Is feeding your baby all that you are thinking about daily? From the very first moment you know you are pregnant, your life starts taking a new meaning. Your safety highlights the first trimester and making sure that pregnancy is not ectopic, going well, and your baby’s heart is regularly beating. The second phase and after knowing the gender, you start your shopping spree. Finally, the third trimester is all about preparations: clothes, nursery, essentials, chocolate sets, hospital bag.
The moment you hold your baby in your arm, the world stops for a while, and you realize the enormous responsibility you have for keeping your baby safe and happy!
Here is what you need to think of when it comes to his nourishment.
Breastfeed exclusively for the first six months! After that period, start complimenting your breastfeeding with solids. You are still advised to keep giving your baby your milk until after 12 months of age. Beyond that, it will all depend on your and your baby’s preference.
Start introducing single grain food such as rice, wheat, corn or even oat.
Fruits and vegetables come next. Some pediatricians prefer starting with vegetables so that babies do not develop a preference for fresh fruit, but all babies are born with a choice for sweet tastes due to the milk of their mom.
- The best way is to introduce each fruit or vegetable at a time.
- Fruits such as cooked and pureed apples, pears, banana, apricots, and peaches.
- Vegetables such as well-cooked and puréed carrots, sweet potatoes, sweet peas, and squash. It is preferable to steam the vegetables so they can retain all their vitamins and minerals content. Some Vitamins are water soluble; so, when we boil the food, these vitamins will leak out into the water.
- It is highly recommended to give your baby one kind of solids at a time and repetitively for several days in a row; so, he can develop a more usual sense for the taste.
- Meats such as chicken and fish are good by the age of 6 months and red meat by nine months.
- Legumes are never before the age of 18-24 months.
Feeding your baby: Other kinds of food
Do not give your baby honey before the age of 1 year as it might be contaminated with spores of Clostridium botulism that can be offensive for your baby.
Also, avoid all exotic fruits until after the age of 12 or 18 months to prevent any possible food allergy.
Eggs are essential after the age of 9 months: 3 eggs per week are a good number!
Probiotic vs. prebiotic
Usually, the canned baby food contains several nutrients. Healthy flora is the beneficial bacteria residing in the lining of the intestines. These help to promote digestive support and prevent the growth of harmful bacteria. They also help to boost the baby’s immune system. This normal flora improves with probiotics and prebiotics.
Probiotics include the Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus. They exist in yogurts and buttermilk.
An American study explained the benefits of probiotics as:
– Reduces antibiotic-related diarrhea, – – treat infectious diarrhea,
– Relieves bloating, pain and other gastrointestinal problems
– Alleviates atopic dermatitis.
Prebiotics are food that our body does not digest. These help the normal functioning of intestinal flora. We can find prebiotics in artichoke, banana, dairy products, legumes (chickpeas, kidney beans & lentils) and whole grains (oat). Breast milk is rich in prebiotics.