This article was contributed by Agatha Achindu, parent and owner of Yummy Spoonfuls.™
As parents, we experience an innate satisfaction from each and every milestone as we raise our babies. From their very first smile, to their first steps, to feeding, we proudly guide baby along. When it’s time to introduce solid foods, everyone realizes the huge milestone this represents.
The stage is set. The moment we have all been waiting for is here!
Baby is securely fastened into that brand new high chair, that we probably paid a little bit too much for. He or she is decked out in the finest dinner outfit, and freshly laundered bib with “Daddy’s Girl” or “Mommy’s Boy” emblazoned on the front. Grandpa and Grandma have their cameras ready, while Daddy cues up the video camera. Mom is ready with the spoon. Daddy roars “Rolling!” as the spoon is gently placed in front of baby. The hungry little mouth opens; mom gently places the spoon with a tiny bit of food in baby’s mouth.
Silence. As the food makes it bizarre entrance into baby’s mouth – which thus far has only dealt with warm flowing milk – there is a hopeful moment of anticipation, to see how the delicious mush will be received.
Splat! Out comes the alien stuff! Bib, outfit, high chair, hair, face, hands – and even Mom – are covered in a big mushy mess! Meanwhile, Baby is screaming and Daddy yells, “Cut!” Mom doesn’t know whether to laugh or cry.
First of all, the first food that you are piloting into your baby’s mouth – is it the best? Will this food help set up a habit of healthy eating? Is it pure, and free of anything that might have the slightest potential to harm, will it nourish your baby? Scientists officially link processed foods to autoimmune disease, yuck! read article here
The biggest challenge is making sure your baby is getting the freshest, most nourishing food possible. Fresh, nutritious food is essential for optimal developmental growth, while also instilling good eating habits from the very first spoonful.
It is universally agreed that breast milk is baby’s perfect first liquid, but is there a perfect first solid? There is really no substantial scientific evidence that point to any particular food as the best first food. Pediatricians largely recommend iron-fortified, single grain rice cereal but more and more evidence are linking processed cereals to many childhood illnesses due to it high starch content (white rice is 94 % starch and brown rice 75% starch), remember starch when digested turns into SUGAR.
Gluten free foods, such as pureed organic avocado, carrots, potatoes, squash, peas, apples, sweet potato, and papaya are all excellent first food choices that are creamy in texture and can be easily ‘milk/water’ down to your baby’s consistency.
It is advisable to introduce veggies first and occasionally add in a fruit snack to help your child have a fondness for both veggies and fruits. As parents, we have the ability at this pivotal point in our babies’ lives to instill good eating habits, and create a love of vegetables from the beginning. In this way, we can avoid having to sneak veggies into their meals when they are older – because the child’s palate has been trained to welcome the familiar taste of vegetables.
Pediatricians recommend that baby’s first foods are always single ingredient items with no added flavors, to easily identify allergic reactions. As a society, we have been conditioned to pass our eating habits to our kids. Generally, if parents don’t like vegetables, neither will their babies. And, if you’ve ever tasted most baby food, you can understand why babies might not like the taste. Fret no more if you don’t have time to make fresh food for your baby at home. Yummy Spoonfuls ™ fresh organic food was created for busy parents like you.
Given our hectic lifestyles, it is understandable that we all can’t grow our own grain, mill our own flour and churn our own butter. Yet, we have the option to buy freshly prepared foods instead of settling for mainstream, refined foods that have been robbed of their original nutrients, texture and taste. When it comes to training our little ones to have a positive attitude towards wholesome nourishing meals, it’s worth taking the time to do it right. After all… we only get one chance to get it right.
Here are some foods that you may want to avoid for the very first year, especially if your family has a history of allergies. Your baby won’t even miss these foods:
Citrus fruits and juice
Avocado puree, a baby’s perfect first food
½ avocado (peeled and deseeded)
Blend until creamy either in your blender, bowl with a fork or a potato ricer.
Mix to baby’s preferable texture and serve. This is not a freezer friendly dish, use leftover in your smoothie or sandwich.
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