Unsure how to feed your infant? Check out these safe and simple tips.
When I became a new mom, the first year of my baby’s life was filled with joy and so much uncertainty. I didn’t know what to do with babies – and I knew I didn’t know.
Childbirth and breastfeeding certainly were uncharted territories – but so was everything else, including basic developmental stages, diapering, sleep patterns, teething, and introducing first foods.
For quite a while I just wished I could exclusively stick to breastfeeding because I had figured out what I was doing. At that time, it was easy and comfortable.
But my son was ready to start solid foods and I knew it. He stared longingly each forkful of food my husband and I would savor. He studied our mouths as he tried to figure out what we were doing.
Finally it was time to introduce him to foods. But what could a baby eat?
What does a baby need?
After walking past store shelves of baby food for all of my life and seeing images of the Gerber baby, I was convinced that babies eat commercially-prepared baby food. Yet intuitively, it just didn’t seem right.
I remembered baby shower games when I had to look and smell baby food jars and try to guess what was inside. That didn’t seem right.
Since a baby is a human – and since I was training my child from birth to develop into a healthy adult – why shouldn’t he know what real food was? Why did I have to serve a blob of banana baby food when I could serve an actual banana?
So I chose to not buy commercial baby food.
And that’s when I made a valuable discovery – babies don’t need special baby food in a jar. Babies need real food.
Not only is this a simple approach for parents, but it’s safe, too, because you’re able to start your children on a healthy approach to eating.
Developing a love for real food
After briefly introducing my son to infant rice cereal and oatmeal, I switched him completely to real foods. I pureed fruits and vegetables according to an age-appropriate timetable – and he loved it. That boy loved to eat. He loved to try new foods – except squash. And he slowly progressed to teensy bits of meats, dairy, and grains.
His first foods were actual vegetables, and to this day, his favorite foods are vegetables.
I believe that by introducing real foods as first foods, you can help your child develop a love for healthy, real foods.
They won’t be confused why real green beans have a texture that’s so different from goopy green beans. And they’ll develop a love for the taste of real peaches instead of some sugary peach concoction in a jar.
Need some guidance?
To help other families along the process, I’ve written about my experiences and research in the eBook First Bites. Just in case you’d like a little help figuring things out, feel free to download your own copy of the real food timetable I used.
How have you tried to safely and simply feed your infant?
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