Friday, December 9

introducing baby to solid foods

over the first year, you can slowly introducing purees and progress to table food easily!

birth to 4 months:

for breastfeeding, let the baby show you how much and when. watch for the cues. turning head up and pushing away usually means it's not hunger. wakes up from a nap and/or suckling means it's probably time to eat again.

formula fed babies should be offered what they will finish in one sitting. always mix according to instructions on the label. formula is only good for an hour once it's touched the mouth. bacteria quickly multiplies thereafter.

4 and 6 months:

some parents start introducing solids as early as 4 months. i didn't introduce solids until 6 months.

baby is ready when you see the following signs:
-sitting upright
-holding head up
-open mouth and lean forward when offered food
-swallows food instead of pushing it out
-wants what you eat

rice and oatmeal cereal used to be baby's first food. the lack of nutrition in this mush is causing a fade out or should i say "whiteout". i started with a teaspoon of pureed food and worked up to a 1/3 cup (split into two meals). any single food ingredient will work.

i started with veggies and quickly moved to chicken. meat surprisingly is a excellent choice. it's high in iron and the body absorbs it better than the iron in baby cereal. you can also try iron-rich lentils. also high in protein and fiber.

pureed sweet, low acidic fruits (bananas, apples and pears) and sweet, starchy veggies (peas, sweet potato, and winter squash) are good starters.

when introducing solid, be on alergy allert. only add a new food every 3 days while keeping already introduced food in the rotation. this way you can monitor for reactions such as swelling, hives, eczema, or breathing problems.

starting baby on solids on the weekend is best if your baby is in daycare.

7 to 8 months:

i worked up to 3 meals a day by 7 months with protein in each. the proteins i included were ground beef, poultry, lentils and beans, and avocado. i tried eggs at 7 months and they've been a staple ever since. meats are a good choice because they are high in fats, and babies need healthy fats for brain development.

this is a good time to introduce earthy veggies (green beans, asparagus, and beets) and fleshy, bright fruits (peaches, plums, and nectarines). if baby can handle it, you can also switch up the texture to chunky bite size pieces that she can mush up.

i started to introduce water once LO was eating 3 meals a day. don't give too much. an ounce at each meal is plenty. remember, breast milk and formula is about 80-88% water.

our breastfeeding schedule didn't change when we introduced solids. LO didn't slow down until he reached 10 months. don't cut breastfeeding or bottles. let the baby will show you what he needs and wants. he'll cut back when he's ready.

9 to 11 months:

baby can eat the chunky finger food (when teeth come in) version of what the family eats. of course, that only goes if the family is eating a wholesome, nutritious diet. food full of sugar, salt, and additives/preservatives aren't good for anyone...especially baby.

at this point, LO was eating leftovers from the night before. but that's just because we were super late eaters and he was in bed before our dinner time.

try whole-milk yogurt and cottage cheese and small cubes of semi-hard cheese.

try to stay away from juices and only give liquids during meal times. unless, of course, baby has been playing hard.

1 year and up:

cow's milk, citrus fruits, table food cut into bite size pieces...this is when you adventure begins.

this is when you can really have fun introducing all kinds of foods, spices, and even a little more heat.

i warn you! once you start, your little one will only want more. before you know it, he'll only eat his eggs hot and his bacon crispy. and if you overcook his asparagus...well, forget it!

oh, wait, maybe that's just my little guy.

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