Saturday, May 7, 2011

Nutrition guidelines for your food newbie

As you may know each and every baby develops differently and each baby will start to show interest in food and signs of development at different ages. There are however, different signs to look for to know if your baby is ready to start eating pureed baby food.

Has your baby begin to sit independently? This is one of the most important signs and if your baby is not sitting unsupported yet, then it’s not time to start introducing solids. You should start noticing the signs when your baby is ready, such as the ability to pick up tiny objects with finger, closing mouth and using upper lip to clear cereal off a spoon, the ability to make “chewing” motions, and the ability to put anything and everything to his mouth.

At this stage of development it is important to introduce new sources of iron and zinc not only from infant cereal but from pureed meats as well. Fruits and veggies are important to promote healthy eating habits with nutrients such as vitamin C for a healthy immune system, and most baby food now days have DHA to help support healthy brain and eye development. After 6 months yogurt maybe be added in small amounts. Plain yogurt with the least amount of added sweeteners is best .Although it is a great source of calcium, protein, and vitamins A, D, and E, your baby’s source of all of these nutrients will still come from formula or breast milk.  At this age, your baby should be drinking around 24 – 32 ounces a day. Some may even start to show interest in drinking from a cup!

It’s not necessarily as important which order to introduce new foods in, as it is how often to add new foods. Always wait 4 to 6 days before introducing a new food and only offer new foods one at a time. Watch for any type of reaction; diarrhea, diaper rashes, vomiting, skin rashes, or breathing problems. If a reaction occurs and becomes severe, you should seek medical attention and should consult a doctor before giving the food to your child in the future.

Wait until your baby is at least a year old before giving them cow’s milk, egg whites or whole eggs, chocolate, shellfish, cocoa, or nuts (especially peanuts and peanut butter). Never give babies under the age of one year honey or products made with honey.


*Never prop your baby’s bottle or lay your baby flat with eating. This can lead to tooth decay and ear infections.

*Do not add salt, pepper, butter, sugar, honey, or any other seasoning to you baby’s food.

*Unless the whole jar of baby food is eaten at that feeding, use a dish for the portion of food that your baby will eat. This will keep your baby’s saliva from causing the uneaten portion of food to spoil faster.

* Never feed your baby a opened jar of baby food that has been in the refrigerator for more than three days.

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