During the first year, babies learn to trust those who provide them with the comfort and security of food. If the parents are sensitive to their baby’s nutritional needs, the child will develop sound eating habits. However, introducing babies to solid foods before the age of 4 months may cause them to develop allergies later on.
» Introduce solid foods slowly
» Make sure your baby is alert and sitting upright
» Use a small spoon with a rubber coating
» Start with rice cereal, then oatmeal or barley (wheat cereal may cause allergies if given before the baby is 1 year old)
» Check the temperature of the food before feeding your baby
» Do not put cereal into a bottle
» Introduce strained or pureed vegetables and fruits
» Wait 3 to 5 days before introducing a new food – watch for any allergic reactions
» Later introduce strained meat
» Add finger foods such as bananas, dry cereal, or soft cooked vegetables to your baby’s diet
» Cut food into small pieces
» Do not give nuts, popcorn, whole grapes or uncooked vegetables
» Offer a sip-cup with handles for small amounts of water, formula, or juice
» Give healthy snacks such as fruit and vegetables
» Offer new foods in small portions at mealtimes that the rest of the family is eating
» Allow the baby to begin using a spoon
Never feed a baby directly from the jar – bacteria from the baby’s mouth can contaminate the food. Throw away opened jars within a day or two.
Never microwave a baby’s food – microwaved food can develop hot spots that will burn the baby’s mouth
Avoid overfeeding or underfeeding by allowing the baby to decide how much he/she wants to eat.
Never give a child under one year of age – honey, corn syrup, or egg whites. Honey and corn syrup may contain Botulinus spores which can cause serious and sometimes fatal results. Egg whites may increase the baby’s chances of being allergic to eggs later in life.