live probiotics

"Extra Iron": contains at least 10% DV Iron & Vitamin C per serving.  RD Tip: Vitamin C improves iron absorption in the body, it’s important to have both!

"Sprouted Grains": includes sprouted grains like Sprouted Amaranth, Millet, Quinoa & Brown Rice.  Sprouted Grains are higher in nutrition than regular grains and easier to digest.

"Herbs & Spices": contains herbs, spices for palate development

"Omega-3’s": contains Omega-3’s from sprouted chia seeds or salmon

"Gluten-Free": made with Gluten-Free ingredients (even oats are GF) and produced in a Certified Gluten Free, Organic Kitchen

What is Square Baby’s “Square Meal System”?

Our Square Meal System™ offers 100% of a baby’s daily nutrition*.  Below is how we have broken this out per age group:

  • 4-6 months: time to introduce single-ingredient purees. Baby will start with a few bites and gradually be able to eat one container per day.
  • 6-8 months: introduce Square Meals.  Two meals per day delivers 100% daily nutrition*. Meets minimum recommended servings, but we've left room for additional iron-fortified cereals as we know many moms like to stir this in to meals for extra iron.
  • 8-12 months: continue with Square Meals.  Three meals per day delivers 100% daily nutrition*. Meets minimum recommended servings, but we've left room for table/finger foods, so listen to baby's cues and enjoy the inevitable food-throwing that will ensue ;).  Feel confident that no matter how many blueberries and peas get tossed at your face, our Square Meals will provide a complete, balanced meal.
  • 12+ months: while your little one starts to eat more and more table food, use the purees more as additional foods at mealtime or as a balanced snack!

*100% of baby's daily fruit, vegetable, whole grain and protein servings based on USDA recommendations per the baby's age group.

Remember that these are general guidelines, not a prescription for your baby.  Parents intuition and baby's cues are most important.

Do NOT adhere to the "clean plate rule". Forcing your baby to finish a meal when he/she is not hungry could override their natural cue to "stop eating when you're full". Expect a smaller and pickier appetite as the baby's growth rate slows around age one.

To learn more about Square Baby and their focus on creating balance in a high sugar industry, check out this article here.

And to learn more about Introducing Solids, check out these helpful Square Baby blogs here and here.

About the Author:

Katie Thomson, CEO and cofounder of Square Baby is a Registered Dietitian and mom of two was fed up with all the fruit-heavy, sugar-laden baby foods masquerading as balanced meals, and knew she could do better. Determined to create a solution, she founded Square Baby - the first and only baby food to deliver 100% of a baby’s daily recommended servings of fruit, veggies, protein and whole grains and a comprehensive Allergen Introduction Menu.

Rooted in nutrition science, Square Baby’s organic meals and customized meal plans are tailored for every age and stage of development. And proof is in the numbers: Square Meals have 1/2 the sugar and twice the protein, fiber, and healthy fat as most pouches!

Use promo code ABBYFINN20 for 20% off your first order at Square Baby!