The great people over at Pamper sent me some valuable information about as a baby grows, their eating patterns changes continually and how introducing solid foods is a fun and exciting milestone, however, it is important to have all the facts.
Here is what Pampers has to say:
Planning baby’s menu with care right from the very beginning can make a vital contribution to baby’s healthy development. By introducing solid foods that fuel her growth and contribute to her overall sense of wellbeing, moms can help establish a positive relationship with food for their little ones well into adulthood.
With this in mind, how do moms who want only the best for their precious bundles, give baby the right start, as they begin exploring the delicious and ever so yummy world of food?
The Pampers® Institute is a group of experts who have been brought together to guide moms on how to nurture baby’s development in the best possible way. Renowned paediatric dietitian, Claire McHugh is one such member of the Pampers® Institute and she shares her top tips for introducing baby to the foods that will kick-start her optimal growth.
While introducing solids to baby may at first seem daunting, Claire sets out an easy-to-follow plan on how best to lay the foundation for a healthy relationship with food for baby.
Yummy in Baby’s Tummy
“It goes without saying that nutrition is vital to the healthy growth, wellbeing and brain development of your little one. For this reason it is important to give weaning your baby the attention it deserves. Whether baby has been breastfed as recommended by the World Health Organisation, or has enjoyed a menu of formula, the period around six months is an important window during which time baby can learn that the world of solid foods is an exciting one to explore,” explains Claire.
Moms are advised to look for the following signs to assess whether baby is ready to expand her menu:
· If baby is no longer satisfied with her milk feeds then consider the introduction of solid foods
· Baby should be sitting with support and able to lift herself on her elbows when lying on her stomach
· When baby has doubled her birth weight, her diet is ready for a change
· Babies also begin to show an interest in food when mom and dad are enjoying a meal or snack together
Claire recommends an easy to digest option for baby’s first meal. “I advise moms to start baby on plain rice cereal that is mixed with baby’s milk to a texture that can pour off the spoon. Not only does it taste familiar, but rice cereals are normally fortified with iron and we know that baby’s iron levels are generally depleted by the time she is six months old. While some believe starchy vegetables offer baby the best start, it is important to remember that this particular food group is not rich in the iron that baby needs,” says Claire.
As Claire points out, it is important for baby’s first meal to be prepared when she isn’t tired and not too hungry so that her first experience of food is a happy one. “As soon as baby has accepted rice cereal, start introducing starchy veggies such as pumpkin, butternut, sweet potato and squash. New foods can be introduced every two to three days provided that baby has not demonstrated an allergic reaction. Fruit can be added to baby’s menu shortly thereafter with bananas, puréed apples and pears making the ‘daily specials list’ so to speak.”
As baby’s pallet becomes more accepting of different foods it’s time to start introducing protein, which can be done from six months onwards. Chicken livers are an excellent source of protein and iron, and with their smooth consistency baby is more likely to take to this meaty meal. Lamb shank placed in a slow cooker until it falls off the bone is another good option for baby. Vegetarian sources of protein like beans and lentils are also suitable and easy to blend into vegetable dishes.
“As you gradually introduce more food groups, increase the texture of baby’s meals and lessen her milk feeds you’ll find that a daily menu of breakfast, lunch and supper with two snacks in between is in baby’s best interest. Snacks are important because baby’s tummy is small and cannot hold the volume of
food he needs to fuel the high energy levels required for her rapid growth. Try to include a starch, protein and fruit or vegetable in each meal and constantly progress with texture” advises Claire.
The Question of Allergies
Delaying the introduction of high allergy-risk foods beyond six months is only necessary if there is a strong family history of allergy in a parent or sibling. Honey should be delayed until baby turns one, as it can harbour spores of Clostridium Botulinum which causes botulism.
Allergic reactions can be immediate or delayed. Typical immediate symptoms include rashes, swelling, vomiting or difficulties with breathing. Delayed reactions commonly cause eczema or gastrointestinal complaints like diarrhoea and constipation.
Be sure to give baby the right delicious start in life. For more tips and advice on introducing solid foods to baby visit www.pampers.co.za; an online community where the Pampers® Institute, along with moms who want the best for their babies, share top tips and experiences about the best foods for baby.
“I was not paid to do this post, or sent any kind of gift. I just liked their tips and felt like sharing it with you all my friendly readers”