Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Feeding Baby - 6 months

Perhaps you've already seen my series of Baby Fact Sheets - my age-by-age collection of information I found valuable when pouring over parenting resources while preparing for my own little one.

I made printable fact-sheets by age regarding feeding my baby as well.  So for those of you who enjoyed the printable "fact" sheets, get ready for the next series - here are their contemporaries!

A good rule of thumb is to wait until baby is at least 13 pounds and has doubled her birth weight before starting solids.

When start baby on solids, there’s no one way to do it.  However, one school of thought is that it’s better to give veggies before fruits (and start with green veggies) to encourage a taste for them.  A good recommended sequence: whole grains – veggies – fruits – meats.

When start baby on cereals, start on whole grains such as brown rice, oatmeal or barley mixed with breastmilk or formula.

When start on cereal, will eat a TINY bit.  Mix with breastmilk or formula, whatever baby’s eating.  I used Fresh Baby’s food trays (like ice cube trays but BPA free) and froze up 1 ounce cubes of breastmilk.  Then, just thaw a cube (= 1 ounce), add about ½  Tbsp. of cereal, and you’re ready to start.  Once is eating cereal readily, can up the amount (2 cubes or 2 ounces breastmilk and 1 Tbsp. cereal, etc.).

Other good starter foods: cooked/strained/pureed veggies and fruit (peaches, pears, apples, banana, apricot, avocado, plums, prunes, peas, green beans, winter squash, summer squash, carrots, sweet potatoes) mixed with breastmilk

Start by offering solids once/day.  Offer bites, pausing between each, until baby is no longer interested.  Don’t coax to eat more – quit when she’s finished.

One school of thought is to offer a food then wait a few days before offering another.  A second school of thought is that by changing up foods constantly, it will increase baby’s acceptance of new foods.  In other words, don’t wait between introducing new foods, but bombard baby with variety.

A baby’s brain triples its weight during the first year, and is 60 percent fat.  Give your baby a full-fat diet, avoiding low-fat foods.  Much of the brain’s fat is DHA and EPA, and breast milk is almost half fat and can be rich in these omega-3s if mom consumes them, so take your supplement!  (I use fish-free algal DHA supplements).

The literature is conflicting regarding iron; some pediatricians recommend supplements: 11 mg/day for 6-12 month olds.  Others (mine included) do not.

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