You may have heard the phrase “food before one is just for fun.” It’s a really cute rhyme and has good intentions, but is a bit misleading. While it is true that most of your baby’s nutrition should still be coming from breastmilk or formula until around age 1, there is still a reason we focus a lot on the first foods we introduce to our kids.
No matter how you choose to introduce solids (baby led weaning and purees both work), I have information available to help you feel confident that you are safely doing it right! Know what signs to look for to make sure your child is ready and which nutrients are important.
There are very few foods I recommend completely avoiding, however honey before age 1 is one of them. The issue with honey and babies is not nutritional, but safety. Babies are born with an immature immune system that develops over time. There is no magical change that happens at exactly 12 months, but it is around this age where most babies have a mature enough immune system to handle honey safely.
One of the most confusing things for many parents is figuring out when exactly to start solids. You may receive the ok from your pediatrician at 4 months, but you may also hear to wait until 6 months. There’s also information about introducing allergens between 4-6 months, so which is right? For the most part, we look for signs of readiness more than a certain age.
As with all things parenting, there are exceptions to every rule. These are the general guidelines we use to assess whether or not a child is ready to start solids, but there are reasons that certain children may need to start solids earlier or later. If you are ever concerned, you can work with a pediatric dietitian or feeding therapist who can familiarize themselves with your individual situation.
Just this week, the FDA released draft guidance for limits on the amount of lead in baby food and other foods meant for kids under 2 (1). After the release of the Healthy Babies Bright Future study in 2019, it seems that heavy metals are in the news more often than ever. What does this actually mean for parents? And what will these new limits do?
I may be a bit biased, but I think that every parent could benefit from working with a pediatric nutritionist. Most pediatricians get very minimal training in nutrition and often don’t have the time to answer questions in depth. Dietitians, however, specialize in just feeding and often our appointments are longer, giving us more time to focus on any area of concerns you may have.
Bread is by far one of my favorite ways to introduce wheat to babies when I’m focusing on the top 9 allergens. But there are a few things you need to keep in mind when purchasing and serving bread to your baby.
First, check ingredients and avoid honey (for babies under one) and any bread with nuts or seeds. Second, make sure you serve it appropriately. In general, babies do better with crusty breads or lightly toasted breads. The very soft breads can get gummed up in their mouths and increase their risk of choking.
Creating a registry for your baby can be both fun and extremely overwhelming. There are a million different products targeting new parents and it can be really difficult to figure out what’s actually important (and what’s just trying to make a buck). Picking out a high chair for BLW or purees can be challenging with so many options on the market. A high chair is actually one of only a handful of feeding tools I recommend investing in (if it makes sense for you financially).
Now, if you already have a high chair for whatever reason, it’s probably fine to use it, but if you’re shopping around for the best one on the market, this post will help you figure out what you need.
Up until around 6 months, your baby has been completely reliant on breast milk or formula for all of their needs. Then you get the all clear from the pediatrician to introduce solids and water, but how do you actually do it? And how much water does your baby actually need?
Luckily, not very much at first. We recommend introducing water around 6 months to give your baby plenty of time to practice before they really need to be drinking it for hydration.
Choking is a leading cause of injury and death in the United States, so it’s no wonder that many parents are very concerned about it. Gagging, however, is a very normal process. It causes no harm to your baby, but can be extremely difficult for you. Knowing the difference between gagging and choking can really make mealtime less stressful.
Every baby will probably gag at some point in their feeding journey. Knowing what to look for and how to handle it will make the experience less challenging for everyone.