Starting solids is a big milestone, especially with twins! We had twice the mouths to feed, twice the messes and twice the silly expressions with each new food they tried; it was a fun process and one I documented heavily, thankfully! I’m here to share with you feeding tips, the best first foods to try, meal ideas and more.
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How To Know If Your Twins Are Ready To Start Solids
Before I jump into when and how we started solids I want to share some tips on how to know if your twins are ready to start!
- They have good head and neck control
- They can sit up without (or very little) support
- Their tongue thrust reflex is gone*
- They are reaching and opening their mouths for food (showing interest)
*The tongue thrust reflex is when a baby sticks their tongue out after their lips or tongue has been touched. It’s a normal reflex and is important for bottle and breast feeding; it starts to go away between 4-6 months.
If your twins are demonstrating these signs, starting solids may be your next step; however, I always recommend that you check with their Pediatrician first. Since our girls were born a little premature (36 weeks 5 days) we wanted to get the Pediatrician’s approval to ensure they were ready developmentally. She told us they were fine to start (they were about 5 months old). By the way, it’s perfectly normal to start a a little sooner or later than 5 months as well; it’s a personal choice and something you have to be comfortable with! Check out this resource from healthychildren.org for more helpful info!
There a few things that you will want to have ready before starting solids with your twins! Here is a list of the most helpful items we used:
- 2 Highchairs
- 2 Silicone Baby Bibs (more so for toddler age)
- 4 Sleeved Baby Bibs (10/10 recommend if you don’t want to ruin clothes)
- 2 Silicone Divided Baby Plates
- Extra Baby Spoons
- 2 Mesh Feeders (great for frozen berries)
- Hand Vacuum (designate this for food clean up, trust me)
- Baby Bullet (if you are making your own baby food)
I planned to make all of our own baby food and I did in the beginning, however, it really wasn’t conducive to our schedule with twins. I never had the time and I found it to be too difficult. Also, while we started the girls with some purees we mostly did baby-led weaning so the Baby Bullet became obsolete. It has been tucked away in a closet for a long time!
I really loved the long sleeved baby bibs, they were a life saver for clothing! Feeding two babies is MESSY and there is no getting around it. I would put these bibs on for feedings, rinse them in the sink, hang to dry and then at the end of the day throw them in the wash (hence needing two sets). When the girls were a little older (and not so messy) we switched to the silicone bibs that can be thrown in the dishwasher at the end of the day! We are all about convenience here if you can’t tell!
The messes you will encounter with twins is unreal. Do you have a fancy dining room and table linens? You may want to rethink highchair placement! We keep our highchairs in the middle of the tiled kitchen floor so nothing can get ruined and messes are easily cleaned. In the beginning (and early toddler months), most of the food ends up on your babies or on the floor. So, start practicing your deep breathing now (in through the nose, out through the mouth) because it gets extremely messy and frustrating if you’re a neat freak like me. Although, there is something about a baby with a messy food face that will always make me smile. Make sure your camera is always handy; these are some of the funniest moments.
I’ll never forget the first time the girls had frozen raspberries; we put them in the mesh feeding nets and they LOVED them. They were completely covered in red berry juice, had the best facial expressions from the tartness and were SO happy. This is definitely one of my favorite memories from starting solids. By the way, the mesh nets are great for frozen berries, especially when your babies are teething! A nice cold treat always put a smile on our girls faces.
To make cleaning up easier I highly suggest buying a hand vacuum that has a plastic, removable and washable bowl and filter! Our hand vacuum is inexpensive and has lasted a long time; I use it everyday to clean up wet and dry food off of the floor. It feels so much easier than wiping up the food with a cloth or trying to sweep the wet food (or 10,000 peas thrown everywhere)! I just empty it and then rinse it in the sink when I’m done; it’s definitely the MVP of mealtime!
One last thing here, in the beginning you will likely be spoon feeding out of a bowl or having your babies eat finger foods from their trays but someday you will need (and want) plates! I LOVE our silicone suction plates! They are really durable, can be put in the dishwasher and the suction is pretty strong! We did go through a phase where the girls would turn beast mode on and rip the plates from their trays then throw them to the floor, but the suction definitely makes it harder. I also think that the divided plates make meals look simpler to the girls; everything is neatly put in sections making it seem not so overwhelming!
Things To Remember About Starting Solids With Your Twins
First and foremost I want you to know that babies have an incredible gag reflex! They will gag a lot the first few months of learning how to eat solids so don’t be too worried! I remember being so scared of this, but truly the gagging is normal and *knock on wood* we never had any major choking incidents. The gag reflex helps keep your babies safe.
This brings me to my next point, always stay with your babies while they are eating! Don’t leave them alone, even for a second, especially in the beginning. It only takes a second for something to go wrong, so don’t take the chance. To this day, 2.5 years later, I still stay close by when the girls are eating because I’ve read far too many stories about choking.
Lastly, let your babies lead the way with eating; don’t force feed them! In the beginning, eating solids is mostly to learn HOW to do it (think motor skills and sequencing) and getting used to the textures and tastes. You will continue milk feedings with your babies and starting solids won’t replace them for a while.
Schedule For Starting Solids
Below I’m going to share a timeline of when we started solids with our twins in regards to age, meals and times of day. This is what worked for us, but remember that every baby is different and your schedule may look completely different!
I also want to note that we always fed the girls breastmilk prior to offering solids; milk feedings are your babies’ main source of nutrition until they are at least one. They drank between 28-30 ounces per day pretty much right up until their first birthday. At that point they were eating a solid 3 meals per day and a few snacks so they started to drop bottle feedings.
|Age||Number of Meals||Times of Day|
|5-6 Months||None: we offered spoonfuls of baby food once per day||Lunch*|
|7-9 Months||1-2 Meals Per Day||Breakfast, Lunch|
|10-12 Months||3 Meals Per Day||Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner|
|12+ Months||3 Meals Per Day and 2 Snacks||Breakfast, Snack, Lunch, Dinner, Snack|
Deciding On A Feeding Method
There are a few ways to introduce solids to your babies: purees, baby-led weaning or a combination! I will be honest in saying that we did not begin with baby-led weaning (BLW) in mind, in fact I knew little to nothing about it. We started with a combination of store-bought and homemade purees.
A few weeks into it I came across a few mamas on Instagram who did BLW and I was extremely interested. I started researching and learning all about it and we decided it was definitely the route we wanted to take. We ended up doing a combination of both with a heavy lean towards BLW.
What Is Baby-Led Weaning?
BLW is a method of feeding where your babies feed themselves; you are essentially skipping purees completely! This method of self feeding promotes development of fine motor skills and healthy eating habits; your babies are completely in charge. They learn how to pick up food, bring it to their mouths, chew, swallow, etc.; they practice and master fine motor skills, sequencing. BLW is also a great way for your babies to learn to recognize when they are full and self regulate their eating. When we spoon feed babies we are more in control, but with BLW they are in control.
Healthy Foods From Day One
From the start I was dedicated to feeding our girls healthy foods; I’ve always been a bit of a health food nut. I love eating a clean, whole foods diet and wanted to pass that along to our kids so I knew I needed to start from day one. I was lucky and able to exclusively pump breastmilk for the girls, giving them all of those healthy nutrients, immune cells, proteins and antibodies (read more about exclusively pumping for twins here) which started our journey off on the right foot!
I’m a firm believer that you CAN get your kids to eat a healthy, well rounded diet if you start from the beginning. Emphasize vegetables, healthy fats, proteins and complex carbs and watch as your babies transform into great little eaters! Skip the processed foods, juice and added sugars; they don’t need them.
I’m extremely proud of my girls and how much they love to eat their vegetables and try new foods. They are first hand proof that it can be done. I will write another blog post about feeding twin toddlers and share all of my healthy meal ideas, so stay tuned for that in the future! In the meantime check out the photos below and my Instagram stories/highlights for daily meal inspiration!
Some Foods To Avoid
Before you jump into starting solids with your twins, familiarize yourself with foods that should be avoided at first. Here is a list of some of those foods, but please do your own research to learn more!
- Overly Processed Foods (aim for mostly single ingredient foods)
- Honey (there is a risk of botulism)
- Undercooked Meats or Eggs
- Nuts and Seeds
- Hard Foods (apples, carrots, some crackers, etc.)
- Overly Sticky Food (peanut butter, nut butters, etc.)
- Added Salt
- Added Sugar
Starting Solids With Twins: Purees
It’s important to remember not to rush into too many foods in the beginning of starting solids with your twins. You need to be aware of any adverse reactions they may have to new foods (allergies, sensitivities, etc.), so try one new food and wait a few days before trying another. I recommend keeping a feeding journal that includes each new food, the date and any reaction (skin, poop, gassiness, etc.).
When we were starting solids with our twins the first food we gave them was organic oatmeal (gluten free) mixed with breastmilk. It seemed like the right starting point for us as we felt it was more nutrient dense compared to rice cereal. We followed the directions on the package and started with a very thin consistency and slowly worked our way up to a thicker one! The girls handled their first time eating it well; just a bit of coughing here and there, but there was nothing to worry about and they definitely enjoyed it!
Next, we gave them some store-bought purees like green beans, carrots, peas, apples, pears, sweet potatoes, etc. We tried very hard to emphasize vegetables first; of course they loved the fruits best. We usually bought a variety of brands (jars and pouches): Gerber, Peter Rabbit Organics, Happy Baby Organics, Beech Nut, Earths Best and Plum Organics. We also made our own purees at home with a variety of different foods; I remember them not turning out great and feeling like it was more of a waste of time than anything! I loved the convenience of the jars and pouches and the girls LOVED pouches (still do).
Starting Solids With Twins: Transitioning To BLW
After a few weeks of purees we started BLW and introduced real foods. The key to BLW is to cut each food into a finger shape (long and thin) so that it is easy for your babies to pick up and eat. You also want to make sure that any food you give them in the beginning is very soft; you should be able to squish it between your fingers easily. The first few foods the girls tried were avocado slices, banana slices, steamed broccoli, mango slices and sweet potatoes; all very soft foods!
Once the girls got the hang of their first foods we started introducing more of a variety like eggs, toast strips, steamed green beans and shredded chicken. We stuck to single ingredient foods for a while and kept an eye out for any food reactions, but the girls never had any! Check out the list below of some of the best first foods to try with BLW!
The Best First Foods To Try With BLW (~5-6 Months)
- Baby Oatmeal
- Roasted Sweet Potatoes
- Sliced Banana
- Sliced Avocado
- Steamed Broccoli
- Sliced Mango
- Steamed Green Beans
- Toast Slices
- Chicken Strips
- Ground Beef
- Flaked Wild Caught Salmon
- Sliced Watermelon
- Whole Milk Yogurt
- Potato Slices
- Sliced Squash
- Sliced Zucchini
- Steamed and Sliced Carrots
More Advanced Foods
After a couple of months of BLW we introduced more advanced foods to the girls like black bean pasta, peas, melon slices, rice, sliced berries, freeze dried fruits and more! We also introduced something called Bamba to them. Bamba is basically a puffed peanut snack and it was recommended to us by our Pediatrician. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends introducing peanut containing foods early (after other solid foods are introduced and tolerated) to help prevent allergies (check it out here). We followed these guidelines and our girls haven’t had any food reactions to date. Not to mention, they LOVE Bamba, it is definitely one of their favorite snacks. I’m not going to lie, Jesse and I love it too.
I also want to mention that whenever you give your baby something that is round (tomato, grapes, berries, etc.) make sure you cut it into fourths. Those circle shapes are the perfect size to get stuck in your babies throat so be extra cautious about them! Again, always supervise your babies eating. Check out the list below for some of the foods we tried during this phase!
More Advanced Foods To Try With BLW (~7-10+ Months)
- Steamed Asparagus
- Steamed Corn
- Black Bean Pasta
- Vegetable Pasta
- Chickpea Pasta
- Steamed Peas
- Sliced Oranges
- Sliced Melon
- Grapes (sliced into fourths)
- Brussel Sprout Pieces
- Sliced Strawberries
- Blueberries (sliced into pieces)
- Raspberries (if they were the big ones we sliced them)
- Blackberries (sliced)
- Tomatoes (sliced into fourths)
- Steamed Mushrooms
- Beans (black, white, chickpeas, etc.)
- Pears Slices
- Freeze Dried Fruits (strawberries, bananas, etc.)
- Organic Teethers
- Organic Puffs
- Pineapple Slices
- Roasted Spaghetti Squash
- Sliced Peaches
Meal Ideas (~10-12+ Months)
Once the girls started eating 3 meals a day we started to get a little more creative with what we fed them. Here is a list of some of their favorite meals!
- Naan Bread Pizza (add chicken or pork too)
- Homemade Mac and Cheese
- Rice and Veggies
- Shepherds Pie (sweet or regular potatoes)
- Scrambled Eggs and Cheese
- Avocado Toast
- Gluten Free Meat Loaf (with ground chicken, beef or turkey)
- Riced Cauliflower with Peas
- Pulled Pork (this was always a favorite and easy to eat)
- GF Pancakes/Waffles ( we usually use paleo recipes)
- Zucchini Noodles
- Homemade Sloppy Joe Mix
- Hard Boiled Eggs
- Slow Cooker Chicken (another favorite)
- Spaghetti Squash with Tomato Sauce
- Shredded Chicken and Cheese Quesadilla
Feeding Twins Takes Time
As twin moms, we know by now that bottle or breastfeeding twins takes a lot of time throughout the day and when you start to add meals to that already busy schedule it can feel hectic. Most of your day will be consumed with feedings of some sort and cleaning up messes, but it gets easier as your twins get older. There are some phases (like food throwing) that seem to last forever but one day it will stop. Go with the flow and enjoy the (messy) ride mama! Good luck starting solids with YOUR twins!
Before I end this I’d like to mention that if you follow me on Instagram you will see I have highlights labeled BLW 1, 2, 3 and Toddler Meals 1, 2, 3! I saved ALL of our mealtime videos there and it’s a great reference for meal ideas! Check it out and if you have any questions sent me an email, DM or comment here!
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