Baby’s first taste of solid food can be a little overwhelming for new parents. Feeding your baby is no easy feat, and many new parents are unsure of how to feed their infant. Starting solids early is a great way to introduce these nutrients into your baby’s diet at an age when they are most likely to enjoy them.
Introducing solids as early as six months old has been found to have several benefits including helping babies learn what foods they like and making it easier for them to accept new textures.
However, there are certain things you need to consider before starting on the right track with your baby’s introduction to solids. Here are some tips that will help feed your baby in the best possible way:
Stay calm and know your baby’s cues
If you are like most new parents, you are likely a bit nervous. You may be worried that your baby isn’t getting enough or that they don’t like the foods you’ve chosen for them. These feelings are normal, but they may make feeding your baby more difficult. Try to stay calm and remember that your baby’s cues are what you should be listening for. Let them show you when they are ready for a new food.
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If you try to force your baby to eat before they are ready, you may cause them to develop a negative view towards food. Your baby will let you know when they are ready to try a new food. They may do this in one of a few ways. Your baby may look at the food with interest or perk up after a few minutes of inactivity. They may also show signs of tummy distress such as fussing and excessive saliva.
Space is key
If you feed your baby exclusively out of a bottle, follow the advice in this section even if you switch to giving solid foods. This is because the mouth is different and will make it harder for your baby to enjoy solids if they are eating too quickly out of the mouth. Feeding solids out of a bottle is similar to how you would feed them if they were using their own teeth and gums. By giving your baby their food this way, you are giving them the experience of eating. This can be a huge help when it comes to feeding your baby.
If your baby is transitioning to eating solid foods, it can help them to better understand what it is like to chew and swallow. Feeding solids out of a spoon is like feeding them with a straw. This is not the same mouth as a baby uses during chewing. It can lead to the food being swallowed too quickly and too far back in the mouth. This can make it more difficult for your baby to enjoy the food.
Don’t rush new foods
Try to introduce new foods one at a time. This is because your baby’s taste buds are still developing and may not enjoy all foods equally. You don’t want to add a new food to your diet simply because you think it will be a hit with your child. Instead, you need to focus on what flavors your baby may enjoy.
While you don’t need to know the scientific reason why, it is likely that your baby’s taste buds will develop various tastes over the course of their first year. This means that they may like certain foods, but they may not be a fan of others. If your baby isn’t eating a new food, try taking it out of the diet for a few days and then adding it back in with a new food. This way, you can see if your baby has suddenly changed their dietary preferences.
Offer new foods multiple times a day
If you are introducing a variety of new foods, try to do this at least three times a day. This is because different foods will be digested at different rates. If you don’t allow your body enough time to process the nutrients from each new food, your body may have an adverse reaction.
If your body is not ready to process certain foods, it may lead to stomach pain, diarrhea, or constipation. These symptoms could cause you to become stressed, which is not good for feeding your baby or for their overall development. If you don’t have enough time in the day to serve different meals three times a day, try serving a few different foods at each meal. This will give your body a chance to process them all.
Starting solids doesn’t mean you must finish them
As important as it is to introduce new foods one at a time, it is equally important not to make the mistake of thinking that you must finish the food. Your baby’s growth and development do not stop when they start solids. For example, if you start them on vegetables, they will continue to grow and develop just as they would if they were eating a combination of breast milk and formula.
There is no evidence that shows vegetables are harmful to your baby, or that they need to finish vegetables before they can eat other foods. In fact, vegetables are great for your baby’s development as they provide vitamins, minerals, fibre, and other nutrients that they may not get from other food sources. Find a balance in your routine where you offer your baby different foods at least twice a day. This will give their bodies time to process the nutrients from each new food.
Understand how your baby grows and develops with food
Baby food is designed to look, smell, and taste like the things that your baby would eat in real life. Baby food is also usually prepared with only the most wholesome ingredients. This is to help your baby get the full benefits of each food by allowing their bodies to naturally process it. Nutrients in food are taken up by the body in different ways. For example, vitamin C is found in foods such as broccoli and oranges. However, vitamin C is found in the blood stream and in the cells.
Therefore, your baby cannot naturally absorb vitamin C from eating broccoli. It is only when you eat the broccoli that your body can take up the vitamin C. Feeding your baby food with only natural ingredients has been found to result in your baby getting more vitamins and minerals than they would by eating a combination of breast milk and formula.
There are many benefits to starting your baby on solid foods early. This includes a better understanding of food, better acceptance of new textures, and easier digestion of foods. If you follow the tips above, you can feed your baby in the most optimal way possible. Stay calm, feed your baby when hungry, and introduce new foods one at a time. These tips will help feed your baby in the best possible way.
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