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MISSION, Kan., September 24, 2021 / PRNewswire / – (Family Characteristics) Throughout the first years of a child’s life, there are several stages in their growth, development and progression to maturity. As many parents can attest, few of these milestones are as messy, imperfect, and happy as those associated with a baby’s first tastes of new foods and flavors.

The 2020-25 Diet Guidelines for Americans recognize that 6 to 24 months is a key age group for establishing healthy eating habits with a variety of foods such as vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. Starting with solid foods, such as oatmeal or mashed vegetables and fruits, is the first step. However, starting this journey can often bring additional stress to parents as they wonder what and how fair it is to feed their child.

Get your little one on the path to a life of healthy eating habits with these tips from Dr. Whitney casares, pediatric consultant for Gerber.

Let the journey begin

Check with your pediatrician before you start to eat solid foods. Most babies are ready to eat solid foods around 6 months, but it is important not to offer solids until 4 months.

Around the middle of the first year of life, it is important for your baby to get iron from the foods he eats, especially if he is breastfeeding. Infant cereal fortified with iron can help provide this important nutrient for healthy growth and brain development.

Some signs that your baby is ready for solid foods are when he has good head control, sits up with help or support, puts things in his mouth, and seems interested in other foods. eat.

For the first few attempts at solid feeding, choose a time of day when your baby is in a good mood, wide awake, and slightly hungry. You can offer breast milk or formula before solid foods, if necessary, so that your child does not get too hungry.

Make sure your baby is seated and secured in a high chair. Use a soft, rubber-tipped spoon and begin by guiding the spoon towards your baby’s mouth with your hand and your child’s hand on the spoon.

Presentation of the first tastes

Infant purees and cereals are healthy, developmentally appropriate options for discovering solid foods and can help your baby discover a variety of flavors. Baby cereals are a good place to start for most babies because you can mix them with breast milk or formula and they are fortified with iron. This familiar taste can help your baby accept the new taste and texture of cereal.

While mashed potatoes suited to the scene can be made at home, another way to ease your transition to solids is to use an option like Gerber’s My 1st Starter Kits, which contain varieties of fruits and vegetables, which allows parents to introduce babies to high quality products, nutritious and appropriate foods.

Follow baby’s lead

Your baby’s first attempts to swallow solid foods can be difficult and will likely take practice. If the food is rejected, offer a few more spoonfuls and assess your child’s response to decide whether to continue or try again on another day.

Reactive feeding is an approach that helps your baby develop healthy eating habits. Watching your child’s reactions can help determine if he is adventurous or safe, hungry or full. All of this can help you feed your baby in the best way. Look for clues that your child wants to eat more – by smiling or reaching for a spoon – as well as clues that indicate fullness such as turning away, pushing back the spoon, leaning away from the spoon, shaking his head, or spitting it up. food .

Alternatively, baby-led weaning emphasizes exploring – tastes, textures, colors and smells – and encourages the baby to feed himself on whole pieces of food cut into strips or strips. small pieces. Spoons can also be pre-loaded for him, and this approach also promotes the development of gross and fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination, and chewing.

For more expert advice on how to introduce your baby to solids, visit Gerber.com.

Photos courtesy of Getty Images

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