We have all witnessed those classic movie and TV scenes where parents desperately try and feed baby food to a child and end up wearing slop. This scenario isn’t far from the truth, but how can you tell what they like and don’t like? Should you use jar food or make your own? Here are some basics to get you started with solid foods.
It is recommended to wait until your newborn is at least 4 months before introducing solid foods, any earlier and your baby’s body may not be ready to accept solids. There is also a chance they will lose valuable nutrients found in breastmilk or formula. Once they are showing signs, they are physically ready such as: sitting up, not pushing food out with their tongue and showing interest in your plate, you can begin by introducing one food at a time. It is recommended to try out different textures before the age of 6-8 months when your infant may start rejecting consistencies they are not used to.
Homemade Vs. Jar
With the growing variety of jar, pouch, other types of containers, and many homemade kinds, it can be hard to know which one you should choose.
Store-bought baby foods are great for convenience but many studies have shown that some lack the nutrients your growing baby needs. Even the organic brands are overcooked to prolong shelf life which takes away from the foods beneficial value.
Even though homemade solid foods may be better for your little one it can be time-consuming and go bad faster if made in advance.
If you find your schedule does not allow for making your own food make sure to check the ingredients list as most jar varieties contain high quantities of water and fillers that fill baby up without giving them the much-needed vitamins and minerals.
Tricks if your baby’s not eating
If you are having trouble getting your baby to eat solid foods at first just be patient and keep trying. If you have multiple failed attempts try offering a different food or waiting a few days before trying again. It may seem like your infant doesn’t like a certain food if they make a face or spit it out, but just remember that they are still learning so it will take some time to get the hang of eating.
Also, try not to give them any dissolvable chips or snacks that could fill them up during the day, this will help in establishing meal times.
Giving them a wide assortment of different foods could make them less picky when they get older and is also better for their growth and brain development.
How much should they eat?
Once you are sure your baby is ready for solid foods they should be allowed to eat until they lose interest and turn or push away food, in addition to formula or breastmilk. When starting out, you should offer 1-2 meals of solids a day. At 4 months they will normally consume around 2-3 tablespoons at each feeding. This will gradually increase as they get older of course.
All babies are different and grow at different rates. You should assume your baby is eating too much or try and limit their intake, except for junk foods or types of foods your infant is not yet old enough to eat.