Thursday, May 6, 2010

How to start feeding your baby fruits and vegetables

The big question here is whether to start fruits or vegetables first. I have heard it said that you should start vegetables first because if the baby tastes the fruits first they won't like the vegetables. I've also heard that you should start fruits first because it is easier for baby to tolerate them. I don't really think it matters. The first time we started with vegetables and the second time we started with fruits.

Start with a stage one baby food. Put a little on the spoon and then put it in baby's mouth. This is where the fun begins. It's cute to watch the faces she will make and then how she will smear it all over her head. Maybe he will spit it right back at you! Eventually this will get old. Take lots of pictures.

Introduce one new food every 4-5 days. You may want to do this even slower if you are concerned about food allergies. It's important to introduce them one at a time so if your baby does have a reaction, you know which food caused the problem.

Once you get through the stage one foods then move onto stage two. Stage three foods tend to be more chunkier so you might want to wait until your baby has some teeth before trying them.

I have heard of people making their own baby food. I don't have any experience with this but if anyone wants to chime in with their experiences feel free!

How much should you feed your baby?
Eventually you should get to three meals per day. This is probably somewhere around 8-9 months but is variable. You may want to decrease the amount of formula you offer to about 20-24 oz per day but talk to your child's health care provider about this. It is important to remember that breastmilk or formula should be your baby's main source of nutrition for the first year. Solids are an extra bonus.

Gerber has a useful meal planner on their website. I think you have to register but it is a good outline of what your baby should be eating at various ages.

Next- how do I do this with twins???
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1 comment:

  1. I did make your own, and it was super easy. Just cook fruits and vegetables (bake, boil, steam as appropriate) and mash them. You can use a food mill at first, but you can switch to a fork quickly--a little texture is good once they're used to eating. As long as the lumps are soft, they can gum them.

    Pour them into ice cube trays, freeze, and then pop the cubes out and put them in ziplocs. One cube is one portion. Sweet potato is a really good one to start with, most babies love it. Spinach and mashed potato was a surprisingly popular combination--once you've introduced a bit of dairy in cooking you can add some cheese. (I'd just take some of our mashed potatoes out before I added the salt and pepper, and stir in some chopped spinach and white cheddar cheese.)

    We went on to other things fairly quickly. I think I ignored a lot of the allergy lists, but they weren't as big in the UK--everyone I knew fed their babies Weetabix! Including me. She went on to have a lot of the things we ate--pasta, fish, minced up chicken, you name it. Anything that wasn't super spicy or salty.

    I skipped rice cereal altogether. It's a holdover from the days of forcing cereal down at 6 weeks, and frankly it looks and smells like library paste. The only thing I used it for was thickening pureed pear, which has got to be the runniest thing ever.

    Some people do baby led weaning where you don't use purees at all, but Aliza wouldn't pick anything up until she was 11 months old.