Who wouldn’t want to nourish this babe as healthily as possible?
It’s an exciting time in a parent’s life when they start to consider baby’s first foods. You want to nourish your little one with foods that imbue all the love that you have for them, that will help them feel well and be healthy. So, where should you start?
First, before you start trying new foods, there are a few foods that you should avoid for the first two years. These are: raw honey, peanuts, and tree nuts. It’s also best to avoid “sticky” foods, like soy nut butters and other gluey-type consistencies.
Now that we have that out of the way, let’s form some building blocks towards a healthy baby! (Before we start, a little reminder that Organically grown is always best.)
Don’t forget the building blocks for your infant
Up to 4 months of age, a baby’s diet should be breast milk or formula. After that, the fun begins. Be sure to monitor new foods to make sure there are no adverse reactions and introduce the foods gradually, making sure the foods have adjusted before you try something new.
Don’t forget to peel the skin off and puree!
Fruits and Veggies:
These are great first foods for babies and can be tried after 4 months. Make sure that you either puree these foods or purchase a good prepared organic baby fruit or veggie puree. Good first choices are apples, avocado, banana, pears, butternut squash, and green beans.
At 6 months, your baby can start on a more advanced, fibrous list, such as apricots, mango, nectarines, pumpkin, plums, peas, peaches, zucchini, and carrots. These will still need to be pureed.
At 9 months, babies can usually handle soft chunks of fruits and veggies, like a piece of baked potato or sliced banana. These should be cut into “finger food” portions. These should only be very soft foods, not things that require biting, like grapes, because they are a choking danger. However, berries like strawberries and blueberries are fine pureed. Do not use “seedy” fruits, like blackberries. Other new recommended additions at this age include eggplant, potatoes, beets, broccoli, and asparagus.
At 12 months, foods that have slightly more substance can be added, like spinach, tomatoes, corn, onions, and beans.
After 18-24 months, babies can usually handle foods like grapes, but should be closely monitored and it’s best to slice the fruit before feeding.
You can use white or brown rice, or other grains.
Soft brown rice can be introduced as early as 4-5 months, although you should consult your pediatrician, as most recommend the age of 6 months before starting solid foods. Brown rice is a good starter grain because it is easy to digest
Cereal grains can be introduced at 6 months. These include oatmeal and barley can be introduced.
At 9 months, baby can handle things like teething biscuits that are very bland, easy to hold, and do not pose a choking hazard. You can also introduce finger foods, like cereal-os. Baby can also have pasta (semolina flour pasta, not whole wheat).
At 12 months, babies can start having more wheat, added gradually because wheat is a common allergen. Wheat germ can be added to foods as a dietary supplement.
Meat like chicken, beef, tofu, and fish can be eaten after 6 months of age
At 6 months, meat, fish, or tofu can be added to baby’s diet. Again, these will need to be pureed to avoid choking. Keep the foods bland to avoid upset tummies from spices.
At 9 months, most of these will still need to be pureed, but very soft pieces of fish or tofu strips can be added as finger foods. Remember, the pieces of this meat will need to be very, very soft. Think something you could mush up with your tongue and easily swallow.
After 12 months, ground meat and chicken products can be added to the diet, but the tougher cuts of meat will need to wait until closer to 18 months when baby is able to chew them. This is also true of “hot dog” type foods, as they pose a choking hazard until the baby is closer to 2 years. Most health officials don’t recommend eggs until after 12 months.
Prior to the age of 2 years, wild game is not recommended.
Yogurt is good to eat after 6 months of age
Prior to 6 months, a baby should not be consuming milk products of any type other than breast milk or formula (breast milk is the best if possible). If your family has a medical history of dairy allergies, you’ll want to talk to your doctor before introducing dairy products.
At 6 months old, it is usually fine to introduce yogurt. This isn’t the same as introducing milk, as yogurt is gentler on the digestive system due to reduced lactose content.
At 7-8 months, milk in baked goods is considered to be fine.
At 9 months, you can add cheese to your baby’s diet in small, soft chunks or as cottage cheese.
At 12 months, you can add drinking milk. The milk should be whole, not reduced fat. Your baby needs the fat in the milk to be healthy. Just remember, low fat milk is an adult-only drink.
Remember, add gradually. If baby truly doesn’t like something, don’t force it. Try 3 or 4 attempts on different days and if it still doesn’t work, you might want to just drop it for a few months. Oftentimes, when a person is very averted to certain foods, it is due to an allergy or sensitivity to that food.
During this stage, a hand grinder for food experimenting is a wonderful thing to have and would be a good investment. There are also a lot of really great organic prepared baby foods on the market that will help you during busy times.
Read labels! We can’t stress this enough. A lot of foods contain unexpected ingredients. Keep it simple. If you can’t read the ingredient quickly or don’t know what it means, it isn’t good for your child anyway.
Finally, keep in mind that this is just a basic guideline for the average infant. Some babies’ digestive systems are faster or slower than others.
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– Orgain Healthy Kids Shake
– Beyond Meat Beef Crumbles
– Fruit Bliss Organic Fruit
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