Friday, March 29, 2013

Don't Feed Babies Solid Food Prior to 6-Months-Old

photo from Gerber
Baby's First Foods

This week another study has reported that children who get solid food too early might be at a greater risk for developing chronic diseases, such as diabetes, obesity, eczema, and celiac disease.

The study explains that in addition to possibly boosting a child’s risk for contracting certain chronic diseases, introducing solid foods too early often means babies don’t drink an adequate amount of breast milk or formula, and that can translate into poorer nutrition.

During the first six-months breastfeeding is recommended. Some formulas in the United States contain probiotics. While these formulas do not provide the full benefits of mother’s milk, they are designed to increase a formula-fed baby’s digestive bacteria to a level closer to that of breastfed babies. Click here to see the American Academy of Pediatrics recommendations on how to choose a formula.

The first food to add to the baby's diet is rice cereal. Have them eat a serving of rice cereal once a day for a week. The next week choose one of the following ingredients in addition to rice cereal: avocado, apricots, apples, bananas, nectarines, pears, peaches, plums, and pumpkin.

Once you are ready to introduce fruits and vegetables to a baby's diet, the easiest way to prepare homemade baby food is using a steamer and a food grinder made for the purpose of making baby food. For example, we recommend the Beaba Babycook Baby Food Maker or the The First Years Babypro All In One Baby Food Maker.

But, you can use hand operated products which are designed for grinding food, or you can use food processor which purees food. You can freeze the food you make too. For freezing use ice cube trays. Ice cube trays provide perfect portions.

Always clean your hands and all utensils you use for food preparation. When boiling baby food, use as little water as possible without risking to burn the food. This way you'll keep more of the vitamins in the food.

Cues Babies are Developmentally Ready for Solid Foods:
  • They are at least six-months-old
  • They are able to sit upright
  • They open their mouth when they see a spoon coming towards them
  • They can move the food from the spoon and swallow without pushing back out of mouth
  • They make chewing motions
  • Drooling decreases as they become efficient at swallowing
  • They have doubled birth weight
  • They have ability to reject food by turning their head and keeping their mouth tightly closed

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