top 10 myths about baby’s first foods | Plum Organics

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top 10 myths about baby’s first foods

top 10 myths about baby’s first foods

debunking the 'first foods fears' with simple, intuitive tips

Starting first foods? Oh the onslaught of information! Can we add another tip to the mix? It’s a good one. You don’t have to listen to everything! It turns out that there are tons of myths when it comes to feeding babies first foods—some are old wives tales, some are just out of date. As you weed through it all in search of good advice, allow us to debunk a few of the most common.

  1. Your baby has to be on a feeding schedule. Or else.

    Schedules can help parents—and especially working moms—organize how solids get introduced and when. But not everyone eats at the same time every day, and a baby is no different. From baby’s first bite until she’s actually eating three meals—or more—a day is a process. Trying to impose organization on it might work. But it might not. Follow your baby’s rhythm as much as you can. Remember that breast milk and formula should still be the base of baby’s nutrition. First foods do supplement this base, but mainly they let babies explore a wide variety of flavors, textures, colors, and smells. Eventually your baby’s schedule will emerge.
  2. There is a specific month (age) that every baby SHOULD start solids.

    Every baby’s development is different, so follow your baby’s cues and not the calendar. That being said, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends waiting to introduce solids until baby is at least four months old. If you are planning on introducing allergenic food, then Dr. Alan Greene, Plum’s pediatric advisor, recommends you wait until baby is six months. Be sure to read the next paragraph on holding off on introducing potential allergens.
  3. Hold off introducing potential allergens like peanuts and dairy until at least a year.

    Prior to 2008, the guidelines were that in allergic families, whole cow milk should be delayed until 12 months of age, eggs until two years, and nuts, peanuts, and fish until age three. The new AAP guidelines state that there is no convincing evidence that delaying these foods beyond six months prevents allergies and may actually increase the risk of allergy development. So between six and twelve months old, healthy babies may try them. We understand that this may be new information for you, so go at your own pace and follow what feels right!
  4. It’s best to wait three to five days between introducing new foods.

    You don’t have to do this anymore, either! Waiting periods can make it easier to see any allergies that may appear, but over 90% of children will not experience an allergy in the first three years of life. Rapid-fire food introductions promote adventurous eating. Should an allergy appear, you’ll still be able to ferret out its source, but it just may take a bit longer.
  5. The best first food is white rice cereal.

    Just say no. Processed unfortified cereals made from white rice convert quickly to sugar (glucose) and higher amounts of glucose can raise insulin levels. Want better first food options? Here are some of our favorites.
  6. Introduce new foods one at a time.

    Not so! In fact, feeding your infant mixtures of new foods is one way to help foster a sophisticated palate and to develop her Nutritional Intelligence. Though recent baby feeding trends have focused on single ingredient introduction, we hereby release you from those chains. You’re welcome.
  7. Starting fruits before vegetables will breed a sweet tooth.

    There’s no evidence that the order in which foods are introduced influences ultimate preferences. Also? Breast milk is pretty sweet stuff.
  8. Herbs and spices are too strongly flavored for babies.

    Sorry, but no way. Think of all of the babies all around the world who eat herbs and spices from their very first bites. The more flavorful the food, the more likely it will help your little one to develop Nutritional Intelligence!  Also, baby has already been exposed to herbs and spices while in utero and through breast milk. So why stop now?
  9. All foods should be pureed until molars come in.

    Don’t wait that long. Infants who don’t get lumpy solids until 9 months or later are more likely to have feeding problems as older children because they haven’t been exposed to textures. You know your kid best, so just watch for gagging and scale back on the lumpiness if needed.
  10. If my baby refuses a certain food repeatedly, I should just move on to something else.

    It can be hard to offer something baby consistently refuses, but keep on offering it, please. Research shows that babies often won’t accept a new food until they’ve eaten it six to ten times. Bitter and sour are two typical offenders. While this can be a little frustrating, try and take the long view on it. The longer you wait to introduce new flavors, the harder it will become. Start early and repeat often!