In this article I am going to share some tips and tricks to make and store baby food as well as share some general weaning guidelines.
when to wean
It is recommend by the World Health Organization, “…infants should be exclusively breastfed for the first six months of life to achieve optimal growth, development and health. Thereafter, to meet their evolving nutritional requirements, infants should receive nutritionally adequate and safe complementary foods while breastfeeding continues for up to two years of age or beyond.” Many women/families begin to wean at the 4-month mark. If you are contemplating weaning early, discuss all options with your pediatrician.
If you were advised or have chosen to wean early, here are some recommendations.
- Give your baby a full milk feed before every small meal to safeguard or “guarantee” he/she is receiving a sufficient measure of milk.
- Introduce food slowly. If he/she is refusing solids, don’t force it, try again later.
- All food, even fruit, should be cooked and finely pureed at this stage.
food avoidances for early weaning
- citrus, dairy, eggs, honey, nuts, fish, meat, poultry
- Insure you baby is tolerating solids by waiting 3–4 days before offering a new food.
- Document the foods and amounts your baby is eating. By journaling, you can isolate a problem early. If your baby were to have a reaction, you won’t have to “try and figure it out” or start over.
- Cook all food until your baby is about 8 months old, even fruit (except bananas and avocados). Why, it’s easier on their immature digestive tract. You may find that raw fruits are suitable for your little one, but this is a good general guideline.
general foods avoidances
You can discuss these avoidances with your pediatrician, but these foods can trigger allergies and/or may be hard on the digestive tract.
- citrus, dairy, honey, nuts
Your baby can be given finger foods as early as 6 months of age. Some options for a very young baby are dry toast or steamed, peeled and sliced soft apples or pears. By the time your baby is 7 to 9 months old, they can eat a variety of finger foods, bananas, pasta, pitted dates etc..
common baby favorites
- fruits (apples, banana, dates, peaches, pears, prunes)
- general vegetables (avocado, broccoli, peas
- root vegetables (carrots, parsnips, potatoes, yams)
Is your baby constipated? Consider some of these constipating foods.
- rice cereal
- dairy (Could come from solids, formula, or even you.)
- meat (Are you giving them too much?)
If you decide to make your own baby food, here are some tips:
cooking baby food
Don’t buy a fancy baby food steamer/blender. Use a metal steaming rack or basket and the blender or food processor you already own.
- Buy a freezer/refrigerator monitoring thermometer to insure your freezer is set below zero.
- Use Oxo Tots Baby Food Freezer Tray 2-Pack to freeze your baby’s food.
- Use frozen food within 6–12 months.
- Never refreeze food.
- Freeze food quickly, place food in the freezer open for a few hours then secure the lid.
- Defrost baby food in the refrigerator overnight.
- Use defrosted baby food within 24 hours.
“The World Health Organization’s Infant Feeding Recommendation.” WHO. World Health Organization, n.d. Web. 05 Jan. 2016. <http://www.who.int/nutrition/topics/infantfeeding_recommendation/en/>.
I am not the authority on any topic asked in this forum. For questions that may have medical implications, please consult your doctor or midwife. The purpose of this section of the site is to provide support, help, or a sounding board for individuals. Whether a person is going through struggles, would like to know they’re not alone, or find out which bottle worked best for my children, I will do my best to answer. There are going to be many ways to reply to all questions posted. I am merely providing my perspective. This forum is not meant for debate.