There seems to be so many rules about what you can feed your baby and it can become confusing quickly. Introducing solid foods to babies is an exciting time, because the baby can experience new tastes and flavors and begin to demonstrate food preferences. However, when the time comes to introduce your baby to solid and pureed foods, there are some tips to follow to ensure your baby is properly fed during their its year of life.
Infant feeding specialist Cynthia Epps recommends beginning feeding babies with green, yellow and orange vegetables. Introducing green and yellow vegetables early on will help the baby’s palate acclimate to new foods, flavors and textures, and will often help the baby acquire taste preferences for a wider variety of foods.
Although green, yellow and orange vegetables are recommended for babies, there is an important health risk that parents need to be aware of when serving these foods. Leafy green vegetables including spinach, kale, brussel sprouts, and broccoli have high nitrate contents, which can be poisonous to babies. Home-prepared carrots are also high in nitrate content. Commercial baby foods are diluted to avoid nitrate poisoning in infants, and when these foods are used to prepare baby foods at home, the baby food needs to be diluted with natural spring water of at least 1 to 2 tablespoons per serving. At 8 months of age, babies are generally safe from the risks of nitrate poisoning, because their have livers developed enough to handle the nitrate load in these specific foods.
Pediatrician Dr. Jay Gordon suggests exclusively breastfeeding for six months, after which fresh and organic pureed fruits and vegetables can be introduced. He recommends starting with a bland but sweeter choice, like sweet potatoes or applesauce. Dr. Gordon suggests that whole grains be introduced at 7 to 8 months, including organic oatmeal, brown rice cereal or quinoa. Other soft and mashed foods, including avocado, beans and other blended foods can be introduced at that time as well.