Diet & Fitness Health

Do’s and Don’ts for Baby’s first foods

Are you planning to introduce solids to your little one? Then you must be feeling excited that your baby is getting to achieve another milestone. If this is your first child, you may be hesitant to introducing solid foods. Here are some of the do’s and don’ts for baby’s first foods:

Do’s

  • Do continue breastfeeding

Remember that solids should serve as complementary foods; meaning that you should continue breastfeeding your baby at least for the next 6 months (when your baby will be 12 months). If you have difficulty expressing milk or just don’t have the time, invest in a proper breast pump.

After that, it would be up to you to stop or continue breastfeeding your baby. 

  • Do feed your little one on iron-fortified foods

Your little one may not get enough iron from your breastmilk nor formula. With this in mind, rice cereal is the go-to for most mom as it is iron-fortified. However, you cannot feed your baby on rice cereal every day.

Therefore, you should consider feeding iron-rich solids to your little for example, you could try scrambled eggs, fish, lentils, tofu, etc.

  • Do try again

There will be days your little one will turn his or her face away to every spoon you bring towards his or her mouth. Your baby may reject new tastes for quite some time but eventually, he or she may be more accepting of it. However, this does not mean you force the little one to eat. Instead, keep the food away and try again later. Do not be discouraged, keep trying to feed him or her small portions of the same food.

  • Do consider mashing, mincing and shredding

A six-month-old baby is able to handle various soft textures of food. For this reason, you do not have to worry too much about feeding him or her pureed foods all the time. Instead, consider gradually allowing some lumps; consider mashing, mincing or even shredding the food. Some lumps here and there will not harm your little one.

Feeding purees to your little one all the time can make it quite difficult for him or her to transition from foods with no lumps to the normal food.

But if you introduce solids before your baby is 6 months, be sure to puree it.

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Don’ts

  • Don’t start too early

According to the World Health Organization, it is important for a baby to be breastfed exclusively during the first six months of his or her life. This recommendation is in a bid to ensure that your little one gets the optimum health and nutrition benefits.

Regardless of whether your baby is formula fed or breastfed, it is advisable to introduce solids to your little one’s diet only when they are 6 months old.

 Your child may begin to show some interest in food earlier than six months but giving him or her food would not be a wise idea. Your baby could chock as he or she is not able to push the food out the mouth with the tongue.

If the little one is showing signs of readiness before six months, be sure to not introduce solids before consulting your medical practitioner.

  • Don’t introduce different foods at the same time

You may want your little one to have a taste of a wide variety of foods but you should not introduce it all at once. Instead, you should consider spacing the introductions by a couple of days.

Introducing new foods one by one allows you to carefully look out for any signs of an allergic reaction your little one may exhibit.

Also, consider introducing new foods to your little one during the day to allow you time to rush to the doctor in case of an allergic reaction.

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  • Don’t overfeed your baby with orange foods

Foods with an orange appearance such as sweet potatoes, pumpkin, and carrots are common choices for moms who just introduced solids to their little ones. 

But did you know your little one may turn orange as a result? Yes, literally! If you go overboard with the orange foods, your little one may suffer from Carotenemia (a condition that causes one’s skin to develop an orange tinge). This condition is brought about by consuming too much beta-carotene.

  • Don’t add salt, sugar or spices

When preparing food for your little one, be sure to not season it with spices nor add sugar or salt. If your little one’s meal is part of the family meal, put the baby’s food aside before seasoning it.

  • Don’t feed him or her on highly acidic foods

Adding highly acidic fruits such as oranges, pineapples, tangerines, or lemons may react harshly on your little one’s digestive system as it is not fully mature yet.

  • Don’t introduce honey just yet

Be sure not to add some honey as you prepare your little one a meal. When honey is fed to a child who is below the age of 1, he or she is at the risk of suffering from infant botulism.

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