Introducing your baby to solid foods

Tips on introducing solids to your baby
From Jen Frink at The Tulip Grove

When to Start

  • The best time to introduce solids is between 4 to 6 months. Up until then breast milk and formula meets all of baby's nutritional needs.

  • He should be able to sit up with support and move his head.

    Types of Food
    In general, you should introduce only one new food at a time and no more than 3 new foods per week.

    1. Cereal:

      >> Cereals are usually the first solid food to be added to your baby's diet.

      >> Feed baby with a small spoon and not a bottle. The baby should be taught the difference between what he eats and what he drinks.

      >> Start with rice cereal. Rice cereal is less likely to cause allergies than other types of cereal.

      >> Barley and oatmeal may be tried 2 to 3 weeks later. A mixed cereal should be added to diet only after each individual component has been tried separately.

    2. Vegetables/Fruit

      >> Start with vegetables-pureed carrots, peas, sweet potatoes

      >> Carrots need to be boiled, mashed, and eaten right away because if they're frozen they can release nitrates into the carrots.

      >> Then move on the fruits. They are sweet so baby will like them. (Examples: pureed apple sauce, pears, peaches, apricots, then try bananas -- they can be constipating)

    3. Proteins

      >> Beans, lentils

      >> Meats-start with chicken and turkey stage 2 and 3 food after 9 months
    Homemade Foods

    >> Mash table food add enough water to make a consistent that baby can easily swallow.

    >> Pour homemade food into ice cube trays. Freeze then remove them and store in plastic freezer bags. Defrost individual portions

    >> 3 meals a day
    >> 2 snacks

    How Much?
    >> Start with a few small spoonfuls, do not force feed

    Foods to avoid until 1 year
    >> About 5% of children have true allergic reactions to food

    >> Avoid egg whites, peanut butter, fish, shellfish to due allergen exposure. We do not want children to produce antibodies to these foods. When antibodies come in contact with the food, allergic reaction occurs.

    >> Allergies tend to be inherited. If one parent has allergies, then child has a 40% chance of developing allergies. If both parents have allergies then the chance of food allergies in the child is about 75%.

    >> Avoid honey due to botulism risks

    Choking Foods
    >> Raw carrots
    >> Candy
    >> Peanuts
    >> Popcorn

    >> All infants need vitamin D, particularly exclusively breastfeed infants.

    About Jen Frick:
    Jen Frick brings 10 years of experience in healthcare specializing in infants, children and pre and postnatal education. Prior to founding The Tulip Grove, Jen worked in management and lead positions at Alta Bates Hospital and Children's Hospital Oakland. A Registered Respiratory Therapist, Jen has helped hundreds of children at critical moments in the Neonatal and Pediatric Intensive Care Unit. She has also lead educational conferences and presentations for other healthcare providers.

    As a pre and postnatal fitness instructor, a support group leader, lactation counselor and Stroller Strides franchise owner, she has helped expectant and new moms navigate the changes and experiences woman encounter through pregnancy, childbirth and life with a newborn.

    Originally from Indiana, Jen lives in the Montclair area and is a mother of two (Penny, 4 and Elliot, 1). Jen received her B.S. in Exercise Physiology from Indiana University and an A.S. in Respiratory Therapy, specializing in neonatal and pediatrics. She also completed the Lactation Counselor program through University California in San Diego. She serves as an adjunct professor at Napa Valley College and has presented at national healthcare and fitness conferences. She has also published articles in e-pregnancy magazine and the Journal of Respiratory Care.

    About Dr. Dayna Long, Pediatrician, Children's Hospital Oakland:
    Dr. Dayna Long graduated with a BS and BA from Stanford University. She attended medical school and public health school at George Washington University in Washington, D.C. . After completing residency at Children's Hospital and Research Center at Oakland, she did a clinical infectious disease fellowship. For the last five years, she has been working in the Children's Hospital Oakland emergency department and more recently, in the primary care department. As the medical director of the ATTACK Asthma program, she provides families with the self management tools and training necessary to control asthma flares at home. Dr. Long is committed helping inner city populations achieve improved states of wellness.

    About The Tulip Grove:
    The Tulip Grove, founded in 2008, is the East Bay's premier resource for new and expectant parents. With more than 25 combined years of experience in education, fitness & nutrition, and business management, Jen Frick and Victoria Maitland offer professionally-led classes, workshops and peer support groups along with all of the baby products parents need to take the anxiety out of pregnancy, childbirth and parenting.

    The Tulip Grove
    2078 Antioch Court
    Montclair Village
    Oakland, CA 94611

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