February 18, 2008

Baby Food : What's Best For Your Baby

by Janice Wee

As baby grows, milk alone is not enough for baby. The little one needs to be weaned on solid food. Between the ages of 4 months to 6 months, baby should start getting used to eating solid foods.

It begins with just a taste. Adventurous babies might love that tasting session, where baby gets to sample 1 teaspoon of food other than milk. Fussy babies may hate it, but with a little coaxing, they would finally taste this strange new food.

What you feed baby at this tender age makes a difference. Give baby greens at this young age so he or she would grow to love veggies?

Don't believe that? When my kids were babies, I would usually get them baby food that contains mainly broccoli as it is the healthiest. Broccoli is chock full of vitamins and minerals. Fiber too. A very healthy food for everyone, young and old.

Now, every meal must have a plate of broccoli. The kids demand that. They love broccoli and would fight over it. Seriously. I find it rather amusing since as a kid myself, I would never touch anything green. Here, we have a 6 year old and 7 year old grabbing the broccoli, eyeing what is left on the plate and once we are off guard, one of them would grab the plate of broccoli and dump everything on his plate and finish it off. Leaving not much broccoli for us grown ups.

This is the time to get baby to eat and to appreciate carrots, spinach as well as the usual meats that your family might eat. Tofu would be a great food to introduce to baby as it is soft and very healthy. As baby gets older, a healthy porridge full of veggies and proteins would be really good.
You can find all sorts of baby food in any store selling baby products. For convenience sake, I bought plenty of bottled baby food for my baby. I would use a clean spoon to take out baby's portion for 1 meal and refrigerate the rest. A microwave oven would heat up that meal nicely. Anything not consumed in 3 days would be thrown away. Anyone who complains about wastage would be welcome to eat up the leftovers.

Dry cereal baby foods are good too. Add water, mix well and the food is ready to serve.
You can also make your own baby food. For that, you need a baby food maker. That would typically be a food mill. Just boil the veggies, then use the food maker to grind or chop it into a smooth paste. These baby food kits, with the baby food recipes and handy tools for baby food making are really handy.

Another tip. For a fussy breastfed baby, you could mix a little breast milk into the baby food to give it a familiar taste so baby would take to the new food more easily. If baby prefers formula milk, then you could add a little formula milk to baby's food to soften it and give it a taste it is accustomed to.

One thing though, baby's immunity isn't as strong as ours, so you have to be very careful about hygiene when you prepare the food. I would sterilize everything I can that comes into contact with baby's food, to keep everything as sterile as possible.

Whether you get ready made baby food or make your own, this is the time to steer your baby towards healthy food. The tastes developed now can make a major difference in the future.

The writer is the webmaster of Baby Must Haves which covers what you need when you have a baby.