Starting Solids The Facts

Prior to this age, babies have not lost their tongue-thrust reflex that will push out a spoon or anything else inserted in the mouth, including food. Most babies lose this reflex at about four months. Interestingly, this is also around the same time that a babys energy level increases, thus making it a perfect time to increase the caloric intake.

To prevent choking, make sure that your baby is sitting upright, either in your lap or in an infant seat, when you introduce solids. If he or she cries or turns away, dont force the issue. The goal should be to keep feedings positive.

If the timing is not right, go back to nursing or bottle-feeding for a week or two and then try again. Always use a small spoon to feed your baby solids. Do not add solids to a bottle of milk. This can lead to over-consumption of calories and unhealthy weight gain. Its important for your baby to get used to the process of eating -sitting up, taking bites from a spoon, resting between bites, and stopping when full.

These early eating experiences will lay the groundwork for positive eating habits throughout life. For the majority of babies, the first solid food introduced is rice cereal mixed with either formula or breast milk, followed by either oatmeal or barley. Start with a half a spoon-full or less. To ease the transition, give your baby a little milk first, then switch to very small spoonfuls of food, followed by more milk. Once your baby is comfortable eating cereal, slowly start introducing other foods including strained vegetables, fruit, and meat.

Give your baby just one food at a time and wait at least three days before starting another food. After each new food, watch for signs of allergic reactions such as diarrhea, vomiting, or rashes. If any of these occur, consult your babys doctor or health advisor. Within a couple of months, your babys diet will consist of breast milk or formula, cereal, vegetables, fruit, and meat among three meals.

Foods to avoid during the first year: Honey, as it can make baby very sick with botulism, a type of food poisoning. Hard sweets, chocolate and potato chips, soft drinks, drink crystals, sport drinks,tea, coffee, herbal teas, salt, pickles, diet foods sweetened with sugar substitutes, low-fat or calorie reduced foods. Foods to LIMIT during the first year: Fried foods including french fries, cakes, cookies, sugar-coated cereal, jelly, butter, margarine, oils, gravy, salad dressings, mayonnaise, fruit juice, avoid foods that can cause CHOKING. These foods should be avoided until your child is at least 4 years old: Solid foods that are hard, small and round, smooth or sticky such as candies, cough drops, raisins, gum and whole grapes, popcorn, nuts and seeds, fish with bones, snacks using toothpicks or skewers.

These foods are safer for infants and young children when they are prepared as described: Hard vegetables or fruit (grate carrots, remove pits in fruit, cut grapes in half with seeds removed, soften raw vegetables by cooking so they are easier to chew). Peanut butter and other spreads given alone are hard to swallow. To make safe, spread thinly on a cracker or bread. Consult your health care provider regarding allergy concerns.

Julian Hall of - The Baby Christening Gifts Company - The Most Unique, Innovative Gift Ideas for Babies, Christening Gifts, Newborn Gifts, Personalised Gifts, Organic Clothing, Nappies, Blankets, New Baby Gifts

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