Feeding Infants & New Borns
Healthy Feeding Tips for Your Baby
The old adage "Your plate, your fate" is a very true one and eating habits formed in childhood stay with us throughout our adult years unless conscious efforts are made to correct bad or unhealthy eating habits. Doesn't it make sense to get your baby off to good start from the first feeding?
The majority of new mothers will breast feed their newborns for a minimum of the first six weeks. This type of feeding requires that the mother eat nutrient-rich foods so her breast milk will be as healthy for her growing infant as possible.
For mothers cannot or choose not to breast feed their babies, there's nothing wrong with that feeding choice either; pumped breast milk or infant formula will be how your baby eats. Later on, as baby feeding switches from a diet of breast milk to fortified formulas and then simple infant cereals. Get educated as to what is in those baby formulas. The World Health Organization found that almost 90% of US baby formula had some degree of melamine contamination. Melamine is an industrial chemical that causes kidney damage and failure if ingested and was mixed with powdered milk shipments to "stretch" the milk content. In reaction to this study, the Food and Drug Administration raised the "healthy" amount of melamine that an infant could ingest. Most parents would never knowingly include an industrial chemical in any feeding, the best bet for baby's first formula is an organic mixture.
When your baby is ready to try solid food, have a camera ready for that feeding. The look on your baby's face as he tries a new taste and texture for the very first time is priceless. Good first meals for baby are rice cereal diluted with breast milk or warmed infant formula and as rice is also a genetically modified crop with some strains actually having antibiotics and insect DNA inserted into the gene sequence of the rice. Since no one knows the long term outcome of your baby ingesting genetically engineered foods, go for organic rice and grain mixtures. To avoid possible food allergies, skip feeding your baby wheat-based infant cereals until she's a bit older.
As your baby grows and her food repertoire grows along with her, introduce one new food a week. This will allow you to see if she has any allergic reaction to a new food (fussiness, rash or the more severe symptom - difficulty breathing). Even 5-years ago, there were not a lot of good choices for organic baby foods. Today it's a huge market that is continually growing so new parents have far more choices for feeding their baby than ever before.
Healthy home created meals are also a possibility. With a food processor, an ice cube tray and a free afternoon, you can create several organic meals for your baby without a lot of cost. A good example would be to peel and steam a couple of organic yams. When the yams are soft, add a tiny bit of filtered water and whirl in the food processor until it is the consistency of a pancake batter. Pour the yams into the ice cube tray and let freeze. Once frozen, you can put the "yam-cubes" into a freezer bag and then when it's time for baby to eat, simply take out a food cube and put in baby's dish to come to room temperature. You can do this with almost all veggies and you're not limited to steaming, you can do double duty and steam yams and cook green beans on the stove in water while you cut up and mash an avocado for your baby.
Feeding your baby fruits is also fun. Mashed bananas make for a great first fruit to introduce your baby too. Once again, only introduce a new fruit every few days to a week to make sure your baby has no food sensitivity to the new fruit. It's best to start with veggies and then introduce fruits as many babies have a definite sweet tooth and will shun the yams in favor or bananas if you don't start veggies first.
Don't worry if your baby appears to detest green peas, by the way she spit them back all over her high chair, the spoon and you. Some babies will shun the very foods they wind up loving when you try feeding them again. Your baby may dislike the consistency, the texture or he may simply just be having a contrary day. Try the same food again in a few weeks and often, your baby will have changed his mind and eat that food with gusto.