Myths about Feeding your Baby
Myth: Starting your baby on solids is as easy as mixing up cereal and water.
Truth: For some this might be their experience, but most often I see the opposite. What to start with, when, how much and what do I do if there’s a reaction are all great questions that you’d probably like the answer to before you jump into starting solids with your baby.
If your baby is breast-fed, start with a cereal that doesn’t contain formula, otherwise you are introducing two new foods at the same time. I recommend oatmeal as I’ve found it to be tolerated well (much less constipation for starters).
Start with one meal, at lunchtime, and offer about two tablespoons for the first meal. Increase the amount and frequency over time to be offering your baby three meals per day by they time they reach six months.
I recommend starting with butternut squash as a first food. It’s smooth, sweet and well loved!
Myth: All babies like both fruit and vegetables.
Truth: Some babies like both fruit and veggies and some just like fruit and some just like veggies. Some like orange, and not green and visa versa. And that situation can change at any time.
If you are stuck in a veggie or fruit rut, try to add a teaspoon of the least favourite to the favourite and increase over time. That way your baby is exposed to the taste, even if it’s just a bit every now and then. Don’t rule out anything as they start solids as it could end up being the next best thing!
Myth: Once a baby starts food, they should stop drinking breast milk or formula.
Truth: Breast milk or formula (milk) is a baby’s main source of nutrition until they are one year old. Don’t expect their intake of the white stuff to change until they are on three meals a day at around nine months of age. Let them decide how much they need and when they are consistently not interested, drop that feeding.
If you see that they are favouring food more than milk, look at the variety of food (protein, fruit and vegetables and carbohydrates) to see what might be missing. Their milk does offer a spectrum of nutrients as well as protein, fats and carbohydrates needed for growth and development.
Myth: By my baby’s first birthday, she should be eating anything and everything, including food from my plate.
Truth: Every baby is different, and not all are ready for table food by the time they are one year old. Some still love their puree, which I think has its benefit. In a puree, you can hide the not-so-favourite foods as well as some super nutritiouos leafy greens, which is tough to get them to eat if not mixed in with something else.
And as for eating off your plate, well that depends on how good (or bad) your diet is! Maybe it’s time to clean up what you are eating if it’s time for sharing!