Baby’s First Foods: Tips and Ideas

Guest post

Beginning to eat solid foods is an exciting time in the life of a baby. So much of our culture revolves around cooking, eating and sharing meals with those we love. Welcoming your wee one into the mealtime tradition is something worth celebrating. It’s also very common to have questions about buying the right type of baby food for your child for the first time. Here’s a brief guide:

 

Waiting until the time is right

The NHS recommends waiting to feed your baby solid foods until she is six-months-old. Giving a baby solid foods before six months can increase the likelihood of her contracting food allergies – so make sure to wait until the time is right.

 

Welcome to the table

Eating solid foods for the first time is not only an opportunity for those tiny taste buds to experience a myriad of new flavours and textures – it’s also a social experience. Studies have shown there are many benefits to eating together as a family, so do your best to make your baby feel included during mealtime.

 

Push the highchair up to the edge of the table and, whenever possible, try to feed your baby at the same time as the rest of the family. Much of a child’s development comes from observing her parents and siblings. By watching you eat, she’ll pick up on important physical and social cues.

Foods babies love

·         Creamy Grains – Rice or oat cereal, mixed with your breast milk or formula (avoid giving your child cow’s milk until she’s at least 1-year-old) is a healthy and delicious ‘first food’ for babies.

·         Soft Fruits and Veg – Soft (over-cooked) sweet potatoes, ripe mango, papaya, cooked carrot and pear are all great fruit and veg options for babies. Puree each item, or simply mash it up for your baby to grab and eat.

·         Full-Fat Dairy Products – Full-fat yoghurts (with no added sugars or sweeteners) and soft, full-fat cheeses are a nutritious treat that your baby will love. Though these items may be made with cow’s milk, they are OK to feed a six-month -year old (simply avoid feeding her plain cow’s milk until 12 months).

 

Mum helps those who help themselves

To ensure your baby eats enough, it’s common to have to assist and spoon-fed her at times. However, also try placing bite-sized items onto the highchair tray to encourage self-feeding. As KidsHealth.org notes, most babies have the coordination to pick up small food items from the age of nine-months. As long as you always carefully monitor your baby as she eats, this can be a great way to encourage her development and increase her confidence.

 

If at first you don’t succeed…

 Every baby is different and certain foods may simply rub your wee one the wrong way. If your baby refuses a particular item, don’t make a big fuss over it or try to force feed: simply move on to another food. Try to introduce the same food again another time – and continue to try and reintroduce it casually. You may find the 7th time’s a charm!

 

As with all new additions to your baby’s routine, it’s natural to have questions. Do you research, experiment with different baby-friendly foods and remember that you can always ask your GP if you have any questions.

 

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