Monday, March 31, 2014

Baby Food for 6+ months

       All babies are different, with their own unique likes and dislikes. Just like you and me! This is the age when most babies are introduced to solid foods. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) currently recommends gradually introducing solid foods when a baby is between 4 and 6 months old, depending on your baby's readiness and nutritional needs.
              “Be sure to check with your doctor before starting any solid foods.”
If your doctor gives the go-ahead but your baby seems frustrated or uninterested as you're introducing solid foods, try waiting a few days or even weeks before trying again. Since solids are only a supplement at this point, breast milk and formula will still fill your baby's basic nutritional needs.

How will I know my baby is ready for solids?
      By about six months, you'll probably start noticing signs that your baby is ready to have more than just milk. By now, she'll be able to hold her head up by herself. She'll also have lost the reflex which makes her stick out her tongue automatically. This means she's ready to learn to take more than just liquid food. You may notice her taking an interest in your food, eyeing meals and possibly reaching for your plate.
      Of course, this doesn't mean your baby is able to sit down with a plate and a set of cutlery. A baby's first solid foods often aren't solid at all. You may find she likes puréed or mashed foods. Eating is a new skill and your baby will have to learn it gradually.

What to feed

  • Breast milk or formula, PLUS
  • Pureed or strained fruits (banana, pears, applesauce, peaches)
  • Pureed or strained vegetables (avocado, well-cooked carrots, squash, and sweet potato)
  • Pureed meat (chicken, pork, beef)
  • Pureed tofu
  • Small amounts of unsweetened yogurt (but no cows' milk until age 1)
  • Pureed legumes (black beans, chickpeas, edamame, fava beans, black-eyed peas, lentils, and kidney beans)
  • Iron-fortified cereal (oats, barley)

How much per day

  • 1 teaspoon fruit, gradually increased to 1/4 to 1/2 cup in 2 or 3 feedings
  • 1 teaspoon vegetables, gradually increased to 1/4 to 1/2 cup in 2 or 3 feedings
  • 3 to 9 tablespoons cereal, in 2 or 3 feedings

Feeding tips

  • Introduce new foods one at a time, with at least three days in between to make sure your baby's not allergic.

Once your baby is eating these fruit and veg happily, you can move on to other foods from the main groups:
Bread, rice, potatoes, pasta
Milk and dairy foods
Meat, fish, eggs, beans

Using spoons
      You can use a plastic baby-feeding spoon to feed your baby. If she doesn't want to eat from a spoon, you could try offering her food using your clean finger.
      Many babies are ready for foods they can pick up and eat themselves when they're between seven and nine months old. Some babies are ready to feed themselves with finger foods from the beginning. If this is true of your baby, don't worry. Let her feed herself. Or you could try letting your baby hold a finger food while you spoon feed her at first, if you prefer.

For Healthy Recipes of Baby Food for 6+ months   click here.....

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