How to introduce variety to your Sitter
- How to tell when your Sitter is ready to try new foods.
- Breastmilk and infant formula remains his main source of nutrition.
- Tips for introducing new flavor combinations or varieties.
Introducing new flavor combinations to your Sitter’s feedings can be fun and rewarding. As he grows, and his digestive system develops, he is able to tolerate more foods. While it is very important to introduce a variety of flavors to your Sitter, remember that your baby’s main source of nutrition should be breastmilk or infant formula through the first year.
At the Sitter stage, you will notice a few physical signs:
- He can sit up on his own, and pick up and hold small objects in his hand.
- If he’s eating solid foods, he is now using his upper lip to help clear food off the spoon.
- He may be able to drink from a cup with help.
- Your baby may use his fists to rake food toward himself.
You can start to offer combination foods once he has tried and mastered single fruits and veggie baby food. Exposing him to new flavors may help him to be more accepting of new foods in the future. Establishing healthy eating habits starts early and may last a lifetime!
After your baby is at least six months of age, you can also introduce yogurt. Yogurt can provide key nutrients important for your baby’s growth and development, including calcium and protein. If you ever have questions about introducing new foods, talk to your pediatrician.
Important tips to remember when introducing new flavors:
- Introduce one new food about every three days to make sure the new food doesn’t cause intolerance or sensitivity. If you suspect a reaction, stop feeding your baby the last food you introduced and call your pediatrician.
- Don’t give up on a food after the first couple of attempts. If he spits out the food, be patient. Just wait a few days and try it again. Repeated exposures to a particular food are usually necessary. Studies show that up to 10 exposures may be necessary before a new food is accepted.
- Make meal times happy times for your baby. Sit with your baby and maintain eye contact with him when he’s in his high chair. Smile and speak in an upbeat tone using simple words and short sentences, “Here comes a bite.” Let him eat at his own pace.
- His portions should be tiny but he eats more frequently than you do because his tummy is still small.
- Babies have small stomachs, so pay close attention to his hunger and fullness cues.
Establishing healthy eating habits starts early
and may last a lifetime!
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