Feeding Baby

Should you or should you not use a feeding chart for your baby? Some parents wait for their baby to let them know when they are hungry, while others adhere to very strict guidelines or schedules, especially when it comes time to introduce solid foods to their baby.

Solid Foods and Formulas: Feeding Your Baby

When it comes to feeding your baby solid foods, experts just can't agree on when to make the switch. How is a parent to decide, especially when each expert has their own study to back up their opinion? Some say that introducing solids to a baby too soon can put their baby at risk of food allergies. The only thing a parent can really do is read as many articles on the subject as necesary until they feel comfortable with their decision. If you want to err on the side of caution with regard to allergies, experts suggest avoiding certain foods.

 

Baby Foods To Avoid

These foods can cause an allergic reaction or digestive issues:

  • Eggs (especially egg whites)
  • Cow's milk
  • Soy
  • Peanuts or peanut butter
  • Wheat
  • Shellfish (lobster, prawns, crab and shrimp)
  • Gluten (found in wheat, oats and barley)
  • Cinnamon
  • Chocolate
  • Pork
  • Berries (especially strawberries, but blueberries are NOT considered highly allergenic)
  • Corn
  • Fish (particularly plaice, tuna, salmon, mackerel and sardines)
  • Sesame seeds and sesame oil
  • Citrus fruits (orange, grapefruit, lemon, lime and tangerine)
  • Yeast
  • Tomatoes

Introducing Solid Food

First and foremost, breastfeeding should continue when you introduce solid foods, unless you're using formula. If you do feed your baby formula, mix a little in with the first solid foods.

When feeding your baby, test all warmed foods for a comfortable eating temperature before serving. Heating baby food in a microwave is convenient, but be sure to check the temperature very carefully.

Use microwave-safe dishes and stir food from the center out after heating to ensure the temperature is even.

Do not feed your baby small, hard foods at first.

Your baby should always eat and drink in an upright position.

Avoid propping the bottle when feeding your baby.

First Finger Foods

Generally, babies become interested in finger foods anywhere from six to nine months of age, though most babies tend to start eating finger foods around the eighth month of life.

By this stage, babies are usually developing the "pincer grip" (grasping objects between the thumb and index finger). Finger feeding actually encourages the development of this grip and helps with hand-to-mouth coordination. After all, a tasty morsel of food is a great incentive!

Baby Foods To Avoid

Some foods carry an inherent risk of causing your baby to choke, including:

  • Nuts
  • Raisins (wait until your baby has teeth and is chewing well)
  • Large chunks of fruits or vegetables (raw or cooked)
  • Large chunks of meat
  • Popcorn
  • Whole grapes or cherry tomatoes (always cut these into quarters)
  • Seeds

Never feed honey to a baby under one year of age! Honey can contain botulism spores which can produce life-threatening toxins.

Favorite First Foods

  • Rice cereal
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Peaches
  • Applesauce
  • Pears
  • Barley cereal
  • Avocado
  • Bananas
  • Carrots
  • Squash