When you have a new baby you are bombarded with so much information (and so much of it is conflicting) that it’s hard to know where to start and what the right thing is. We question our instincts a lot of the time and we rely on advice from mothers at the park, our mothers’ groups, our own mothers, and friends. One of the big topics with a young baby is when to start solids and what to feed them. Everyone has a different opinion of when you should start solids with babies and what you should introduce first.
When I had my first two babies it was firmly set at 4 months. You started them on rice cereal with milk and moved to adding pureed apple or pear and went from there. The third time around (and what the NHMRC Infant Feeding Guidelines recommends) is around 6 months, depending on your baby.
Here’s a great infographic to help you from Heinz.
Heinz is trusted by mums to create nutritious, high-quality baby food from nutritious ingredients. They have been making quality baby food for 60 years and they source their ingredients from Australia where possible... Their infant food is steam cooked to ensure great flavour and has no preservatives.
Heinz’ team includes nutritionists who are also mums who approve the recipes.
How can I tell when to start solids?
Mostly you are starting baby on solids around 6 months, but not before 4 months. It’s recommended that your baby can sit on their own with support before you introduce solids. You’ll be able to tell when your baby becomes interested in food because they will start watching you eat. They will become very curious about food and they will reach for your food.
What should I feed them?
It is recommended that baby’s first foods include iron-rich foods such as iron fortified infant cereal, cooked pureed meat, chicken, fish and legumes. Iron fortified rice cereal can be mixed with breast milk or formula (not regular cow’s milk). Once they have taken to that you can move on to pureed fruit and veggies. Make sure you introduce vegetables like pumpkin and carrot early on so they learn to take to savoury food. With both milk and fruit being sweet, babies have a natural sweet tooth, and you don’t want to have a baby who won’t eat anything savoury! It’s also important never to use sugar or salt in your baby’s food.
Foods can be introduced at a rate that suits baby. You may choose to take a few days in between introducing new foods to give you time to watch out for any symptoms of food intolerances.
What about allergies?
While health professionals (and your mother and mother-in-law!) used to recommend delaying the introduction of potentially allergic foods such as cooked eggs and peanut butter, the Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy now recommends introducing these foods within the first year.
Hopefully we’ve given you the confidence to enjoy taking the next step with your baby. For more information on starting solids, recipes, and nutrition guides visit www.heinzforbaby.com.au