Choosing what to feed your baby is not an easy task. It’s tough. There is already too much ‘good’ food to choose from. Most parents find themselves torn between what to or not to feed their toddler’s. At times the idea of doing everything at home makes more sense than purchasing anything commercial. So what are you feeding your baby?
It’s about providing all the essentials: Is your baby having a balanced diet?
It is important to ensure your toddler is fed the right kind of food containing all the essential ingredients. Your baby’s food should contain nutrients from all the five major food groups: proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals and essential fats. If you have problems regarding what to feed your baby, here is a complete guide you can follow
Complete Guide to baby food from birth to 12 weeks
Birth to 4 months: Breast milk and/or formula only. Newborns cannot properly digest solids yet. I personally breastfeed on demand every 2-3 hours for the first 4 months, and check to make sure they are having consistent wet and soiled diapers.
Four to 6 months: Now is the time to start introducing basic, pureed fruits and veggies and iron-fortified baby cereal. I personally like to start with apples, bananas, pears, squash, and green beans with rice cereal. I use Earth’s Best Organic Rice Cereal. For the first few feedings, start with about 1 teaspoon of cereal. Mix it with water, breast milk or formula until it is runny.
Six to 8 months: Things are starting to get a little more varied now that your baby is getting more teeth. It is safe to add in more of a variety of pureed or strained fruits and veggies, but be sure to introduce them one at a time so you are aware if any allergies pop up.
Eight to 10 months: Baby now has a pincer grasp and can transfer food from hand to hand, so it’s time for finger foods! We generally start feeding our boys whatever we are eating, but mashed and cut up small. Continue with breastfeeding and/or formula.
Ten to 12 months: At this point, baby can eat combo foods and pretty much everything you eat, but cut up small. They should be eating about 1/4-1/2 cup of all the food groups and continue with breast milk and/or formula.
From birth to 4 months, a baby should be fed exclusively on breast milk or formula. At this age, the baby is fed on demand rather than on a schedule. A toddler 4 to 6 months old should be fed on breast milk or formula as well as other foods. It is at this age that the baby is introduced to other foods such as mashed or pureed squash, peaches, bananas, apples, sweet potatoes and so on. The baby may also be introduced to semi-liquid foods and cereals rich in minerals. At 6 to 8 month old, babies can enjoy a string of other foods including pureed foods, mashed legumes, some yoghurt as well as breast milk or formula
It is important to feed a baby according to recommendations. This way, your baby or toddler gets to enjoy healthy and quality nutrition while receiving all the nutrition and protection they need as they grow up. It is the advisable way to give your baby the best start in life.
Baby feeding “no no”s
Some parents will be in too much of a rush to feed their babies foods they think are “healthy”. While it is ok to want to feed your child health, you need to be careful. Certain foods while being totally healthy can be a bit too much for kids under a year old. You should keep your baby off these foods until there little digestive systems are ready for it.
Cow’s milk, honey (can cause botulism), nuts/hard foods, shellfish, and unpasteurized cheeses. Their digestive systems are still working themselves out, and certain foods can be obvious choking hazards or cause health issues.
I mentioned awhile back when we first started introducing solids to Wes that I made my own pureed baby food. It is great for three reasons: it is cheaper (45% compared to store-bought, which is about an average of $400+ per year), wholesome, and super simple.
Doing it yourself not only saves you money but also ensures that only health goes into baby’s food. In as much as baby food manufacturers try not to use chemicals, there are still some traces in their foods. When you make them at home yourself, you only make as much as you need hence avoid all the preservatives.
Preparation is everything
Start by cooking your fruit or vegetable until it is soft. This can be done by boiling, baking or microwaving, just as long as it is soft enough. You can to add about 1 teaspoon of water to help it soften. Transfer it into your blender or food processor and add in enough breast milk or water until it is smooth without being too thick or runny. If there are seeds or anything, you can strain those out with a sieve and your food is ready to go! You can make it in big batches and freeze it in ice cube trays, or make it as needed.
When you make your babay’s food yourself, you have total control over quantity and quality. You avoid any ingredients you don‘t want going into your baby’s tummy. This means that you know every little thing that goes into your baby’s tummy. It becomes even easier t tell what goes agrees with your tod’s tummy.
As for making pureed meats, I’ve found that cooked chicken or turkey is easiest to use and you can just throw it in with your baby food batches. I really like these recipes. And honestly, I prefer sticking to making my own meats because a lot of the pre-packaged baby food meats have vegetable oil in them. That just seems totally unnecessary and gross to me.