Babies and Foods

By Denise Albert

What's the most popular birthday month? Hint, it's coming up this summer? If you're an August baby, you're in good company according to research reported on by the ABC News Internet Ventures site Five Thirty Eight. Recently I was asked about getting babies started off with a healthy diet and since there may be a new crop of kiddos headed our way this summer I thought I would blog a few tips.

First of all, savory foods should always be tried first because, like most adults, if babies get a taste of the sweet stuff it's hard to get them to go for anything else. Look, just get ready for it, they're going to make "that face" at least once or twice during experimenting. More often than not, that squinty face is just a reaction to introducing new foods. It doesn't mean the baby doesn't like the food just that the baby is getting used to putting foods in his/her mouth and the weird sensation may make it hard for the little one to not have a bit of a reaction. My best advice to new parents-- keep introducing new foods. Even if its not your favorite it doesn't mean your child won't like it.  

It's important to start with mushy solids that have heme iron and healthy fats that are highly bioavailable and good for brain and spinal cord development. If you aren't familiar with the term heme iron it means an iron that is mainly found in meat, poultry, and fish, which is well absorbed. Non-heme iron accounts for the majority of the iron in plants and is not as absorbed as well.

Here are some things to try:

Mashed Avocado- it's tasty but not sweet, full of healthy brain developing fats. The folks at the Picky Eater agree and share their recipe and storage tips on their site.

Simple scramble egg-  no milk. Just egg. Whisk in a bowl and hard scrambled, when it has cooled baby can pick up with pincer fingers.  

As they are ready to move from really mushy to less mush, try steamed sweet potato cubed and roasted with olive oil.  No salt or pepper! Again, baby can pick up with pincer fingers.  

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