I started feeding my oldest son his first foods on New Years Day 2010. Like so many mamas, on the eve of 2015, I have years past on my mind. I was reluctant to move onto this stage mostly because breastfeeding on demand was convenient. I was also unsure about what information to follow.
Here are eight tips that I hope simplify the transition to feeding your baby their first foods:
1. Did you know that there are food families? Our naturopath doctor contributor, Jenny Yukht, clued me in to this tip. She suggests that if milk was introduced with no problem, other dairy will likely be fine and will not need to be monitored as closely or if tomatoes went well, bell peppers would too (same family). This way you don't need to worry about isolating each individual food.
2. Introduce foods one at a time, except when #5 applies. If there is a family history of allergies for a particular food, Dr. Jenny suggests really watching your baby when introducing that food.
3. Consider meat as a first food. Dr. Jenny is not alone with her belief that meat is a good for growing bodies and unlikely to be allergenic. Health Canada also revised their guidelines to suggest iron-rich meat as a first choice.
4. Remember, it's not a failure to buy premade baby food. For my oldest, I bought organic glass baby jars to use for busy days, grandparent babysitting or for outings. I wish FressyBessie had been available at the time. Their food is organic, locally made and produced, and supports a small business. The food can be picked up during market season around Toronto but can also be delivered. I regularly use their junior foods for my sons' lunches but would have loved to have a supply of their organic baby food on hand!
5. Choose organic fruits and vegetables if you can but do aim to avoid the dirty dozen. Children are more susceptible to chemicals since they are smaller. Wash your produce well using this simple recipe.
6. Feed your baby fresh foods that you already have in stock. Blend up or mash-up foods you're eating and start sharing foods at the family table.
7. Let your baby explore washed produce, supervised of course, prior to preparation. Talk with them about what they will be eating. I enjoyed preparing the foods in front of my babies so they could watch the process.
8. Simplify by ordering a local food box and batch cooking.
Disclosure: I am a Fressy Bessie ambassador and received compensation to write this post. I only work with companies that met my eco-friendly ethics. As always, all opinions are my own.