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Baby Food 101

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Baby Food 101

New parents often need guidance to feel confident about starting their baby on solids. This recommended feeding schedule should help. It shows that cereals are usually introduced at between four to six months of age, followed by fruits and veggies and then meat and dairy.

New parents often need guidance to feel confident about starting their baby on solids. This recommended feeding schedule should help. It shows that cereals are usually introduced at between four to six months of age, followed by fruits and veggies and then meat and dairy.

Early in your baby’s life, solids should be introduced only in combination with breast milk or formula. Breastfeeding or formula feeding should continue until at least 12 months.

Dr. Joey Shulman, author of Winning the Food Fight (Wiley, 2003) and also a member of alive’s editorial advisory board, recommends that parents begin at about four months by offering 1 tsp (5 mL) of barley infant cereal, as barley is the most hypoallergenic of the grains. Follow barley with rice and then oatmeal cereals, offering larger quantities as your baby’s appetite increases.

Bright Colours, Bright Kids

At six months, slowly begin to introduce fruits and vegetables. Offer them one by one every three to five days, watching to ensure your child experiences no allergic reaction. Begin with sweet potato, squash, and bananas. The more colourful the fruit or vegetable, the more nutritious it is.

When your baby is eight months old, introduce more protein-based foods, including pureed chicken, turkey, beef, and lentils. Continue to introduce only one new food at a time so you can easily identify allergic reactions. Before long your baby will be enjoying a mixture of food, such as chicken with sweet potato and carrots or turkey with peas and potato.

Ways to Avoid Allergies

Minimize the incidence of allergies by avoiding certain foods in the early years. All citrus, honey, egg whites, dairy, shellfish, peanut butter, walnuts, pecans, and other nuts should be avoided until your baby is at least one year of age.

Introducing solid food can be a fun and exciting time for both baby and parents. Remember, you control the quality of food that goes into your child and your child will determine the quantity he or she takes in. If they are hungry, they will eat; if you’re concerned that they’re not eating enough, consult your pediatrician.

Why Organic?

Feed your baby organic baby food to minimize exposure to herbicides and pesticides. Children are more susceptible to the effects of these toxins because a child’s body is smaller and his or her immune system is immature. A recent rise in childhood illnesses such as asthma and cancer has been linked to the increased use of herbicides and pesticides.

According to the Environmental Working Group (ewg.org), “More than 1 million children between the ages of one and five ingest at least 15 pesticides every day from fruits and vegetables.” Organic food minimizes your baby’s exposure to toxins as it is grown on a farm that has been free of pesticides and herbicides for at least three years.

Dr. Joey Shulman’s Feeding Schedule

All infants develop at different rates. Here are guidelines for introducing solids to your baby’s diet.

AgeBreast milkFormulaGrainsFruits and veggies

Meat, poultry, and dairy products

birth to 4 to 6 monthsfeed on demand (about 8 to 12 feedings per dayfeed every 2 to 3 hours, offering 2 to 4 oz (60 to 115 mL) per feedingat 4 months and beyond, 1 tsp
(5 mL) barley or rice cereal daily
nonenone
6 to 9 months4 to 6 feedings per day3 to 5 feedings per day, ranging from 24 to 32 oz (960 mL), depending on your baby’s food intake and sizecontinue with
1 tsp (5 mL) or more barley, rice, or oatmeal cereal daily; increase quantity as baby adapts
introduce
individual organic fruits or vegetables; later try fruits in
combination
at about 8 months, introduce high-quality organic proteins such as chicken, beef,
and lentils
9 to 12 months3 to 4 feedings per day, dropping to a morning and night-time feeding as your baby’s food intake increases20 oz (600 mL) per daycontinue with whole-grain cerealcontinue to add organic fruits and vegetables in bite-sized pieces, or cook and mash fruits and veggies such as bananas and avocadoscontinue to increase the amount of protein; at about 1 year, introduce high-quality dairy products such
as yogourt

Source: sweetpeababyfood.com

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