Newborn And Infant Solid Foods
Newborn And Infant Solid Foods
Rebecca Charlton (Lactation Educator & Registered Dietitian, Childrens Hospital Los Angeles) gives expert video advice on: How should I introduce new solid foods?; What solid foods should my baby stay away from?; Should I feed my baby organic foods? and more...
What solid foods should my baby eat?
Babies should start with very bland, pureed foods. Your best choices of solid infant foods would be rice cereal, oat cereal, barley cereal, or the wide variety of fruits and vegetables. You don't have to purchase these already pureed. You can make baby food at home as long as they don't have any skin and no seeds. So go ahead and introduce your baby to a wide variety of fruits and vegetables and let them see which ones they like and which ones they prefer. Around eight or nine months, you can also introduce cheese and meat to your baby.
What solid foods should my baby stay away from?
Your baby should stay away from solid foods that are a high risk for choking and things that have nuts, seeds or skin, for the first two years. You also want to avoid cow's milk, or the high allergen foods, such as shellfish or nut oils, because the baby's digestive system is not quite ready for these foods. It could cause the baby a life-long problem. The other food you want your baby to stay away from for two years is honey, because honey contains live botulism spores that don't hurt you or me but could affect your baby.
Should I feed my baby organic foods?
Organic foods are not necessary to feed your small baby. Because of the regulations in the food industry, to be labeled an "infant food," it has to be a very pure form of food. However, if you feel more comfortable with organic foods, and believe in any way that they are beneficial to you and your family, you may feel free to use organic infant foods, but they are not a necessary part of infant feeding.
How many times a day should my baby eat solid foods?
When you introduce solid foods at around four to six months of age, you'll only feed your baby one serving of solid food a day. Servings are very small - no larger than one teaspoon to one tablespoon. As your baby ages, it's okay to increase number of servings of solid foods per number of months that you've been feeding. For example, if you started at four months, you can give one solid feeding. At five months, you can give two, and so on. The average one year old eats six times a day, so that's the goal for where you're going with solid foods.
Do I need special equipment to feed my baby solid food?
No, babies come with all the special equipment that they need. You just need some kind of spoon or feeding utensil. It's better not to use forks because they could jab into the roof of the baby's mouth, and of course not knives. However any kind of spoon that the baby can wrap its lips around is more than appropriate. The reason for using most feeding equipment is because parents don't like a mess. So if you don't like a mess it's OK to use all the feeding equipment in the world. But if you're OK with it, you and your baby can feed with anything you have in your house.
Should I be concerned if my baby is eating less than usual?
It's not necessarily concerning if your baby has times when it eats less or more than usual. As your baby enters its toddler years, it will have lots of days when he surprises you with the amount of food that it can take in. You shouldn't be surprised if one day, your baby doesn't eat as much as usual, and the next day it eats more than usual. However, if a pattern starts to develop of more than two or three days where your baby refuses to eat, you should probably call and ask for help.