The type of food our little ones eat can have a significant impact on the course of their development. The variety, timing and quality of their food intake can affect your baby’s health, learning and overall development.
There has been considerable research around the effects of chemicals, artificial food colourings, additives and excessive sugar intake on young children. We know these can trigger issues with their health and can impact on things such as behaviour and their ability to learn.
All children should start with a diet solely of breastmilk or a formula replacement milk. This will be all they consume for the first 4-6 months of life. At around the 4-6 months mark, they will begin having small amounts of water in addition to their milk and will slowly begin eating soft, easily digestible food.
For some parents, this stage can be rather stressful, however it can also be an exciting part of them growing up. Many families choose to begin their infants’ food journey by introducing one type of food at a time and every couple of days, introducing a new food when you know they can tolerate it. This often involves purees such as pear, sweet potato and apple or simple rice porridge made with baby’s milk.
There are many recipes and tools out there to help you through this stage including products such as the Babycook which allow you to prepare all of baby’s food at home from scratch but in an easy and time efficient way. This is a great way to save money, gives you choice over the quality of produce your choose for your baby and ensures you know exactly what your little one is eating. Alternatively, you can also purchase pre-made baby food at most supermarkets and shops.
Remember to have fun with your baby and enjoy meal times together as much as possible. After all, the social element of eating can play a large part in how your little one learns these early food-based behaviours and preferences. They are not little for long!
What tips do you have about introducing solid food to your little one? Let us know in the comments below!