Tuesday, 29 January 2013

14 things you need to know about feeding solids

A few things you might need to know before attempting to engage in the messy combat, or may already know but might have forgetten. Here they are just-in-case:

1. First Foods - What

It is often advised to start weaning with rice cereals. They are iron-fortified and easy to digest. However, from a nutritional point of view, they are purely starch and may contribute to constipation (if your baby is allergic). 
You can try whole grain baby cereals, like wheat or barley, which are tastier and loaded with fibre.

2. First Foods - When

Offer cereal once a day in the beginning, either at breakfast or at dinner. When offering new foods, try to give them in the morning, to guage the reaction throughout the day. 

3. First Foods - How

Use your finger as the first spoon. Wash your hands thoroughly and then dip your forefinger into the cereal to bring it near the baby's mouth. When she opens it, place a few drops on her lips and let her suck on the finger for a while. Next, place a few drops at the tip of her tongue, and then gradually move to place cereal in the middle of the tongue. Let her practice sucking off cereal from your fingers for atleast  weeks before introducing the spoon.

we meant your mama's fingers, not your own

4. Track reactions using a food diary

Keep a food diary to record the dfferent foods you introduce each week (or every 3 to 4 days). Track the reactions of the baby to eliminate foods that may cause allergies or any other problems.

5. Solids are not replacement for breastmilk/formula

Throughout the first year of your child, her primary source of nutrition will come from breastmilk/formula. Solids are introduced only to facilitate the baby to learn how to move her tongue and swallow, and also familiarize her with new tastes and textres. In no way do the solids replace breastmilk/formula as the basic diet.

though meant in a different connotation, he is absolutely right!

6. The fist rule

Your baby has a small tummy. Avoid feeding large portions in a single setting. To measure how much to feed follow the fist rule: look at your baby's clenched fist, that is how big your baby's stomach is. Take into account breastmilk/formula as well when deciding the amount of solids

i've eaten equivalent to two fists .. i can't eat no more!

7. Develop a feeding schedule

By the sixth week after introducing solids, try to develop a feeding schedule: three meals a day. Along with cereal, incorporate fruits and vegetables into your baby's diet as well. 

You can form a feeding schedule in the following way:

  • Breakfast: cereal and a fruit serving
  • Lunch: fruit serving and vegetable serving
  • Dinner: cereal and vegetable serving

8. Stay strong

It may take up to 20 attempts before your baby actually agrees upon a particular taste/texture of food. Till then don't give up if she refuses to feed. Try again in a few days or mix the new food item with another that the baby prefers, gradually increasing its ratio in the mixture till the babt becomes accustomed to the taste.

illogical baby

9. Choking hazards

Be very careful of the texture of food you feed to your baby. Avoid chunks of food that may possibly lead to choking. Children under the age of 1 year cannot comprehend the size of a bite they can masticate at a time. Therefore, feed solids in small bites, and familiarize yourself with a choking rescue procedure. 

10. Add juice

As your infant progresses in attaining new flavours and textures, include juice in his diet, making it part of one meal in a day.

11. Use a sippy cup

When feeding juice, dilute it with water in an equal amount, and not more than 3 ounces in a day. Always give juice to your baby in a sippy cup and not a bottle. Sucking from a bottle will bring the juice in direct contact with your baby's teeth and may contribute to cavities.

these are so adorable that it makes me want to drink out of this instead a glass

12. Introduce finger foods

Between 7 to 11 months of your baby's age, try introducing finger foods. This will not only help your baby keep his hands occupied while you feed him in peace, but also lead to him developing better motor skills. 

13. Let the mess be

Instead of striving to keep a clean face, let your baby mess around with his food. As this article very aptly describes, feeding time is more than eating. 

i'm baby bear *roar

14. When all else fails ..

 .. Oppa Gangnum Style!

Well, there you go. Our humble attempt at making your life a little easier. 
However, the only judge of your efforts will be the cutest critic in the whole world: your little baby.

baby: 'mother, i believe these peas need a little dash of basil'

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