LITTLE FOODIE CLUB TOP 5:MYTHS ABOUT BABY’S READINESS TO START SOLID FOODS DEBUNKED
Starting solids is a fun and important time for both babies and parents. Watching your little ones’ faces as they discover new tastes is priceless!
The way you transition your baby to solid foods can lay the basis for an adventurous little foodie or a perpetually fussy eater down the line so there are a few things all moms and dads should be aware of before embarking on the adventure of introducing their babies to solid foods.
We’re debunking some common misconceptions so you can begin your baby’s food journey with confidence.
MYTH #1: NO SOLID FOODS BEFORE SIX MONTHS
While the general rule is that babies should transition to solids around 6 months of age, this doesn’t apply to every baby. In fact, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends starting anywhere between 4 to 6 months. There are key signs that indicate readiness, including your baby’s ability to sit and hold their head up unassisted and the loss of the tongue thrust reflex, meaning they’re able to swallow food rather than push it out with their tongue.
MYTH #2: REACHING FOR FOOD MEANS READINESS FOR FOOD
If your baby is showing an interest in what you’re eating or even reaching for the food on your plate, you might think that this is their way of indicating they’re ready to start eating solids themselves. But, this isn’t so. Babies are naturally inquisitive beings and it is completely normal for them to be interested in new things, especially things their parents are doing. Showing an interest in food on its own does not tell you that your baby is ready to eat what you are eating.
MYTH #3: WAIT THREE DAYS BEFORE INTRODUCING A NEW INGREDIENT
While it’s vital to watch your little one’s reactions to new foods, the chances of babies having an allergic reaction to fruits or vegetables are very low. Allergies are mostly to protein-containing foods like dairy, soy, wheat, shellfish and nuts and there is plenty of scientific evidence that suggests offering different vegetables each day is more successful in increasing acceptance of novel foods than giving the same vegetable for multiple consecutive days.
MYTH #4: START WITH RICE CEREAL
Many new parents choose to use baby rice cereal or teething rusks to introduce their baby to solids as this is was has been promoted as the ideal first food for years. However, experts today strongly advise against this. Baby rice and rusks are incredibly bland in flavor. Transitioning to solids is about developing your baby’s palate and willingness to try new tastes, not only about calories and nutrition. And bland as a piece of cardboard, rice cereal will not achieve this.
MYTH #5: WAKING IN THE NIGHT MEANS BABY NEEDS FOOD
Some parents will offer solid foods before their baby is ready because they believe it will help their baby to sleep longer. But there is no scientific evidence that babies who transition to solids at a younger age sleep any better than babies given solid foods later and in fact there are health risks in starting solids too early. There can be lots of reasons why your baby is waking in the night; it does not necessarily mean that they need additional food.