In our last post, we talked about the timing of starting your baby on solid foods. This posts talks about getting done to the “nitty gritty” with a few helpful hints for those first meals. Remember, learning to eat baby foods is a process. This new experience can be exciting and intimidating at the same time. Try to keep it as positive as possible for you and your baby.
Things to try:
Start with one food at a time. Traditionally, pediatricians would recommend starting with rice cereal when transitioning to baby food. Recently, the order that different types of baby food is offered has been up for debate. One point of agreement is that parents should only offer one new food every three to five days. This helps you know if your baby is allergic to a specific food. Start with baby foods that only have one ingredient.
Rinse and repeat. Give your baby multiple opportunities to taste test a food. It may take many tries to see if he or she will “like” a food. Don’t give up. Try, try again.
Get messy. Allow your baby to make a mess. Touch is one way that a baby explores his world. Give him a spoon to hold during feeding to help introduce utensils.
Position your baby in an upright position. This will help your baby develop his or her swallowing coordination.
Pay close attention to your baby’s clues. Allow your baby to set the pace around feeding. If she becomes fussy, try again during the next meal time. Avoid force feeding your baby. This can lead to a negative association with meal time. Your baby simply may not be ready.
Know the “No Go Zone”. Do not feed your baby cow’s milk or honey before their 1st birthday. Both of these foods can be detrimental to your child’s health. Talk with your pediatrician prior to introducing high allergen foods, especially if anyone in your family has a history of food allergies.
The next post in this series will talk about moving on to table foods and weaning to a cup.
Remember to consider what works best for you and your child! The transition to baby foods is not a one-size-fits-all process. If your child is having difficulty transitioning to baby food or you have concerns about his or her development, we can help! Remember, Babies Can’t Wait! Contact the Parent Education –Infant Development Program of the RACSB: http://www.racsb.state.va.us/