Feeding a baby isn’t as simple as feeding a toddler or a child. Since they’re in very early stages of development, it’s critical that you feed your baby the right nutrients and minerals to see them grow healthily. There are many different things you need to know, and this guide will go through most of the basics on baby nutrition. You might think that you can just feed your child the baby food that you find on shelves at a supermarket and you’d be somewhat right, but your child deserves better.
Important Note About Diets
Let’s make this clear first; do not feed your baby based on a diet that you personally follow. If you are vegan, don’t feed your child purely vegan food to follow in your footsteps. There’s an article on usatoday.com that reports about a baby that was fed a strict vegan diet because of his parents. The doctors found the baby was severely malnourished and his calcium and iron levels were very low. The baby was eventually removed from the parents and he is now recovering from his ordeal.
First 6 Months
During the first six months, you should be exclusively breastfeeding your child. If you are having trouble doing so, you can find some helpful hints over at babycenter.com that will teach you how to do so more effectively. Alternatively, you can also attend a breastfeeding lesson or class at a hospital before the birth of your baby.
Four months into breastfeeding you have the option of feeding your baby some single-grain cereals. Many fortified kinds of cereal contain extra nutrients such as iron which are important to the growth of your child. Once the baby is born, they have a natural deposit of iron nutrients within their bodies, but this is naturally used up around six months into their life.
Now that your child is developing, it’s time to introduce different foods. You should be pureeing fruits such as bananas, apples and apricots and mixing them with whole milk yogurt. Alternatively, you can pick soy-based yogurts but it’s recommended to use whole milk if possible. Make sure that you clean all of the fruits before you bake or boil them into a puree because any nasty chemicals and bacteria could have adverse effects on your baby.
Alternatively, you can do the same with vegetables and beans. It’s also recommended that you try to pick organic produce, as explained by organiclifehq.com. You’ll be introducing fewer chemicals and pesticides into your child’s body, and you’ll have peace of mind knowing the produce going into your child is safer.
You’re almost at the home stretch. Instead of pureeing fruits, vegetables, and protein, you can start to mash them and incorporate egg yolks into their food. Cook foods until they are soft, then mash them like you would potatoes. You can also add small amounts of cheese to foods for extra dairy.
Here is the final stretch. Your child can attempt to eat most of the foods that you normally eat as long as they are mashed up or cut small enough for your child to eat. As your child’s teeth grow, you can start to add larger pieces of food or tougher meats if you desire. Make sure you keep an eye on their eating habits and consult your family doctor about the possibilities of allergies.