Knowing Your Baby’s First Solid Meals
One of the milestones in baby care is feeding your baby solid foods. This is a very exciting moment for parents. But this could get scary too if you are not so sure how and what you should feed your baby with. Questions like ‘What if your baby won’t eat?’ or ‘What if the food will cause your baby some discomfort afterwards?’ will likely cross your mind. Fortunately for you, feeding your baby these days does not need too much supervision from older folks. There are many baby foods in the market that you can try with age range suggestion. You can start introduce baby food when your baby reach four months. However, six months is the safest bet. If you want to ensure you are feeding your baby safely, here are the proven ideas on how to feed your baby solid foods for the first time – safely and the fun way!
First, when your baby is very hungry (not that you will wait for this moment before you feed your baby), you need to feed your baby milk first either breast feed or in bottle. This is because as a new experience for your baby, he or she will be too grumpy to do something your baby is not used to. Your baby will probably resist the food too. Feed your baby milk first before feeding him or her solid food.
Give the baby the right food. Be sure you are giving your baby the appropriate baby solid foods. There are various age-appropriate foods to choose from. It’s also best you start them eating on nutritious foods choices, particularly fresh ones. More food suggestions will be discussed later. Also, use baby utensils in feeding your baby. Adult spoon might injure your baby’s gums.
Get the baby in the right feeding position. Make sure that your baby is at the right position while you are feeding him or her. Sitting upright is the best position in feeding your baby. You can buy a high chair that is complete with support so that your baby will be assisted while sitting up.
Feed your baby once a day. There is no need to follow three times a day meal like grownups do. Solid foods for your baby at this point do not replace the bottle feeding or you nursing him or her. You still need to continue your usual milk feeding routine. Suggested time for solid foods feeding is in the morning or in the early afternoon.
Observe for reactions. You can pinpoint which food is not good for your baby if you feed him or her same food in a day or so. However, don’t stick to the same foods for a long time. Offer variety of foods too.
Don’t force-feed your baby. Make the experience fun. Play with your baby and wait for him or her to open his or her mouth for the food. Trust your baby to know when he or she is full enough to stop eating. In this case, your baby’s instinct is clearer than yours.
The recommended first solid foods for your baby include cereal, vegetables and fruits. Grains like rice cereals are the easiest solid baby food to digest. The AAP recommends cereals like barley, oat or rice. Best to feed baby rice cereals first. Wheat should be put off for later when your baby is around 8 months or so as it can cause some allergic reactions from your baby.
Introduce vegetables first to your baby’s solid food diet before giving him or her fruits. This is because fruits can be sweet and your baby will develop sweet tooth opting to eat the fruit but not the vegetables. This will be detrimental in giving your baby the proper nutrients in the future. Best vegetables to start with are carrots, sweet potatoes, beans and peas. You can then offer a variety of fruits like mashed bananas, pears, prunes, apples and a lot more.
Dairy products like yogurts, cheese, ice cream and the lot should not be given until your baby reaches 10 months. Consult your pediatrician if you plan to give your baby these food products. Eggs included. This is because there a chance that your baby will not be able to tolerate cow based milk formulas. Meat is good if your baby can chew small piece of it and if your baby is 8 months old, to say the least.
You can feed your baby ‘grown up food’ after he or she reach 12 months old. You can start teaching your baby to eat independently too. Don’t mind the mess, you can clean it afterwards. But the chance to let your baby feel capable is priceless. Always be wary of food reaction. Adverse reaction is a part of the risk you have to go through in introducing solid food to your baby. Be alert at all times and consult your pediatrician in feeding your baby.