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When to Start Solid Foods

Your baby may be showing interest in the food that you’re eating. American Academy of Pediatrics recommends breastfeeding exclusively from new born to 6 months old, and start to be introduced foods other than milk when baby is about 6 months old. Every child is different, how do we know if my baby is ready to start solid foods?

Here’s the tips you can look for the signs that your child is developmentally ready:

  • Your baby can sit upright with little or no support.

  • Your baby can crawl with tummy off the ground

  • Your baby has good head control

  • Your baby opens his or her mouth and leans towards food that you offer

  • Your baby uses jaw to mash food

How to Introduce Solid Foods?

Let your child try one food at a time at first at least 3-5 days before offering new food. This helps to monitor if your child has any allergy reaction with that food. Starts with rice porridge, follow by fruits and vegetables and lastly, chicken, eggs, cheese and etc.

 

Other that allergy reaction to foods, other main concern to be aware of are potential choking hazards. It is important to feed your child with the right texture for his or her development. Starts with mashed, pureed and very smooth watery texture that do not require to chew. It takes time for child to adjust to new food texture, they may cough, gag and spit up.  As baby’s oral skills develop, thicker and lumpier foods can be introduced.

Prevent Choking Hazards

You can help to prevent your child from choking by having your child to:

  • Sit up while eating (No lying)

  • Sit in a high chair and safe place

  • Avoid eating in car or stroller

  • Offer food in ways that are appropriate for your child’s development

  • Cutting foods in smaller pieces or mashing foods
     

How Much and How Often to Feed?

From 6 months – 12 months old, breast milk or infant formula is still the main source of nutrients for your child. Solid foods will gradually begin to make up a bigger portion of their diet. It can be difficult to know how much to feed, baby’s belly is small and cannot hold too much food. Here’s tips to keep in mind:

 

  • Start small: Give 1 to 2. Tablespoons of food, and watch for signs that your baby is still hungry or full.

  • Balance: Gradually increase the portion and become a bigger part of baby’s diet.

  • Feeding: Offer something to eat or drink every 2 to 3 hours or 5-6 times a day. About 3 meals and 2-3 snacks every day.

Why Are Prebiotics Good for Babies and Kids?

Our guts are swarming with bacteria and the good bacteria are called probiotics which are beneficial to a child’s gut health. These good bacteria help to boost child’s immune system, protect against infections and promote healthy barrier against germs and viruses.

What makes these important for parents to know more?

Probiotics are known as the good bacteria. It is not naturally found in food but some foods are made of live culture as part of their processing. Prebiotics on the other hand are non-digestible food ingredients that are linked to the promotion of growth of good bacteria in the gut. They help to nourish good bacteria like Lactobacillus (found in yogurt) that help to populate the gut with healthy microbes, help in strengthen immune system and ease tummy troubles. Prebiotics naturally occur in certain foods like banana, onions, garlic, asparagus and whole wheat. Breast milk is found to contain both probiotics and prebiotics.

 

Added prebiotics in our Rice Porridge series help to deliver much -needed fiber. Studies show that prebiotics can be beneficial for infants by promoting growth of healthy gut bacteria for good digestive system, supporting immune system and stimulate bowel movements and softer stools.

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Why Should Parents Use Responsive Feeding With Their Babies?

Eating habits should learn since young, the habits we learn early can stay with us for a lifetime. Research shows that overweight babies grow into overweight children, who also grow into overweight adults. One of the best ways to prevent obesity is to start before they are 2 years old.

 

It is important that babies eat when they are hungry and eat only as much as they need.

Many parents feel better if their baby eat more. It is not the right way when we push baby to eat more than they need or eat when they aren’t hungry. This will lead to bad habits and higher risk of obesity in long term. Responsive feeding is learning your baby’s cue for hunger and being full, responding appropriately to those cues.

Allergens

Starting a baby's solid food journey is an exciting milestone as well as an adventure for parents.

Besides the mess or the food wars that your baby may create.

 

At the same time, it comes with a lot of concern and questions in mind about 'what can I feed my baby?' ; 'how do I know if my baby have food allergies?'

Here are tips to help identify and avoid food allergies.

  • Introduce new food to your baby gradually, one at a time. If your baby is given 2 or more new foods on the same day and develop an allergic reaction, you may not be able to identify what caused the allergic reaction.

 

  • Each time you introduce new food to your baby, wait 3-5 days before introducing new additions to the food menu. 

 

  • Ensure utensils are clean and without contamination from other foods that may cause allergies.

 

  • Read food labels carefully.

 

Top 8 Allergenic Foods

  • Cow’s milk

  • Eggs

  • Peanuts

  • Tree nuts ( such as walnuts / almonds)

  • Fish

  • Shellfish

  • Soy

  • Wheat

 Food Allergy Symptoms

  • Hives

  • Rashes

  • Face, tongue or lip swelling

  • Coughing or wheezing

  • Difficulty breathing