If you are ambitious enough to start your baby early on homemade pureed foods or if you are able to find a high quality fruit puree at the grocery store, why not try organic pears? I always start babies on pears when they are transitioning to first foods. The main reason is that pears are a safe food. The other reason is that pears are a great food to know that baby likes if a case of constipation settlers in.
#1: Why is pear puree a safe first food?
While working as a developmental therapist, the Speech Language pathologists would never worry if a little pear juice got in the airway of a child with which they were working. They always told me it was the safest choice because it was most like saliva. I thought that little nugget of insight was quite brilliant. So I used it…and with good results.
#2: Do pears have a laxative-like quality?
Something you probably already know, but just in case you don’t, pears are a great laxative. This goes for adults and children alike. Pear juice, pear puree, and pears all work well to get the mail moving. After a nice meal of pears, most kids and babies have no problems with constipation. If they do, or if their constipation is a consistent problem, the simple pear remedy might not be enough. It’s time to consult a pediatrician.
However, if you are simply wanting to start baby on solids, and you really aren’t concerned with constipation in baby, it’s a great food to try. It can be easily pureed to an almost liquid consistency if it’s put through a good food processor. Add some breast milk or formula for added taste familiarity for baby, and you are all set!
Texture/Consistency Considerations When Feeding:
I usually start transitioning to solids with a texture that is most similar to breast milk or formula. Most nearly a liquid. I always want the first tastes to be fun and an adventure for baby, so giving them a liquid like consistency to start with will not be hard for them to manage in their mouth. I am interested in taste when first transitioning babies because they are still getting their nutrition from the breast-milk or formula they receive.
Over the weeks and months that follow, the texture and consistency can move away from liquid and more towards a true puree, smooth in consistency at first and then with very small lumps. Make sure that the texture is safe for your baby, as each baby has different skills and abilities. I always lean on the side of caution. Go slow, take your time increasing the texture and consistency, and enjoy this very fun time with baby.
I also highly recommend that moms use their finger to provide the puree. Mom’s pointer finger is safe, familiar, and easy for baby to hug and hold while exploring the puree taste and texture. A very small spoon can be used too, but it’s really not necessary.
Sensory Play During Feeding:
I often use toys that the baby enjoys, so we are putting something new (the food) with something familiar (the toy) so baby can feel comfortable and enjoy the experience. It’s really important that baby can touch the food, smell the food, and get to know the food. I always encourage messy eating, and want those little fingers covered in food by the end of a feeding. There will be plenty of time for manners later. This is food exploration time!
Once babies enjoy the taste, they will usually take it again and again. But remember it can take a baby up to 15 trials to accept a food. So, don’t ever give up too soon. Keep trying the food, even if at first your baby makes silly faces. Actually, silly faces are what I find part of the fun! The face I get almost every time a new food is offered says something like, “Oh my, what in the world is that!”
Once baby enjoys pears, you will have a natural remedy to take care of all your business on the diaper changer. What a difference a poop can make when it comes to a pleasant kiddo! Easy pooping makes for a happy and content baby. Here’s to your Happy Little Eater!
Let us know at Swami Mommi if you tried pears with baby or if you found another laxative-type food that worked for constipation relief with your baby!