Starting your baby on solid food is an exciting part of parenthood. However, it is important to take precautions to ensure you are feeding your baby foods that are the proper consistency for them to swallow and digest, to monitor for possible food allergies and to ensure proper nutrition.
Here are a few tips:
- Try feeding your baby vegetables first before fruit. While there are no nutritional advantages to this order, fruit is naturally sweeter and may be more appealing to babies and it may be more difficult to interest your baby in vegetables after he or she has developed a taste for fruit.
- Introduce one new food at a time, waiting a couple of days between new foods and keeping an eye out for any adverse reactions.
- Gradually increase the amount you feed your baby, starting with one teaspoon at a time. Allow your baby to set his or her own limits and do not force feed the baby.
- Texture is very important when first starting solid foods. Carefully check any homemade fruits or vegetables for any big pieces as babies can easily choke. Also ensure you remove any seeds or pits before you feed your baby. It’s very important for parents to choose the appropriate food and keep a closer eye on consistency for each level of a baby’s digestive development.
- When introducing your baby to egg, offer only a hard-boiled yolk first. Egg white should not be given to babies in their first year, as it is highly allergic.
- All meat should be pureed to a smooth texture to avoid choking. Meat can also be drier than fruits and vegetables, so the proper consistency is needed for a baby’s acceptance of meat. Jarred baby food ensures the food is the proper texture for this stage.
- Prepare balanced meals consisting of breast milk/formula, infant cereal, meat and/or alternatives, vegetables and fruit.
- Serve meals at the same time each day to help your baby become accustomed to a regular feeding schedule.