There are many advantages to making homemade baby food. You can control the ingredients, such as using only organic produce. You don't add preservatives or unnecessary additives, like artificial colorings, that are commonly found in commercially made baby foods. It is also cheaper to prepare homemade baby food, even when it has organic and high quality ingredients.
The "Four Day Wait Rule" is an an easy way to check for food allergies or sensitivities. Introduce new foods, one food at a time, and at a space of four days apart.
For example, introduce baby to avocado on Monday and then wait until Thursday to introduce another food. When you introduce a new food over the course of several days, you are better able to determine exactly how the baby is reacting to that food. It is very important to follow the "Four Day Wait Rule" when introducing a baby to new solid foods. This is most important if the baby's family members have a history of food allergies.
After each new food, watch for any allergic reactions such as diarrhea, rash, or vomiting. If any of these occur, stop using the new food and consult with the child’s doctor.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics single-grain cereals are usually the first solid food to introduce to infants at six-months-old. Baby cereals are available premixed in individual containers or dry, to which you can add breast milk, formula, or water. Premixed baby cereals are convenient, while dry cereals are richer in iron and allow you to control the thickness of the cereal. Whichever type of cereal you use, make sure that it is made for babies because these cereals contain extra nutrients babies need at this age.
Give the baby just one tablespoon portion of food you made to taste. If the baby has just started eating solid foods, it will be rather difficult for her to eat even half of the portion.
Remember, that it is a new experience for the baby so don't force baby to eat. When the baby gets older you will increase portion sizes.
Tomorrow: Introducing Foods to Babies in Stages
Do you make homemade baby food or buy it at the store?