Monday, April 11, 2011

Simply Eats:: {baby food part 1}

Almost a month ago Silas started solid foods. We started with very fine purees and he has quickly progressed to thicker textures and even can mash baby puffs and other soft foods with his gums. I started making my own baby food when Ayden was a baby. I found it fun and money saving! Not to mention I did not have to feed him nasty smelling stuff from jars. Here is a little lo down on my baby food thinking.

When to start:  This is completely between you and your Dr. We started rice cereal at 4 1/2 months. He only got a couple of very watery tablespoons a few times a week. Once that was easy for him and he was moving food to the back of his mouth with his tongue and not just sucking it we started brown rice. At about 5 months two weeks we decided he was ready for something more substantial. He was nursing further and further apart and was very curious about what we were doing at the table! Silas is breast fed so nutritionally at this point food is not necessary! This is all for experience sake. Different foods provide great opportunities for stimulation. We also love being together at the table. There is never a too early to bring baby into this sweet family time.

What to start with: again, always check with your Dr. There is lots of debate about this. A Dr from Stanford recently came out blaming white rice cereal for obesity in America. Whatever. I think he is a bit off his rocker and desperate for funding or something. White rice cereal is a perfect first food because {A} it is hypoallergenic. Almost every baby can eat rice without a reaction. This way you can teach them to swallow correctly without risking an allergic response to say wheat or gluten. Rice is perfect because it is perfectly bland {B} and can be flavored with breast milk or formula, again allowing them to learn to swallow without flavor complications. Rice is also super easy {C} to make to whatever texture you want which will help train baby to swallow. Remember, starting a baby on rice is a short term event. They are not eating cups of rice a day. This is to teach their little tongue to work correctly and introduce them to swallowing something thicker than milk. Silas could swallow well fairly quickly so other foods and brown rice were not very far far behind.  When choosing fruits and vegetables to start with I usually go with bland before sweet. They've been drinking only milk for months. Silas completely gagged when we offered him bananas. He likes them now, but the flavor was way too sweet for several weeks.

What to avoid: Never feed your baby honey. Delay and watch carefully foods that contain wheat or gluten and strawberries. Wait till after their first birthday for shellfish or nuts. There is a great list HERE that gives a more extensive list.

Watch for baby food part 2. I'll tell you how I made a months worth of food at around 32 cents a jar!

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