Posts Tagged ‘rice cereal’

Baby’s First Foods

Wednesday, March 19th, 2014

Introducing solid foods is a big step for new moms and can be quite confusing. Here are some common questions new moms may have about introducing solids.

Is my baby ready for solid foods?

first food

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends breastfeeding as the sole source of nutrition for baby during the first six months of life. Below are a few milestones your baby should reach before starting solid food:

  • Baby can sit in high chair with good head control
  • Baby watches you eat, reaches for your food and seems eager to be fed
  • If you offer a spoon of food and baby pushes it out of its mouth; he may not have the ability to move it to the back of his mouth to swallow. If this happens- try to dilute food with breast milk or water or wait a week or two and try again.

Sounds like my baby is ready. What should I feed them first?

Traditionally single-grain cereals are introduced first; however there is no medical evidence that introducing solid foods in any particular order is advantageous for baby. This website has tons of great recipes, nutrition information and pointers on how to prepare homemade baby food.

Are there any foods I should avoid?

What to Expect has a great list of food to avoid. This includes nuts, egg whites, honey, cow’s milk, wheat, juice, shellfish, strawberries and chocolate. These foods can be introduced later, please check with your pediatrician for when these can be safely introduced.

What were your babies’ first foods?

With my first we attempted organic brown rice cereal right at six months. This did not go well; she hated it. We went back to breast milk for few weeks and tried sweet potatoes next time she had solids. Our second was 7.5 months before we gave him solid food and he started with homemade sweet potatoes.

How do you make sweet potatoes for your baby?

Preheat oven to 400* F. Wash and poke holes in sweet potatoes and wrap in foil; bake in oven until soft (30-60 minutes). Puree in blender mixed with water or breast milk for desired consistency. Drop spoonfuls onto cookie sheet to freeze. Once frozen put into Ziploc bags to store in freezer until ready to eat. Thaw and serve.

What was your baby’s first food? What would you do differently with your next child?

Kristen Beggs is a mom of two who enjoyed watching her babies take their first bite. 


Why Grains are Bad for Baby

Friday, February 7th, 2014

Typically, a baby’s first food is some sort of grain, usually rice cereal. Unfortunately, grains might be too difficult for baby to digest and can cause a variety of digestive trouble that will keep you both up at night. Amylase, the enzyme needed to properly digest grains, is found only in very small amounts in babies under the age of 16 months.

That isn’t to say that they can’t digest grains at all, but it might be a good idea to avoid them since foods

Why Grains are Bad for Baby

introduced too early can cause digestive distress and increase the likelihood of allergies. Signs of food intolerance include redness around the mouth, bloating, irritability, fussiness, constipation, vomiting and frequent regurgitation of food. According to the book Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon and Mary Enig, feeding rice cereal too early can cause grain allergies and may even lead to behavioral problems, mood issues and other food allergies.

Besides being difficult to digest, grains are also not a nutrient-dense food. Feeding a baby too many grains can make them full without providing the nutrients they need to grow a healthy brain, bones and nervous system. The easiest thing to do is keep grains to an absolute minimum. When you do opt for grains, avoid pre-made baby cereals and make them at home instead.

Cooking your baby’s grains at home gives you the ability to help make them more digestible. Grains contain something called phytic acid, which inhibits enzymes needed for digestion-–making them difficult to digest. Soaking grains overnight before cooking them helps make reduce the amount of phytic acid in them, which helps their digestibility. Rice and oatmeal are both grains that can be soaked overnight and made into a baby cereal that’s much easier for your baby to digest.

Jacqueline Banks is a certified Holistic Health Counselor focused on nutrition and green living strategies. She works with women in all stages of motherhood, from mothers struggling with conception, through pregnancy, lactation and beyond to ensure the best health and nutrition for both mother and baby.