Having started three babies on solids in the last 5 years, I read these new Baby Food Guidelines recommendations and leaped for joy for all you new mamas out there. Food introduction seemed like a very terrifying science that I could easily screw up and saddle my child with a hatred of squash, or worse, a life long allergy. Thankfully, a lot of the old, rigid rules are being thrown out the window and have been replaced with a way more laid back attitude that mostly consists of: feed your baby FOOD. Like, real food.
New Baby Food Guidelines
Get iron from food
So for starters, Health Canada used to say start with iron-fortified baby cereal (rice, oat, whatever) and then move on to fruits and veggies. The new recommendation is that iron is still super important but baby’s first food can instead be an iron-rich food, like meat, beans, lentil, eggs, etc.
Skip purees if you want
Another new recommendation is to NOT puree those fruits and vegetables, the idea being that you’ll get less resistance from your babe later if he starts out knowing that food is, well, lumpy. Get on board, kid!
Use a regular cup
They also recommend ditching the sippy cup and letting your baby drink a small amount of water from a regular cup. This will take an amazing amount of patience on your part and probably about 80 rolls of paper towels, but again, you’ll get no resistance later when it’s time to give up sippys.
Introduce major allergens early
Another big change has to do with the order in which parents introduce foods, especially allergens. The old recommendation was to carefully introduce new foods one at a time to watch for potential reactions and to delay the major allergens (peanuts, soy, egg) until the second or third year of life. Well, now strike that, reverse it! Health Canada wants you to give your baby any and all foods in any combination as you see fit. Also, they say to introduce those major allergens early and often because it seems to reduce the likelihood that your baby will develop a food allergy, even if there is a family history of allergies. (For the major allergens you should still introduce one at a time and spaced out every few days so if there is a reaction, you know which food caused it.)
What do you think?
Personally, I think a more relaxed approach to eating is a welcome change. It’s easy to make one mean and I don’t have to fiddle with purees. I suppose it does add to my choking worries but I think I can manage that with small pieces of food. Do you think these changes are good or do you think the older system was where it was at?
Also check out: Food Allergies and the Importance of Early Introduction