Many first-time parents are excited for each milestone their babies achieves, and introducing solid foods is a big step. First-time parents are bombarded with advice and instructions from well-intended friends and family members; however, introducing solids is difficult. Paediatricians and other health providers are the ones we should go to for advice on introducing solids to our baby. Each child is unique, and the health provider attending your child will know when you should start the process.
Knowing the newest guidelines is useful
When introducing solids, being informed is crucial, as there is plenty of old information or misinformation going around. The newest guidelines written by the American Academy of Pediatrics, the World Health Organization (WHO) and other official health organizations should be the ones we read before we start infant feeding.
Is there a particular order we should introduce foods?
Not according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. The organization mentions that parents can start introducing solids to their infant at six months old. Some of the foods are fortified cereals (oat, multi-grain cereals, barley), fruits, vegetables, proteins such as meat, cheeses, yoghurts, grans and more. The Who also recommends that mothers continue to breastfeed even after introducing solids until the child is two years old or more.
Foods made of one ingredient are recommended
To begin the process, infants should receive foods made out of one single ingredient from the mentioned list, and parents should wait at least three days before introducing a new ingredient. This way, we can observe if our child has any allergic reactions and if any, we should visit our health providers.
Make sure you know potentially allergenic foods
Many infants develop allergies to several foods, and the list provided by the American Academy of Pediatrics includes milk and dairy products, fish, eggs, nuts, shellfish, soy, sesame and more. For example, infants younger than one-year-old should not eat cow or soy milk, and parents should detect signs of allergies such as eczema, gastro-intestinal discomfort and more.