Client’s often ask me when is best to start their baby on solids, and, which ones? Best is to observe your baby’s interest and his developmental characteristics. Every baby is different so go on intuition and clear sign of interests rather what a book or an ‘expert’ has told you. We now know that is recommended not to feed solids before six months and some pediatricians even suggest we can wait till nine month. If your baby displays great interest in your food I’d go ahead and dip a finger in and let her try and taste what you are eating. Start slowly; your breast milk is still the best source of nutrition for your child.
When I speak of developmental characteristics I mean your baby’s ability to swallow. Babies are born with a tongue thrust reflex. When their lips are touched, their tongue moves out of their mouth. This reflex helps them to be able to suck from a breast. They also have a gag reflex that pushes any objects from the back of the mouth back out. At about four to six months of age, both of these reflexes begin to diminish.
Typically between seven and nine months, the appearance of her first tooth, signals her physiological readiness for food. Continuing to breastfeed, you can slowly introduce other foods, one at a time. Babies do not need complicated gourmet meals, one food at the time is the best path to the introduction of solids and will helps you identify any allergic reaction to a particular food.
Thus far the food your baby has been eating everyday (your milk) is protein-rich and high in both fats and easy to digest carbohydrates., not to mention it is fresh, unprocessed and additive-free. Please don’t believe that the overtly advertised rice cereal is indeed the best food. In fact to my knowledge is one of the least nutritious and quite filled with empty calories;
Ideally, your baby’s food should be like your milk—utterly unsullied, with easily-to-assimilate carbohydrates, protein and fat.
So what is baby’s best food? Avocado, yams, pears, potato, green beans, winter squash, carrots applesauce, peaches, apricots, pears, nectarines, & plums. Start with cooked fruit. Once cooked fruit is accepted try raw mashed fruit. . Somewhere between 9-12 months add grains. Try to use whole grains versus refined baby cereals, brown rice, oatmeal, quinoa, barley, millet. Buy commercial whole grain cereals or make your own by toasting the grains and grinding in a mill. Twelve months and after add protein either from egg yolk or beans and, if you must, from lean meat. A note on animal flesh, you do not need to feed meat to your baby for protein intake, there are plenty alternatives and your milk is rich in protein already. Animal products are hard to digest and live in the stomach for a long time before they are processed, versus fruit and vegetables which are quickly absorbed. High omega-3 egg yolk provides protein and essential fatty acids
Do not offer honey, spinach and soy products during the first year as they’re potentially toxic. Avoid the common allergens in her first year which are wheat, milk, corn, egg white, citrus fruits, kiwi, strawberries and nuts and nut butters.
I used to place a cooked egg yolk in a food processor with some banana and mother’s milk for added moisture or water and offer it to my baby in a sippy cup.
Do not give fish the first year. Because the very young are most vulnerable to chemicals and toxins in food, limit your consumption of fish while pregnant and breastfeeding.
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Baby food is any food, other than breastmilk or infant formula, that is made specifically for infants, roughly between the ages of four months to two years. The food comes in multiple varieties and tastes, can be produced by many manufacturers, or may be table food that the rest of the family is eating, mashed up. Because infants lack teeth, many different baby foods are designed for ease of eating; they are either a soft, liquidy paste or an easily chewed food.
Babies typically move to consuming baby food once nursing or formula is not sufficient for the child's appetite. Babies do not need to have teeth to transition to eating solid foods. Teeth, however, normally do begin to show up at this age. Care should be taken with certain foods that pose a choking hazard, such as undercooked vegetables, or food that may contain bones. Babies should begin eating liquid style baby food, sometimes mixed with rice cereal and formula, or breast milk. Pureed vegetables and fruits are an example of liquid style baby food. Then, as baby is better able to chew, small, soft pieces or lumps may be included. Care should be taken, as babies with teeth have the ability to break off pieces of food but they do not possess the back molars to grind, so concerned parents should carefully mash or break baby food into manageable pieces for baby. Around 6 months of age, babies may begin to feed themselves (picking up food pieces with hands, using the whole fist, or later the pincer grasp- thumb and ...