NC – After nursing, introducing solid foods into baby’s diet can be challenging. You can continue to breastfeed your baby until two years old or more, however most infants require more than breast milk or formula alone once they reach six months.
As an expectant mom herself, Alexis Williams, a registered dietitian and senior director of wellness at Loblaw Companies Limited, knows firsthand how tough it can be to navigate through all the information out there about baby nutrition – especially when it comes to making the transition to solid foods.
So here are a few of Alexis’ favourite tips from Health Canada to help you get started:
Let baby “tell” you when she’s ready
After six months of life, if baby is displaying the following signs, it’s time to start introducing solid foods:
- She holds her head up and can sit up in a high chair.
- She opens her mouth when food is offered and turns away when she doesn’t want food.
- She closes her lips over the spoon, keeps the food in her mouth and swallows.
There are things you can do to help baby’s transition:
- Introduce new foods one at a time when he is happy and hungry.
- Start by putting a small amount of food on baby’s lips. Put food in his mouth only if he opens it.
- If baby doesn’t like the food, try introducing it again another day.
- Introduce single foods, not mixed and wait three to five days between introducing new foods.
When introducing solid foods, it’s best to start with softer ones and work up to harder. You can determine what foods a baby is ready for based on their progress with sitting and walking, as follows:
- If your baby is sitting with assistance, he or she is ready for pureed baby foods like PC Organics Strained Baby Food.
- If baby is sitting without assistance, try mashed food without lumps.
- When baby is crawling, he or she is ready for ground or soft mashed food with tiny lumps or crunchy foods that dissolve.
- When baby is beginning to walk with assistance, try chopped or bite-sized foods.
Don’t go it alone
It’s important for new moms to remember that there’s support available to them. You can talk to your family doctor or look for classes in your community that focus on childhood nutrition that can provide you with the tools you need to make the right food decisions.