Top Ten Feeding Tips for Baby’s First Year

New parents can easily be intimidated by the prospect of introducing their young children to solid food. As soon as you and your little one get used to breastfeeding, it’s time for jars of unfamiliar paste, and diapers full of gunk that is nothing like the gunk that came from a milk-only diet, and mustaches of orange and green crusting your baby’s lips and chin.

It’s okay to be intimidated. But just as all babies have to grow up, all babies have to make that transition from bottles to spoons, from breastmilk to pureed bananas.

But how can you be sure that your child’s transition to solids is a simple, gentle one?

Here are a few tips for feeding your baby during her first year.

1. Feed Baby When She’s Happy

Your baby should associate food with a calm, happy feeling. Make sure you try introducing new foods when she is cheerful and awake – after a nap is ideal!

2. Start Slow

It’s a good idea to introduce only one new food per week. Start with something relatively mild, like carrots or peas or squash.

3. Get Creative!

Once baby is used to solid food, it’s time to introduce her to the glorious variety of fruits and vegetables. Get creative with your food! Let your child try unique things like beets or turnips or dates.

4. The Spice of Life

Despite what the bland baby food brands might tell you, it is okay to introduce your baby to spices. Salt and sugar are no-nos, but basil, cilantro, cinnamon, nutmeg – all of these are perfectly safe additions to purees.

5. Mama’s Little Helper

Bring your baby into the kitchen with you when you cook. Watching the process of cooking helps her to learn about healthy eating!

6. Name That Veggie

Teach your child the name of the vegetables she’s eating. Even if she’s too young to repeat them right away, she is still learning!

7. Make Your Own Baby Food

Don’t go to the grocery store if you have simple foods like banana, avocado, or sweet potato in your pantry. It’s cheaper and healthier for you to puree your own food for your baby.

8. Go Organic

Organic foods are always best! Try as best you can to stick with organic fruits and vegetables for your baby’s first year.

9. Sit Down to Dinner

Start including your baby in mealtimes, even if she doesn’t eat solids during every meal. The routine will help her develop healthy habits later in life.

10. Eat What You Serve

Your baby’s going to notice if you’re not eating what you give her. Be brave and eat that broccoli, even though you hate it. You know your child is going to benefit from your courage.

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