It has been a few years since purees are no longer too fashionable to constitute baby’s first meals apart from milk and bottles. With the DME, you introduce solid food directly into his diet while helping him make discoveries. How best to start this diversification? Zoom.
Fill up on the information on the DME
As a reminder, the DME or diversification carried out by the child is a phase where he begins to discover solid foods that he can grab and hold hands to bring them to his mouth. The idea is to let the child develop his ability to feed himself, by providing safe situations and food with a more consistent, even normal texture, instead of the usual purees. You should know that children can experience this in different ways. Some will adapt more easily, others will take time. No panic, no stress. It’s quite normal.
Before you start, find out as much as you can. The internet is vast enough for you to gather the necessary information and tools. This can relate to blog posts, webinars, and even forums. Anticipate events such as:
- baby refuses to eat;
- baby eats little;
- or better, baby is very happy with his experience.
We all go through it. This will allow you to better choose the foods that suit your child’s ability.
Start EMR around six months
The best time to start DME is around six months. At this age, your baby should already be able to stand alone in a seated position, more secure. This is also the time when the milk and the bottle are no longer enough, because he begins to develop urges to chew, chew or cut. Teething can also play a part in this.
You can start from its fifth month to establish a small food program that you will introduce gradually. Between industrial and homemade meals, I recommend the second option in order to know exactly the texture, structure and taste of the food you are going to offer him. Moreover, there is nothing better than cooking good meals for your family, especially children. If you run out of ideas, you can always get inspiration from online recipes.
Proceed to a progressive discovery of flavors
DME also involves discovering tastes and flavors in stages. This means that you are going to make a gradual introduction of food. There is no need to prepare a delicious, mixed dish from the start with many ingredients at once. Let your baby become aware of each flavor.
For example, you can offer him one or two different foods each day to maximize diversification. Even if you are not going to rush or rush your baby, I still recommend that you introduce him to the flavors quickly. Diversification is important. He needs to learn to distinguish tastes and you need to know what he likes the most and what he has trouble swallowing.
Gone are the barriers that once told us to give it one food at a time. You can start your DME by two or even three types of food with similar flavors every day. The only limit is your imagination.
Start with solid foods… but soft?
Food preferences are very varied among young children. If my friend Beatrice’s baby prefers longer chew foods, mine may just want a solid food, but in a soft enough texture for him to eat and enjoy. Both of these situations are normal. There is no best or wrong answer. On the other hand, you must ensure that the food is firm enough to grip.
Steamed vegetables can be a good start. It can be a carrot, a zucchini or even broccoli, as long as you cut them into sturdy pieces suitable for his little hands. Otherwise, there are also ripe fruits, in particular bananas or watermelons, meats and some flours.
Regarding the texture, it is important that it does not stick to baby’s tongue to prevent him from wanting to eat. This is the case with bread, which must always be toasted so that baby is not confronted with this kind of inconvenience. To start the experiment, avoid foods that are too hardround pieces or those that are too small like peas or corn seeds and require better fine motor skills.
Let baby learn at their own pace
The DME is an important experience for every child. There are babies who are followers of this experience. Others who are not big fans take their time to accept the method. So don’t be surprised to see your baby just playing with the food in his hands without eating it or swallowing it, but very little. All kinds of situations can arise during this diversification. Expect him to get it all over his clothes, on the table, and even on your floor. It’s not serious. You can accompany him by having your meal with him to make him feel more comfortable.
Create a calm atmosphere, at the pace of his desires to help him discover the foods on offer. You can put on soft, childish music to create an atmosphere conducive to this moment of sharing.
Baby should never be rushed in his learning process. Let him experiment alone this adventure while watching his actions. Your gesture must be limited to offering healthy food and avoiding any danger. Don’t put anything in his mouth, don’t help him eat from a spoon. Let him learn on his own.
Don’t be discouraged if he eats little or wastes a large portion of his plate at first. It is a clumsy behavior necessary for the development of its coordination, its motor skills and its way of managing its appetite. As you get him used to the DME, he will become more skilled and understand the principle.