Allysha is going to be 6 months old in a few weeks. We are planning to start giving her solid food in about 2 or three weeks more. But I’m still contemplating whether to let her try pureed porridge or rice cereal first. I’m worried once she tried the rice cereal she will refuse to eat porridge. Personally, I prefer to let her enjoy home-cooked meal. I will be assured that she will get all the nutrients she need.
I’ve googled some information on solid food for babies as a guideline for me. I'm so glad I found this!!
Guidelines to Starting Solid Foods
To help ease your baby's transition to solid foods, keep in mind the following guidelines:
• start solids sometime between 4-6 months, once your baby is showing signs of being ready and can eat from a spoon
• an iron fortified rice cereal is usually the first solid food that your baby should eat
• experiment to find the best time to feed your baby solids, for example before, after, or at a separate time from formula or breastfeeding
• to easily detect food allergies, only give one new, single ingredient food at a time, and wait 3-4 days before introducing another.
• begin with just a teaspoon or less when you are first introducing solids and then slowly increase to a tablespoon or more as your baby gets the hang of eating solid foods
• after rice cereal, consider moving on to other cereals, like oatmeal and barley, and then introduce strained vegetables, fruits and lastly, meats
• continue to offer your baby an iron fortified cereal even after you introduce other solid foods, as it is a good source of iron or your growing infant
• talk to your Pediatrician if your baby won't eat any solids by the time he is 7-8 months old
Foods to Avoid
Just as important as knowing when to start each food, you should know which baby foods to avoid during your baby's first year, including:
• honey (botulism risk)
• egg whites (food allergy risk)
• homemade baby food made with beets, carrots, collard greens, spinach, and turnips (high nitrate levels)
• cow's milk (no iron and not tolerated as well as breastmilk or baby formula)
• foods that are a choking hazard
Does your baby need vitamins?
Everyone needs vitamins. The real question is does your baby need extra vitamins that he isn't getting from the foods he is eating?
Your baby needs:
• iron, which he can get from an iron-fortified baby cereal and later, other iron rich foods
• fluoride, which he can get from drinking fluoridated water, keeping in mind that most brands of bottled water are not fluoridated
• vitamin D, which he can get from baby formula, although exclusively breastfeeding babies will need a vitamin D supplement
As you get ready to start your baby on iron-fortified rice cereal -- her first baby food -- it is a good idea to know which foods you should avoid in her first year.
This foods include:
• Experts advise that you should not feed honey to infants under 12 months of age. The spores of the Clostridium botulinum bacteria can sometimes be found in honey. When ingested by an infant, the spores can release a toxin that causes botulism.
• Parents should also likely avoid other foods that contain honey in them, such as Honey Graham Crackers, Honey Nut Cheerios or Honey Wheat Bread. Although the honey in these foods may be processed, it may not be pasteurized, so they may still contain botulism spores.
• Because they are considered an 'allergy food,' infants should avoid egg whites until they are twelve months old. If you like, you can usually introduce egg yolks at around seven to ten months old though.
• If your child is at high-risk for allergies, you might want to avoid eggs until he is 2 years old though.
Homemade Baby Food and Nitrates
• This is only an issue for parents who make their own baby food from fresh vegetables, but they should avoid feeding their baby homemade food with beets, carrots, collard greens, spinach, and turnips. These vegetables can sometimes have high levels of nitrates, a chemical that can cause low blood counts (anemia).
• Commercial baby food is usually screened for their nitrate levels. So, when considering these specific vegetables, it should be safer.
• Experts usually recommend that breast milk or an iron-fortified infant formula are best for babies. Parents should avoiding substituting either of those with homemade baby formula, such as you might make with evaporated milk, cow's milk, soy milk (which is much different than an iron-fortified soy formula), or even goat's milk.