What should you consider for feeding your baby in the first year? This is an exciting adventure for parents as it’s about nutrition, development, sharing and learning, and curiosity. Here is how to help your baby develop healthy eating habits with a good start.
Feeding your kid for the first time feels exciting if you do it right. You need to make appropriate food choices in the first year of your baby’s life. A lot of growth occurs in the first year than during any other time in the child’s life. It’s vital to feed your baby healthy foods at this time. Start good eating habits in this stage to set healthy eating patterns that will last for life.
Here’s a guide you can follow to feed your kid in the first year.
The First 6 Months
Knowing how to start feeding your kid in the first six months will help you transition your baby smoothly. Consider this feeding your baby guide for the first six months. In the first six months, babies get the nutrients they need from their mother’s milk.
- If your kid is partially or exclusively breastfed, give them a supplement of vitamin D.
- Breast milk provides the right quantity of nutrients for the baby.
- Also, breast milk contains antibodies and immune factors that can prevent illness.
If you cannot breastfeed, you can opt for feeding your baby with formula. Find store-bought iron-fortified baby formula that you can use in the first 9 to 12 months.
- Good formula should be cow milk-based
- There are homemade formulas from canned whole milk. Also, plant-based beverage alternatives are recommended.
- Note that homemade formulas could contain germs and lack essential nutrients.
- Almond, soy, rice, and other plant-based beverages are not recommended as they’re nutritionally incomplete for infants.
- Discuss with your doctor to know the correct formula for your child.
Introducing Solid Foods
While feeding your baby at four months does not require solid foods, you also need to know how to introduce food to baby. At about 6 months, the kid is usually ready for solid foods. In addition to other foods, you should continue breastfeeding. You can tell the kid is ready to take other foods if:
- They can sit without support, have control of their neck muscles, and lean forward.
- Can pick up food.
- Keep food in the mouth without pushing out with the tongue.
- When the kid shows interest in food when people are eating.
What Foods Should You Start Introducing to Your Baby?
When you consider feeding your kidin the first year, you need to know which foods you can introduce to the baby first. It’s recommended to start with foods rich in iron. The kid needs these foods for different aspects of development. Options include cooked whole egg, poultry, fish, tofu, and legumes. You should feed the baby iron-rich foods twice a day.
The best choice for your kidis the healthy foods your family is eating. There are commercial baby foods, but while buying, read the label to ensure the food does not contain added sugar or salt. The texture should be tender-cooked, pureed, minced, ground, or mashed. Soft finger foods are ideal for the baby in the first year. As your baby grows, introduce foods with more texture.
How Much Should I Feed a Baby?
When deciding the amount to feed your kid, follow their cues. Begin with a teaspoon or two. The process should be gradual as some babies require trying food many times before they accept it. If the baby is not hungry, she will turn her head or close her mouth. Try foods with different textures and tastes to help the kidlearn how to handle the different foods in her mouth.
Water and Juice
So, when can you start feeding your baby food and juice or water? If you breastfeed your baby adequately, you’ll not need to give them water. When the kid begins eating, you can introduce water occasionally.
A kid does not need juice because it can cause diarrhea and fill up their stomachs, which decreases the baby’s appetite for nutritious foods. Offer water between snacks and meals if the kid is thirsty. If you must give the baby juice, it should be 100% fruit juice with no added sugar.
It can take time to find the best feeding schedule for your kid. As long as the baby is eating a rich variety of foods, you can be assured she’s well-fed. Just ensure you supervise the baby while eating to prevent choking. Also, maintain hygiene to protect the baby against disease.
What’s your preferred feeding schedule for a baby in the first year? Leave a comment below.