5 sure-shot ways to help your baby start solids

From the time our son was born, to the 17 month old that he's now, my son's weight was always on the healthier side. Being a solely breast fed baby it brought us so much joy whenever the weighing scale showed an exponential growth number each time we took him for a checkup or vaccination. Starting solid food was the one thing I did a huge amount of research on, reading numerous articles (I wouldn't have read so much even during my college days ;)) and watching videos on foods to avoid till a specific age, types of combinations of purees and the amount of food to be given, etc. When he takes a nap, I Google for new recipes for him, keep a count of veggies and fruits he had that day, trying to include dairy and rice as well....the list just goes on. Though he enjoys food, he has got a picky palate like ours and it does take a lot of effort to satisfy the foodie in him and when these well wishers say "oh you are so lucky he eats everything", I really feel like snarling and pouncing on them :)

So here's a list of things that I feel might help you mommies out there with a foodie or not-so-foodie baby!

Booster Seat: This is one accessory I can't live without. From the time we started solid food for my son, we made it a rule that it's the place to be when he eats. 17 months now and I still owe a lot to the chair as it has helped us making mealtimes hassle free. Unlike high chairs, booster seat can be easily carried around, so take it along when you go for a vacation or to the restaurant nearby.

Trust your gut feeling: Parents today gather so much information online these days and that all the information is stored somewhere in our brains. Do things that you feel is right for your child. I started giving our baby chicken when he was 8 months old, fish when he was 9 months and red meat when he was 10 months old. We stopped cooking separately for him when he was 10 months and hence he got used to our spice levels as well. Trust me I had to witness a lot of frowning faces while trying to make this possible, but now when our son sits with us and eats everything, the same folks label him a foodie who eats anything and everything and us, the lucky parents ;)

Mix and match: Every kid is different and they have taste preferences just like we adults do. So if you are able to find a few ingredients that work fool proof with your kid, half your work is done! Garlic works like magic with our son, add a dash of garlic in his stir fried veggies or pasta and he would eat all of it most of the time. So even with this there is always a chance of rejection but then it works like 90% of the time! :)

Bland is absolutely fine! Our son loves rice porridge without salt in it, plain idli and dosa without chutney, plain milk, oats  boiled in milk without sugar. This is in fact good news for us as he's not addicted to the white poison "sugar" and he doesn't demand chutney with his dosa. I had to fight so much with well wishers who tried to portray me as the cruel mom who doesn't even give her son sugar! Even now after seeing his love for bland food i still get advice "give him sugar with idli", " how will he eat plain porridge?", "add flavoured powder in his milk" and so on. If your baby loves bland food, please don't try to spoil their taste buds by adding a ladle of sugar in their milk or salt in their rice and porridge.