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April , 2018

A Parent’s Guide To Your Newborn’s First Year Of Food

If you’re reading this as a new Mum or Dad, we congratulate and welcome you to the extremely hectic yet rewarding world of raising kids! We hope you’re taking full advantage of the wealth of information available online and utilize social media to share your experiences, pass on knowledge, and support fellow parents from all over the world! At B.I.G., we’d like to help as well – one of the most important aspects of being a new parent is understanding your baby’s diet progression from liquid to solid foods, and how to ease them into it. Here’s a handy guide that you can refer to for your baby’s first year.

*Note: When introducing new food, implement one type of food at a time with a 3 – 5 day buffer in order to monitor any allergic reactions that may arise. Always seek advice and validation from a medical health professional before incorporating new health practices for your baby.

4-6 months

The first four months typically entail breastfeeding or mixing formula, followed by semi-liquid food as you get into month 4. At this stage, your baby will develop the ability to hold its head steady and start showing curiosity towards food. You’ll also find a weakening of the tongue-thrust reflex (this prevents choking on breast milk / formula) and a propensity to swallow food better..

Begin your baby’s journey towards solid food by mixing in single grain cereals or oats with your milk / formula, which effectively weans your baby into consuming food with thicker consistency. Consuming mineral-rich cereal also replenishes iron reserves that gradually deplete from the baby’s birth. In an article by Momtastic.com, it is recommended to thicken the consistency slowly but surely, and monitor your baby’s comfort level before advancing – once the little foodie has got the hang of eating off your spoon, it is safe to introduce fruits and vegetables.

6-8 months

Moving into relatively solid foods, it is best to start with mild tasting foods such as apples, peaches, avocado, peas etc. It is best to puree these fruits and veggies using a blender or food processor to facilitate smooth consumption.

Your baby can start to enjoy the delightful flavours of bananas, pears, apples, prunes, and peaches (all mashed and pureed). You could try complementing their meal with yogurt (dairy or non-dairy) as well. As for vegetables, prepare purees of avocados, carrots, peas, and sweet potatoes, and utilize breast milk or liquid formula to dilute if needed.

8-10 months

According to BabyMed.com, this is the ideal time to progress to finger foods such as cut fruits, cereal puffs, teething crackers, and chopped soft-boiled veggies. As breast milk and formula are slowly phased out (along with pureed foods), your baby will enjoy picking up little bites and feeding itself – and yes there’s bound to be a mess, but that’s part of the fun of watching them grow!  

You can also try cottage or pasteurized cheese in tiny portions, along with eggs. Be sure to have this validated by your child’s physician, because as healthy as eggs are, they are among the most common foods associated with triggering allergic reactions in babies. Once tried and tested (remember the 3 – 5 day rule), you can go ahead with nutritious bites of scrambled or hard-boiled eggs.

Try making this Healthy Homemade Teething Biscuit recipe from SuperHealthyKids.com for the little cutie pie – they’re perfect for initial stages of teeth development (between first 6 – 10 months) and they’ll be happy to have something to munch on. Full recipe here: http://bit.ly/BIGTeethingBiscuits

10-12 months

The little one is growing up fast! By this time, your baby can try munching on combinations of foods mentioned above, and any new diet additions can be implemented albeit with all the necessary precautions. Firmer foods are best cooked and mashed to make them more chewable., eg. pumpkin or butternut squash.

Continue to keep a close eye on any allergic reactions that may manifest, particularly when feeding peanuts and shellfish (maybe avoid these all together?). Apart from that, precaution is also advised with citrus foods such as oranges, lemons, or tomatoes – they may be a tad bit tough on your baby’s digestive system, so venture forward with care and take immediate action if you suspect anything has gone awry.

We hope these little bites of information will come in handy, and we wish you all the very best on your journey as a new parent. Don’t worry too much about ‘googling’ the best ways to do this and that, a B.I.G. part of a child’s tender loving care is purely instinctual and stems from spending enough time taking care of them..

Bring your kids and toddlers along to Ben’s Independent Grocer for our Baby & Kids Fair, happening from 5th – 15th April! We’ve got child-care essentials, healthy snacks, kids’ activities, and so much more so don’t miss out on the fun. More info at our event page http://bit.ly/BIGDreamBIGLittleOnes.

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