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Ready to introduce solids? It’s an exciting time for baby and you alike, but it’s also filled with lots of questions (and some nerves)!

Maybe you’ve heard the phrase “food before one is just for fun”? But, that is not true! The food babies eat in their first year actually does matter. Breastmilk and formula are nutritionally complete–and provide babies with most of what they need during the first year of life–but food also provides them with so much! First, eating food is an all-encompassing sensory exercise for baby: think of the taste, touch, sight, smell and sound of the food. Next, eating solids teaches baby oral motor and social skills, lays the foundation for future food preferences, becomes a bonding opportunity, and provides them with some key nutrients that are essential for development.

When we asked our friends at Cerebelly for some tips on keeping starting solids, shared 6 key points from Nicole Silber, RD, CSP, CLC a specialist in pediatric nutrition and a mom of 3. *Disclaimer: this article is not meant to be individual medical/nutrition advice but for education purposes only. Each child’s nutritional needs are different. 

why we love cerebelly

We love that this company was founded by a scientist. Since a baby’s brain doubles in size by its first year and reaches nearly 80% of development by the age of 5, this critical age window is when the most developmental foundations are forming in the brain, such as seeing, hearing, and memory.

As a neurobiologist, Cerebelly 's founder knew there were key nutrients that were critical for each of those milestones, and as a mom, she needed the convenience of premade food. Her research showed that 16 essential nutrients were critical for optimal brain development, yet the average baby puree only had only a fraction and not even in meaningful amounts. After years of development with a team of scientists, doctors, and nutritionists, Cerebelly was created as a natural extension to their founder’s work — a first-of-its-kind food brand that satisfies parents, kids & growing brains alike. Now parents have easy grab & go options that are nutritious & delicious.

6 Tips for starting solids

Whether you plan to make your own food, or buy ready-made baby food blends like Cerebelly’s purees or table foods (or choose a combination of all), here are some tips for maximizing your baby’s food:

    1. Make it flavorful!

    Get those little palettes excited. You can mix in different herbs and spices to their purees or table foods to see what gets them excited. Some of my favorite add-ins are cinnamon, basil, dill and cumin. Just avoid adding salt to baby’s food if you can!

    2. Offer a variety:

    Babies don’t need single-ingredient purees (that’s why we love Cerebelly’s blends). Offering a variety of new foods gives them a spectrum of nutrients needed for development, but also can help prevent picky eating in the long run. Pro tip: When introducing the 9 main allergens (soy, wheat, dairy, peanuts, tree nuts, sesame, eggs, fish and shellfish) introduce each on its own or mixed with a previously tolerated food. Try each allergen a few times before ruling out an allergy.

    3. Let the veggies and proteins shine:

    We love that Cerebelly’s blends are vegetable-first, resulting in lower sugar profile and more nutrition. The Black Bean and Sweet Potato is a personal favorite! It’s common to find blends that are diluted with water. Ingredients are listed in order of predominance, so if the first ingredient is water that means the blend has more water than any other ingredient!

    4. Add or find options with healthy fats:

    Olive oil, avocado oil, nut butters, avocado and fatty fish (salmon and cod have high levels of omega 3’s and low levels of mercury) provide the baby with a source of healthy fat key for brain development. Plus it adds more flavor!

    5. Look for vibrant colors:

    Offer foods and purees that are vibrant and varied in color. Let baby touch and explore her food – remember, it’s not just about eating it!

    6. Skip the sugar:

    You won’t find any added sugar in Cerebelly’s purees, but when shopping for foods like yogurts or baby snacks, be sure to look for the unsweetened options.

    Not sure when to start solids?

    Starting solids typically occur in the 4-6 month range. Check for your baby’s readiness more so than the date on the calendar! They need to be sitting up with support, demonstrating good head and neck control and showing signs of interest in food: reaching for your spoon, leaning in towards food, etc. Always check with a pediatrician before starting.

    Supporting the most important stages of a child's brain development in the early years has a lifelong impact. Cerebelly unites neuroscience, nutrition, and organic, farm-fresh food to babies the very best from the very start! Cerebelly provides 16 key nutrients their growing brain needs, when they need it in their development. Their purees, smoothie-inspired pouches, and Smart Bars are perfect for busy families and contain brain-supporting nutrients, 0g of added sugar, and 8 g of protein.


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