What’s New About Feeding Babies

Baby spoons

Quite a bit has modified with regards to feeding infants. Here are a few of the largest adjustments to learn about (or cross alongside to household and caregivers)!
Baby spoons

Maybe you’re having your first child and really feel a bit of misplaced about feeding–or your third, however wish to do issues in another way. Maybe your mom or well-meaning auntie is driving you nuts with their “useful” (and outdated) recommendation. Or possibly you’re a model new grandma and really feel like every thing’s modified because you have been a brand new mother.

It has! Well not every thing, however there’s lots of new skilled recommendation and up to date tips with regards to feeding infants. Here are a few of the largest adjustments to concentrate on…or, ahem, cross alongside to that well-meaning auntie!

1. Old Advice: Start with rice cereal —> New Advice: Start with what you need

For years, dad and mom have been advised to start with rice cereal because the very first meals as a result of it’s plain, bland, and never more likely to set off allergic reactions. It was the primary meals I gave to each of my boys.

But rice cereal isn’t pushed a lot anymore. For one, there’s no proof {that a} sure order of meals introduction has any profit. For occasion, it was thought that beginning veggies earlier than fruit would someway diminish cravings for candy flavors (nope) and that meat needs to be held off on till the very finish (ditto on nope). It’s now believed that it doesn’t matter what you begin with–fruits, greens, grains, even meat (so long as it’s in a type that’s applicable for child to eat after all!). 

Another purpose rice cereal has fallen out of favor: It’s extra more likely to be contaminated with arsenic than different child cereals. Arsenic is a poisonous heavy metallic that’s current within the setting, and rice tends to soak up extra of it when it grows in comparison with different crops. That doesn’t imply you’ll want to keep away from rice cereal (and rice!) fully, nevertheless it is sensible to serve a wide range of cereals and meals usually. The FDA recommends serving a wide range of iron-fortified cereals like oat, barley, and multigrain.

Juice for kids

2. Old Advice: Limit juice —> New Advice: No juice for infants

The most up-to-date recommendation from the American Academy of Pediatrics is that kids youthful than one shouldn’t drink juice. The purpose? Juice is excessive in energy and sugar–and although it’s pure sugar, it may be exhausting on growing tooth and trigger infants to soak up extra energy. “Fruit juice presents no dietary advantages over complete fruit for infants and kids and has no important position in wholesome, balanced diets of kids,” the pediatricians write within the coverage assertion. Here are the most recent tips:

  • Babies youthful than six months: No fruit juice.
  • Babies 6-12 months: Avoid juice and provides mashed or pureed complete fruit as a substitute. If you’ll want to give your child juice for medical causes, give it in a cup (not a bottle) and select 100 p.c juice.
  • Kids 1-Three years: No greater than Four ounces a day of 100 p.c juice served with meals or snacks. 
  • Kids 4-6 years: No greater than 4-6 ounces a day of 100 p.c juice.
  • Kids 7-18 years: No greater than eight ounces a day of 100 p.c juice.

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE: What Should Kids Drink?

3. Old Advice: Avoid peanut till age 3 —> New Advice: Introduce peanut a lot earlier 

When I had my infants greater than ten years in the past, we have been advised to keep away from peanut protein till the preschool years to assist scale back allergic reactions. But it seems that holding off on sure meals doesn’t lower the chance of being allergic to them. In reality, a landmark examine known as LEAP discovered that infants truly had a decrease danger of growing a peanut allergy in the event that they have been fed peanut protein a lot earlier–as younger as 4-6 months for infants in danger for allergy symptoms (different analysis known as the EAT examine discovered that giving egg early helped stop egg allergy too).

The American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology (AAAAI) says you can feed widespread allergenic meals like dairy merchandise, egg, soy, wheat, peanut and tree nut protein, and fish and shellfish to your child between 4-6 months. (Always speak to your pediatrician first in case you have a historical past of meals allergy symptoms or in case you suspect your child has a meals allergy.)

Peanut products for babies

Of course, you by no means wish to give complete nuts or items of nut to infants due to the chance of choking. Here are some secure methods to introduce peanut protein:

  • Mix powdered peanut butter into child cereal, yogurt, or breastmilk
  • Spread a skinny smear of peanut butter on a teething biscuit or strip of toast
  • Serve peanut puffs as a finger meals
  • Using particular child meals that has the allergenic meals (like peanut) already blended in

Special warning: If there’s a historical past of meals allergy in your loved ones or in case your child has eczema, speak to your pediatrician earlier than introducing extremely allergenic meals like peanut. Your physician could counsel having your child examined for allergy symptoms first or you could have to do the primary feeding of peanut (or different allergenic meals) in a healthcare setting in case there’s a response. 

What’s modified about feeding infants? Here’s the most recent recommendation:Click to Tweet

Baby food on spoons

4. Old Advice: Save meat for final —> New Advice: No want to attend on meat

Meat was final on the checklist of meals to introduce, which meant infants may not get it till nearer to their first birthdays. But meat is wealthy in iron, a mineral that’s so important for infants’ mind growth (notably round six months of age when their pure shops turn into depleted). Baby cereal comprises some iron, nevertheless it’s not a type that’s as extremely absorbed as the type present in meat. The American Academy of Pediatrics now says meat may be launched together with different meals at six months.

When on the lookout for jarred pureed meats, bear in mind that some manufacturers don’t embody meat till chunkier stage two or stage three blends. If that’s the case, make your personal clean puree with a blender or meals processor, then serve it plain or blended with pureed veggies. If you’re doing child led weaning, you can provide child lengthy items of meat to carry, gum, and suck on (see #5 beneath).

If your loved ones is vegan or vegetarian, your child can nonetheless get iron from different meals. One option to enhance how a lot she absorbs is by pairing a supply of iron with a supply of vitamin C, which helps the physique absorb extra of the iron. For occasion, combine child oatmeal with strawberries, beans with tomato, or tofu with broccoli.

Foods for Baby Led Weaning

5. Old Advice: Give solely purees at first —> New Advice: Wedges of meals are okay too

Many new dad and mom are attempting baby-led weaning as a substitute of serving purees (or along with them). BLW entails giving infants complete items of meals to self-feed when beginning solids, like lengthy spears of steamed candy potatoes and really ripe avocado that your child can maintain. Babies may even gum and suck on meals like steak! Pieces needs to be lengthy and two-fingers vast so infants can maintain them and gum however not have the ability to break off bits. (See this video for examples of what secure first meals appear like.)

Though you could be fearful about choking and gagging, some gagging is a traditional a part of the method–and choking is unlikely so long as infants sit upright when consuming (and naturally, infants ought to at all times be supervised when consuming and may by no means be giving choking hazards like complete grapes or chunks of scorching canine).

The advantages of BLW are that infants management what and the way a lot they eat. They additionally be taught self-feeding abilities and check out new textures past purees, which could imply they develop into youngsters who’re extra open to totally different textures (and fewer choosy). Babies who’re allowed to self-feed from a younger age might also turn into higher at self-regulating, that means they eat once they’re hungry and cease once they’re full.

To be taught extra about BLW, take a look at my two favourite books about it: Born to Eat and Baby Led Feeding.

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