Solid Baby Food Albuquerque NM
Ask the Doctor - Baby's First Solids
By Randall Neustaedter, OMD, Lac
When should I introduce solid foods to my infant son, and what first foods are best for him?
Breast milk or infant formula supplies all of your baby’s nutritional needs for at least the first five to six months of life, so don’t be in a rush to start solid foods. Your baby’s intestinal tract is not fully developed, and starting solids too early may increase his risk of food allergies. Keep in mind that even after you’ve started solid foods, your son will still need the nutrition of breast milk or formula until he is a year old. Babies develop at different rates—some are eager and ready for solids at 6 months, while others need to wait until they are 7 to 9 months of age.
Look for physical cues that your son is ready to eat solids, such as good head control and the ability to sit upright when supported in an infant seat. Monitor his appetite—if he still seems hungry after multiple feedings of breast milk or formula in a day, he may be ready for solid food. Another sign of readiness: his growing curiosity about the food you are eating. Is he grabbing food out of your hand or eagerly eyeing your morning banana?
Since the digestive enzymes that break down solid food develop slowly, the first solids for babies should be foods that are easy to digest, such as cooked organic vegetables, scrambled or boiled organic egg yolks, and raw bananas. (Make sure to puree or mash your son’s food, since he could easily choke on chunky foods.) Organic egg yolks make an excellent first food because they supply cholesterol, vitamin A, and omega-3 fatty acids for mental development. Since egg whites are a high-allergenic food, separate the yolk from the white before cooking. Do not give your baby raw or soft-boiled eggs, because of the chance of salmonella contamination. Go slowly, introducing one new food at a time, and wait two or three days to observe reactions before you introduce another food.
As you allow your son to taste and play with new foods, observe him for any signs of a food allergy such as a rash around his mouth or anus, runny nose, diarrhea, or unexplained fussiness within the next 24 hours.
Wait until your son is a year old before you give him rice cereal or other grains. Whole grains are difficult to digest, and introducing them too early could cause him to develop food allergies.
I also encourage all parents to make their own baby food from organic vegetables and fruits whenever possible. Organic foods not only contain more nutrients and fewer pesticides, they also let you avoid glass jars of commercial baby food, which contain a chemical called semicarbazide that leaches into the food from the plastic sealing gaskets of the metal lids.
Even though it’s convenient, do not microwave your baby’s food or bottles. According to several studies, microwaving can cause carcinogens to form in vegetables, milk, meat, and grains. And as far back as 1998, Russian researchers reported a marked acceleration of st...
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