Over half of new parents feel overwhelmed by the various food options we have today. There are so many conflicting sources, and it seems as though each one contradicts the other. We decided to do some research
- Safe dairy for babies under 12 months. Shopping for dairy can be confusing when your baby has stopped taking breast milk but is too young for cow’s milk. You might think it’s safer to avoid any new dairy products until they are at least 12 months. But dairy is packed with essential nutrients (such as calcium and vitamin D) for growing bodies, and it is an important part of baby’s diet. The good news is babies as young as six months can begin eating yogurt, even if they’re breastfeeding. Not only is it a healthy option for their little bodies, you’ll find that infants love yogurt! Choose a brand made with organic whole milk.
- Exposing baby to healthy foods early. Introducing baby’s first solids is a stressful time for parents and I wasn’t surprised to learn that over half of parents (53%) feel overwhelmed by the varying opinions of early childhood nutrition*. There’s a lot of information out there. To keep it simple, I have my list of trusted foundation foods that ensure your baby is receiving the proper nutrients. My foundation foods are: eggs, prunes, avocados, fish, yogurt, cheese, nut butters, chicken, beans, lentils, berries, citrus fruits, green vegetables, whole grains, and water*. Mix and match these foods as your baby becomes more and more comfortable with solids.
- Protecting baby’s gut health. Let’s talk about your baby’s tiny tummy. Did you know that gut health is the foundation for overall good health as babies grow? To help protect your baby’s gut health, you want to ensure they’re getting enough probiotics. While naturally found in breast milk, probiotics are also found in yogurt, one of my foundation foods. Stonyfield has added probiotic BB-12® to YoBaby. BB-12® has been shown to have a digestive health benefit when consumed regularly by promoting beneficial gut bacteria and regular, soft stools.
- Consider Honey as an alternative to sugar. Honey is considered safe for children over 12 months of age. This blend of sugar, trace enzymes, minerals, vitamins, and amino acids is quite unlike any other sweetener on the planet. And while honey is high in fructose, it has many health benefits when used in moderation
- Finger Food. Don’t be afraid to put down the spoon and let your little one try feeding themselves with some nutritious finger foods. My favorite way to start is with some cut up berries. The soft berries are easy for them to pick up and feel gentle against their gums. You’re helping to develop their fine motor skills and introducing a new and delicious snack.
Lastly, you want to make sure you are not giving them too much of the wrong foods. I would suggest measuring things until you are sure. There are several tools like this one: quart to tablespoon conversion tool