Introducing New Foods

Introducing New Foods

Introducing New Foods

Sometimes it's fun, sometimes it's a challenge, either way we're here to support you right from the start as you provide breastmilk or formula for your baby and eventually introduce new foods. We've collected lots of info about what types of nutrients your child needs, and when, plus how to make feeding your little one easier for you both.

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Dietary
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Starting Solids

Watch to learn what developmental cues indicate your baby is ready to start solids, and get ideas for appropriate first baby foods, then take the quiz to find out if it's time for your baby to give solids a try.

How to Eat

The right time for solids

Your baby is getting stronger and gaining new skills every day. Once they're a Supported Sitter—between four and six months—your child could be ready to learn how to eat more than breastmilk or formula. Here's what you should know about introducing solids.

Is now the right time for solid foods?

 

First things first, your little one will have to be able to control their head and neck before it's safe for them to eat new foods. It's tougher than you'd think, so make sure you give your itty bitty plenty of time and patience. Your child should also be old enough to move food around in their own mouth before they can start eating.

 

When your little one was born they had natural stores of iron. As they get older those get smaller, so it's important, especially for breastfed babies, to have iron sources in their diet. Iron-fortified baby cereal is a perfect first food choice for this reason.

 

It’s no longer generally recommended to delay solid foods that might be food allergens - in fact, introducing these foods around 6 months or not too long after is now thought to help prevent food allergies.

 

Make sure you check with your pediatrician first to find out if your baby is ready to start solid foods, needs more iron in their diet, or should follow any specific instructions about food allergens.

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Introducing Milk and Juice

Does your little one have a first birthday coming up? We know how exciting it is, and one of the best parts is that there's a whole new set of foods to enjoy—but we aren't just talking about the smash cake. Once your child turns one it's okay to offer them milk and juice. Before you fill up their sippy cup, here are some important things to know.

Let’s start with milk.

 

When it comes to feeding your Toddler, fat is a good thing. Pediatricians recommend starting with whole cow’s milk, because the fat is important for babies' overall development. About two cups of milk a day gives them the calcium they need, while saving room in their little bellies for other food that provides iron and other nutrients.

 

Once it’s time to celebrate their second birthday, you can make the switch to nonfat or low-fat milk. However, some babies are at higher risk for being overweight, because of family history or other factors, so your pediatrician might recommend giving your little one low fat (2%) instead of whole milk earlier than age two.

 

 

Let’s talk juice.

 

Ah, juice—no doubt your child will love the natural sweetness, but your sweet Toddler doesn't need any extra sugar. Follow these tips to make sure you don't overdo it.

 

The real stuff is the best stuff

 

If the label says “-ade,” “drink,” “beverage” or “cocktail, it’s probably not 100% juice and might have added sweeteners or artificial flavors. Look for products or juices that are 100% juice to help your itty-bitty build healthier habits.

 

Pasteurized or non-pasteurized?

 

Some non-pasteurized juices contains bacteria that could make your little one sick. So when you’re out shopping for juice, stick to the pasteurized ones.

 

Avoid too much sipping

 

Exposing small teeth to juice for too long can cause baby bottle tooth decay. As scary as it sounds, offering juice in the right portions, containers and only when they're seated with a meal or a snack is an easy solve. Never serve juice in bottles, or allow your Toddler to carry juice with them all day, because though it might seem easier now, it won't feel that way when you're at the dentist's office.

 

What’s the right portion size?

 

You can offer children over 1 year ony up to 4 fl oz (half cup) ofj uice and 2 cups milk per day. Keeping the portions small is also a good way to make sure your Toddler is hungry for real fruit and other nutritious foods.

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When to Feed Baby Cereal

Iron-rich infant cereal can be an important source of iron to help support baby brain development. Knowing when to start feeding baby cereal is dependent on key developmental milestones. Watch to learn if your baby is ready to start cereal, and if so, how to go about it.
New baby foods

Trying new baby foods​

Your little one loves exploring everything and trying new foods is part of the fun! Babies may need to try a new food up to 10 times before they like it so don't give up. Have fun adding new foods, and keep in mind breastmilk and formula are still their main source of nutrition.​

Don’t give up on giving veggies!

 

So let's talk numbers. In one study research found that over 70% of babies, aged 6 to 10 months, accepted previously disliked vegetables when they were offered at least 8 times. Parents tend to give up earlier than that and often only offer disliked foods 3 times. When introducing new foods to your baby, continue to offer the less-liked foods, even after they have rejected them. It may take up to 10 tries, but eventually they will become familiar foods and your little one just may grow to love them.

 

 

Flavors in breastmilk

 

If your Sitter has been breastfed, he’s been learning about food variety all along. Some of the foods you eat have flavors that easily find their way into your breastmilk, exposing your baby to new tastes at a very early age. Because of this, breastfed babies tend to adapt more quickly to new foods than formula fed babies. So if you're breastfeeding, try to eat a varied diet to help your little one develop a taste for many different foods.

 

 

Be a healthy role model

 

Your baby’s taste preference, in many ways, will be a reflection of how the whole family eats. When introducing new foods to your baby, keep in mind that he’s watching your facial expressions as you take a bite and gets the idea if something is yummy or not. Making meals a positive experience is also important to developing healthy eating habits, and leaving spinach on your plate with a negative expression can send the wrong message.

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Fruit Veggie

Fruit and vegetable baby food

Once your baby has mastered single-grain infant cereals, they may be ready to add single fruit and vegetable baby foods. Pureed veggies and fruits add new flavors and textures to their world.
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Waiting on Milk

Introducing cow's milk

There's a whole new world of flavor for your little one to enjoy once they reach their first birthday. Now that your growing kiddo is eating a variety of foods, cow's milk can be part of a healthy diet. But before you make the switch from breastmilk or formula, it's important to understand the facts.

Why should you wait until at least their first birthday?

 

Your baby needs many nutrients for healthy growth and development but unfortunately cow's milk doesn't have the same amounts of nutrients that are in breastmilk or formula. It's not just iron, cow’s milk doesn’t have the balance of fats infants need, and may not contain the right types of fats—like DHA and ARA—to help support brain or eye development. It's fine to wait until even later if you are breastfeeding now—overall the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) suggests parents wait to introduce cow’s milk until after their baby’s first birthday.

 

 

So what time is the right time for cow's milk?

 

The rule of thumb is to wait until your child's first birthday. Your Toddler is ready for milk if they eat a balanced diet of grains and cereal, fruits, vegetables, dairy and protein and has not shown symptoms of being allergic to cow’s milk.

 

What types of milk do Toddler's need?

 

  • Whole milk is generally recommended because your Toddler needs the extra fat for their growing body and healthy brain development.
  • If your Toddler is overweight or has other health risks, talk to your pediatrician to see if you should switch to low-fat milk.

 

How much milk is enough?

 

Your toddler may love milk, but it’s important to limit the amount they drink to 16 fl. oz. or 2 cups per day to meet most of their daily calcium needs without making them too full to eat other healthy foods.

 

How should you introduce cow's milk?

 

You can take your time to make the change—no rush here. Gradually add milk into your child’s diet as you wean them from breastmilk or infant formula. Your pediatrician can help answer any questions, so don't hesitate to reach out if you have them.

 

 

What alternatives are there to cow's milk?

 

If you’re concerned that your Toddler’s diet isn't as well-balanced as it could be, you may decide to offer a Stage 3 toddler drink instead.



Here's what these types of toddler drinks can offer:

 

  • Calcium to support growing bones and teeth.
  • DHA and ARA, for brain and eye development.
  • Essential nutrients, such as Iron and Vitamin C.
  • Some toddler drinks have the added benefit of a probiotic. B. Lactis is a probiotic to help support digestive health.
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Foods to wait on

Foods to wait on

Every bite counts when you've got a little tummy and a lot of growing to do. That's why it's important for kids to eat more nutrient-rich foods, and less of the sweet stuff. Sugary beverages, chips or cookies could be replacing other more nutritious calories that your child needs to grow.

Make every bite count

 

We've all been there—your tot is curious about something you're eating like salty snacks, chips and soda, so you give them some. Make sure these foods are only the once-in-a-while treats they are meant to be. Your child's meals and snacks should focus on fruits, veggies, whole grains, protein and dairy as the habits they make now can stick, so it's important to create healthy ones.

 

 

Limit the juice

 

If you choose to offer juice, wait until after the first birthday and provide it in a cup, not a bottle. Limit to 4 oz a day no matter what. 100% juice can count towards one fruit serving per day, but make sure your child's other fruit servings are from whole fruits, developmentally appropriate, of course. Offer 100% juice rather than juice drinks or ades, which may contain added sweeteners.​

 

 

Skip the cow's milk until they're one year old

 

When it comes to the first year of life, The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that infants be fed breastmilk or iron-fortified baby formula to make sure they're getting the iron and nutrients they need. After your baby is one year old, you can introduce whole cow’s milk. Because little ones need the extra fat in whole milk for their growing bodies, reduced-fat and fat-free milk is not usually recommended until age 2. However in some cases, lower fat dairy may be necessary so be sure to check with your pediatrician to see what is right for your child.

 

Honey dearest, wait on that honey

 

Unfortunately, honey can contain botulinum spores and cause serious health problems. Even in small amounts, honey can be dangerous for a baby younger than 12 months, so don't give your child honey until they are older.

 

 

Tips to prevent choking

 

You might think they're ready to handle more, but do not give your baby foods that are known choking hazards until at least age 4 or older.

 

Some foods that may be choking hazards:

 

  • Raisins and whole grapes.
  • Popcorn, nuts and seeds.
  • Hot dogs, chunks of meat or poultry.
  • Spoonfuls of peanut butter.
  • Hard and raw fruits and vegetables including raw carrots and apples with skin.
  • Gum, chewy or hard candy.
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How do I know when to start baby finger foods?

Baby finger foods are a fun way to introduce new tastes and textures into your baby's diet. Watch to learn how to determine if your Crawler or Toddler is ready to start eating finger foods and get some ideas on appropriate finger foods.
Picky Eating Quiz
How much do you know about picky eating?

Picky eating is common during Toddler years and can be frustrating for parents. How should you handle picky eating? Should you just ignore it and hope your child outgrows it?

Take this quiz to see how much you know about handling some common mealtime occurrences.

Education

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