We waited until Isla was nearly seven months old to begin solids for a number of reasons. Since we were planning to use the baby led weaning method of feeding, we wanted her to be able to sit unassisted, grasp and feed the food to herself, have the support to push herself up onto straight elm=bows from lying face down, and have good head and neck control. She wasn't sitting unassisted until about a week prior to starting to feed her solids, but that was the final ability on this list that she needed.
We are so fortunate to live in Santa Barbara, California, where there is a farmer's market almost every day, year round. Some days even have two different markets. We headed to the Sunday market in Goleta, the town bordering Santa Barbara to the north, to pick out Isla's first food, spaghetti squash, and also got her a butternut squash for later.
The Goleta market is located in a shopping area and there is usually live music in the courtyard where kids dance and run around. It's definitely a very family-friendly atmosphere. Jason and the kids listened to the music for a bit while I took a few photos to document the purchase of Isla's first food and finished shopping.
We bought the small squash from the stand for Ellwood Canyon Farms, a farm located nearby in western Goleta that follows sustainable organic methods of farming. They have such a beautiful display of their fruits and vegetables at the market that it's hard not to stop and purchase something.
Preheat the oven to 400F.
Cut the squash in half, scoop out the pulp and seeds and discard.
Place the squash cut-side down into a baking dish and add an inch of water.
Place in the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes, until the squash can easily be pierced with a fork.
Remove from the oven, and let it cool completely.
Isla didn't really eat much of it, just tasted and played with it. She did a great job of grasping the food and bringing it to her mouth herself, so she definitely showed readiness for the solid food. And she had fun, which is the point, really, at this stage. She'll continue to get most of her calories from breastmilk until she's a year old.
Over the first several weeks, Isla has now tried spaghetti squash, butternut squash, cucumber, banana, broccoli, avocado, grapes, apple, pear, carrot, and cherimoya. Everything other than the squashes and broccoli has been raw. Her favorites so far are avocado, broccoli, and carrot. The carrot seems to be a current favorite because it feels good on her teething gums.