The Monti Kids Learning Team is always looking for resources that can help parents in their journey of raising their children. One new, fabulous resource that we have found to be particularly helpful is Solid Starts. They are creating a website that provides information and guidance on teaching babies to feed independently, recipes and guides, coaching for when you need it and a database of foods that will someday contain all the foods in the world. In this blog post, we review Solid Starts as an expert resource for parents, and explain why it is a valuable tool for parents who are looking to help their babies become independent eaters.
Solid Starts provides parents with a wealth of information and guidance on how to teach their babies to feed themselves. The website offers a comprehensive database of foods that are safe and appropriate for babies to eat, as well as information on how to prepare and serve these foods. It also offers tips and advice on how to introduce new foods to babies, and how to help them develop healthy eating habits.
The Importance of Independent Feeding
First, it is important to understand why teaching babies to feed independently is so important. When babies are able to feed themselves, they develop a sense of independence and self-reliance that will serve them well throughout their lives. It also helps them to develop fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination, which are essential for other areas of development. By allowing babies to take control of their own feeding, parents are empowering them to explore and learn about food in a safe and supportive environment. Finally, feeding independently allows young babies to begin creating an oral map of their mouth which will support safer, long term eating as they grow and begin to move more efficiently.
Encourages Exploration and Experimentation
One of the things that we appreciate about Solid Starts is the way that it emphasizes the importance of allowing babies to explore and experiment with food. We know that sensory learning experiences are the most beneficial for baby. They encourage parents to let their babies touch, smell, and taste food in their own time and at their own pace, without pressure or coercion. This approach is consistent with the Montessori philosophy, which emphasizes the importance of allowing children to learn and develop at their own pace, and through their own exploration and experimentation.
“If you exclusively feed purees, you’re denying the baby the opportunity to practice chewing when they are most protected.”
Solid Starts Offers Nutrition Value and Feedback
Another aspect of Solid Starts that we appreciate is its focus on the nutritional value of different foods. The website provides detailed information on the nutrients and vitamins that are found in different foods, and how these nutrients can benefit babies' growth and development. They also provide information based on allergens, prep time, age of introduction and recipes for the various foods. They hope to one day have all thee foods in the world represented.
In addition to its focus on nutrition, Solid Starts also offers guidance on how to prepare and serve different foods in a way that is safe and appropriate for babies. This includes information on how to cut and prepare different fruits and vegetables, as well as how to cook and serve different grains, meats, and dairy products - starting big for young babies and making smaller for older babies as they develop a pincer grasp. The website also offers advice on how to introduce allergenic foods to babies, and how to recognize and respond to signs of food allergies or intolerances.
Guides and Courses
Finally, Solid Starts offers a variety of courses for parents starting out with solid feeding or who have older toddlers and are experiencing picky eating. From Infant Rescue to the first 100 days to recipes and strategies to turn around any tricky eating habits these guides and courses are professional and thorough. They even have courses for caregivers! And the newest addition is a course for Pediatric Professionals to learn and stay up to date on the most current research and recommendations.
While Solid Starts provides a wealth of information on how to teach babies to feed themselves, it is ultimately up to parents to determine what approach is best for their own babies. They recognize that every baby is different and may need to follow a modified timeline. Some babies may take longer to develop the fine motor skills needed for self-feeding, or may have different preferences and needs when it comes to food. It is important for parents to remain patient and flexible as they navigate the process of teaching their babies to feed independently.
We believe that Solid Starts is an excellent starting point for parents who are looking for guidance and support in this area. The website provides a wealth of information and resources that can help parents to feel more confident and empowered in their efforts to teach their babies to feed themselves. Its focus on allowing babies to explore and experiment with food in their own time and at their own pace, as well as its emphasis on nutrition and safe food preparation, can be particularly valuable for parents who are looking to provide their babies with a healthy and balanced diet.
We highly recommend Solid Starts as a resource for parents who are looking to help their babies become independent eaters. Its focus on allowing babies to explore and experiment with food in their own time and at their own pace, as well as its emphasis on nutrition and safe food preparation, aligns well with the Montessori philosophy and can help parents to provide their babies with a supportive and empowering environment for learning and development. We hope that you’ll explore their page and perhaps decide to take a course or two and let us know what you think about your experience!