Starting solid food is a huge step in your baby's life, and yours too! It can be exciting but also overwhelming at the same time. With so much information available about what to feed, how you should feed, it is understandable if you freak out a little! But don't worry, you're NOT going to mess it up and your baby is going to be just fine!
In this post, let's debunk the top 5 common misconceptions or myths on starting solids.
Myth #1: Baby food should be bland
While it is important to avoid giving sugar, salt, and anything spicy, feel free to incorporate flavours from herbs and spices, like you would when you're preparing your own meals. Introducing your baby to interesting flavours from the beginning may promote their acceptance of a variety of flavours in the future. And breastfed babies have already tasted different flavours every day depending on what their mommy eats!
Myth #2: Delay foods that could cause an allergic reaction
Generally, parents are advised to wait on highly allergic foods such as tree nuts, peanuts, shellfish, soy, and wheat. However, new studies suggest an earlier introduction to common allergens may actually prevent allergies in the future. If you are a wee bit nervous or unsure, and there's a food allergy history in your family, you can follow the traditional approach, which is to give only one food for at least 3 days before moving to a new food.
Myth #3: Start with rice cereal
Your baby has a whole life to develop a taste for white, processed carbs, thus why not start with flavourful and wholesome food? Sweet potato, banana, avocado are all great first food options. Find out baby's first food recipes here. However, if you are most comfortable starting with rice cereal, just go for it!
Myth #4: A clean plate
Growing up, we were told to always finish our food. But it's vital for your baby to listen to their body when it's telling them they are full. So when your baby turns their head, purses their lips, or shuts their mouth, that's them telling you they are full. So don't fret so much if they don't finish their food or they are going to be hungry as they are still getting most of the nutrients from breast or formula milk anyway.
Myth #5: Offer meat from the start
While you want to let your baby taste different flavours and textures early on, your baby is not ready for meat just yet. For the first few months of starting solids, plant-based foods are the best food you can feed your baby. You may start offering meats to your baby at around 8 months when your baby's digestive tract is more developed and enzymes get stronger to break down proteins and heavier foods.
Of course prior to starting solids, always consult your baby's paediatrician for the go-ahead! Check out our solid food range here.