Eating with your children is one of the best things you can do together. But how do you know when it’s time to take your child on a culinary journey? Here are some tips to help you make the transition to proper eating.
Apples, bananas, pears: mmm! Trying new flavors can be both delicious and frustrating at the same time. One minute it goes in like nothing, and the next, they’re clenching their lips. Luckily, we’ve got some tips for you! Grab some baby cutlery and wipes, and let your little one guide you into the world of food!
When To Start?
Breastfeeding contains all the nutrients needed for a healthy, full-term baby during the first six months. Breastfeeding also satisfies the baby’s emotional needs. For this reason, the World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF recommend exclusively breastfeeding for at least six months. After these six months, most babies are ready to eat various foods, as their intestines are mature enough to digest their first small bites. Starting to eat solid foods early increases the risk of developing food allergies and negatively affects milk production.
What Should I Be Aware Of?
Of course, the 6-month limit is an average. Perhaps your child is weaning a little earlier or later. To know if your baby is ready, you need to pay attention to some key points:
1) Shifting Gag Reflex
The first is a shift in the gag reflex. In babies, this reflex is located on the front of the tongue. For example, when you try to put a spoon in the mouth, the baby pushes the spoon back with the tongue and keeps playing with the food instead of swallowing it. After the first six months, this reflex moves further back on the tongue, allowing the child to process and swallow food.
2) Sitting Up To Eat
Around 6 months, the child can sit up and learn to wean. At this age, chewing movements also become more active, and the child can grasp objects with purpose and place them in the mouth.
3) Interest in Food
Finally, you will notice that your child becomes increasingly interested in everything he or she eats.
How to Start?
Give your child his or her first snack slowly and over time, preferably during quieter times of the day. Most children will not eat more than a teaspoon the first few times, so don’t imagine too much. Children have to learn new ways of eating, which is sometimes very difficult. Therefore, when giving a snack for the first time, you need to ensure that the child’s stomach is not empty. After all, the best way to satisfy hunger is with food that you know you like. The same is true for babies. For example, breastfeed first, then try solid foods.
With one or two ingredients, you can feed your baby various foods. Take the pan and immersion blender out of the cupboard, as you can quickly cook your own food. You can give them steamed foods and purees that are just as easy to prepare as your meals.
The possibilities are endless. Well, almost endless. Most nutritionists recommend waiting at least a year for seafood and other potentially allergenic foods such as peanuts, eggs, and fish. So, put oysters on the back burner. It is best to start with vegetables and fruits. Please don’t mix them all together right away, but try to let them get used to the taste of each. Also, feed grains such as rice, oatmeal, and barley.
The Smaller The Better
Treats should be about the size of a teaspoon and should be given gradually until they get used to it. Do not force-feed them (e.g., if they turn their heads with their lips half open, it means they have had enough).
Take Your Time
It is best to allow three days between tastes when introducing a new flavor. This will allow detecting allergic reactions such as diarrhea, rashes, and vomiting earlier and more easily.
Let us know if these few tips have helped you in the comments below!