It might be a bit scary when it comes to starting solids for your baby, especially if you’re a new mother.
I want to give the best for my child but there is just so much information out there, I don’t know where to start..
Well we’ve got your back! All you need to start is a good understanding of the basics and you can take off from there without a problem. We’ve compiled 3 super easy tips for you to remember when introducing solid foods to your child:
#1 TIMING: 6 Months
Infants can start pureed solids from a recommended age of 6 MONTHS, which is when your infant would start to need additional nutrients from solid food (eg. Iron) and the enzymes in their digestive tract are able to properly digest solids.
Introducing solids before 4 months is not ideal because:
- Your baby can’t properly digest solid food yet
- May result in unpleasant reactions (eg. Gas, digestive upset)
- May make your baby susceptible to disease-causing pathogens
- Increased risk of allergies & chronic diseases (eg. obesity, adult-onset celiac disease, eczema)
#2 AMOUNT: Start Little by Little
Give them 1-2 teaspoons of puree food once a day to start and slowly increase the amount to 3-4 times a day according to your baby’s appetite.
Feed them solids AFTER their breastmilk/formula.
At 12 months:
Your baby should be eating around 3 small meals a day with the some light snacks in between.
Remember that your newborn baby’s stomach can only hold between 1/4 – 1/2 cup of fluid (vs. adults holding 14 cups!), so don’t worry if it might seem you’re feeding your baby very little at first!
#3 NUTRIENTS: Go for Iron!
By around 6 months, your child’s iron and zinc stores would start to deplete and the mother’s breastmilk alone won’t be able to fulfill the growing baby’s nutrition needs.
Though it might sound worrying, don’t be!
Your baby will be able to get their nutrition needs through solid foods – helping them get enough iron, zinc and other nutrients to help with their optimal growth and development.
Iron-rich foods are a main priority when starting solids!
Examples would be from:
- Iron fortified cereals (oats, barley)
- Pureed meat
- Pureed Poultry dishes
- Pureed Cooked plain tofu
- Pureed legumes/beans (black beans, kidney beans, edamame, chickpeas)
Other solid foods (in PUREE form) can be introduced in any order as long as you always include iron-rich foods. Try to offer a variety of meals from the 5 important food groups:
- Vegetables (eg. Sweet potato)
- Fruit (eg. Avocado)
- Grains (eg. Organic brown rice cereal)
- Dairy (eg. Formula/breastmilk)
- Protein (eg. Meat, fish, tofu, legumes, AVOID anything with raw or runny eggs)
Finally, make sure to keep providing breastmilk/formula to your child even when they’re starting to take solids – until at least 12 months old so your baby doesn’t miss out on important nutrition!
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