Is your little one ready to try baby food? Here are some things to look for, and ways to get started on this new adventure!
For the first six months, the World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that you breastfeed or bottle-feed your baby. Some baby food companies advertise that you can start around 4 months, but at that age, the intestines aren't developed enough to process solid food as well as later.
Watch for these signs that your sweetheart is ready to start eating solids. Hold off on giving them purees or baby cereal until you're confident they meet the following milestones:
You should never force your little one to eat. If they signal that they're full, finish the meal. Don't play games like "one more bite! Open wide!" Keep the same tone while feeding the baby that you would for any family meal. Avoid hectic mealtimes and reduce stress by turning off the TV and putting away your cell phone. "No toys at the table" is another great rule to minimize these distractions.
Think of the phrase "eating under one is just for fun." Children should enjoy eating and not associate it with frustration. In addition, we're training them for the natural feelings of knowing when they're hungry or full.
Don't get too wrapped up with published meal plans stating when breast or bottle milk is to be replaced by the jar. There isn't one "right time" to introduce solids. Each child is different.
Food in the first year of life is not described by nutrition experts as "complementary food" for nothing. You should give it in addition to milk and not instead of.
It's fine not to introduce many solid foods in the first year. Those who continue to breastfeed provide their child with all the important nutrients. So you don’t have to worry if your baby doesn't eat much, because it is quite normal that their food consumption will fluctuate.
Choose a time when your child is not too tired, has a fresh diaper, and is generally in a happy mood. Most mothers choose lunchtime for the first try. The baby should not have just been breastfed, but also not be completely hungry. It is best to offer the baby food about one to one and a half hours after the last milk meal.
Remember: this list consists of general guidelines. Every child is different, and every family has different eating philosophies. As a general rule, introduce one new food at a time, and wait a few days to make sure your child doesn't have an allergic reaction.
More and more mothers are also starting to cook their own baby food. Many lack confidence in the food industry, so homemade options might offer a safer approach. Product recalls, food scandals, and questionable company policies might be another reason to make your own food.
Plus, when you're cooking food yourself, you know what's in it. You can choose the food and, for example, only prepare organic baby food. You can also tailor the taste to the preferences of your child.
A pressure cooker is a great way to prepare baby food. Dice meat or veggies and place them in the bottom of the pot with about one cup of water. Cook for a few minutes, mash up with a fork or spoon and serve.
A steamer is another tool that allows you to gently cook chopped sweet potatoes and other vegetables. After steaming the foods, puree your veggies or fruit in a multi-function device like a blender or food processor. For an extra nutrient boost, add in the water from the steamer when you blend.
After you've pureed the food, fill an ice cube tray with the individual purees in order to perfectly portion the baby food. Freezer storage also ensures a more sanitary environment. Of course, be sure your ice tray and other materials have been well-cleaned.
Of course, there are benefits to using store-bought baby foods, too. Many companies now use non-GMO organic ingredients and have specific nutritional standards that they must meet for production. Also, even though it doesn't take too much time, a lot of parents just don't have the time and energy to make their own baby food. Convenient fruit and veggie pouches, like Plum Organics, are also easier to give your child if you're out and about than spooning homemade baby food out of an ice tray.
If this is you, that's okay! As long as your child is getting important vitamins and nutrients, you're doing a great job with feeding.
A delicious puree your baby will love!
a few seconds
very ripe banana
almond milk or coconut milk
Blueberry Banana Oat Baby Food
Puree all ingredients together in a blender. Serve immediately.
If desired, pour extra puree into ice cube trays and freeze for later use. Put the cubes into a blender with a little almond milk and you’ll have a second batch ready to go in a pinch!
While baby purees are great, and a feeding timeline can be helpful, there's no one-size-fits-all strategy. Some parents forego baby food altogether in favor of baby-led weaning. In this approach, starting around six months, parents simply let the baby eat whatever table foods the rest of the family can eat. So rather than having rice cereal, they might have steamed green beans or another type of soft vegetable. Parents who use this approach say it's easier and more cost-effective than traditional baby food.
When it comes to feeding your baby, have fun! While you want to avoid giving your child sugary sodas or junk food, you can choose any reasonable feeding method that works well for your baby and family, whether it's homemade organic baby food, ordinary table food, or prepackaged conventional baby food.
Your family might also have great baby feeding suggestions, so chatting with relatives about baby food tips on platforms like the FamilyApp could be another place to get menu ideas for your little ones.
Some children are naturally more selective eaters than others, and sometimes limiting factors like allergies or acid reflux could heavily influence your meal plan. Even if your baby rejects solid food altogether for some time, don't fret! They'll still have decades of good eating ahead of them.