Ask the Pediatrician: Is it OK to make child food in your home?

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by Dr. Jaclyn Lewis Albin, The American Academy Of Pediatrics

baby Credit: CC0 Public Domain Q: Is it OKAY if I make food for my child at home?

A: Yes. You might discover a number of benefits to feeding your baby homemade foods.

It can be cheaper than the baby food found in supermarket, for instance. It can let your child delight in baby-friendly versions of foods she or he sees the remainder of the household eating, and it may be much easier than you think. All you need is a blender, food processor or even an excellent hand-held mixer.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends unique breastfeeding for about the very first 6 months. Prior to your child starts strong foods, make certain he or she is developmentally all set. Your child must have the ability to being in a highchair or feeding seat with great head control and need to reveal interest in food, opening her mouth on her own. Your pediatrician can help guide you.

When making food, first think about what’s already on your menu. There’s probably no need to make an unique item. After introducing private foods, you may wish to attempt mixes. Don’t stress excessive about ratios– there is no magic formula. And attempt not to overthink which solids and just how much of each to give your baby. (Keep in mind that breast milk or baby formula still provides the large bulk of calories and nutrients in the very first year.)

Instead, consider stabilizing several kinds of foods to provide different nutrients. You might discover that your infant just eats a few bites of something brand-new, so plan to keep leftovers for later.

The most recent USDA Dietary Guidelines for Americans encourage moms and dads to “make every bite count” by having every food in an infant’s diet plan support nutrition and growth requirements. Consider each bite as a possibility for your child to check out the color, taste and texture of a nutritious food.

When using your infant new foods, attempt to include vegetables and fruits in all the colors of the rainbow. Also provide good sources of protein (such as beans, chicken, fish, and yogurt), fat and iron (for example, iron-fortified oat cereal or meats). Serving a variety of foods also is key to assisting lower the risk of harmful component exposure, including cadmium, mercury, lead and arsenic.

Early direct exposure to common food allergic reaction culprits, such as eggs, soy, gluten, dairy, nuts and fish, can lower the threat of children developing allergic reactions to them. Try mixing a small amount of peanut butter with oatmeal cereal, for instance, or offer bites of scrambled eggs. You can likewise present yogurt or shredded cheese when your baby is consuming solids, in addition to small bites of a well-cooked white fish like tilapia or cod. If your child has severe eczema or an egg allergy, make certain to discuss introduction of these foods with your pediatrician.

Do not feed honey to infants under age 1, since it can contain bacteria that might make them sick. Likewise beware of foods that might be a choking risk, such as nuts or raw carrots. You can use your baby water with meals, but it is best to avoid all other drinks except breast milk or formula.

You can prep ahead of time by cooking in batches and keeping the pre-made infant food. This can make life much easier throughout busy days. Think about freezing the leftovers. An ice tray is a handy method to freeze remaining food. Each cube is about one ounce of food. You can transfer to a plastic food container or bag and label it. Plan to eat frozen baby food within three months by reheating on the range or in the microwave.

Some families pick to skip pureed foods and use children little bites of routine table foods, normally without utensils. This enables infants who reject purees or choose texture to feed themselves, even selecting what and how much they consume.

It’s an excellent idea to talk with your pediatrician prior to beginning. Your child should reveal signs of general developmental readiness for solids, plus the ability to bring her hands to her mouth.

Surprise! Child food pouches are extra-sweet and low in iron

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