While I was perusing Pinterest for palette crafts and coconut oil uses, I came across this fantastic graphic so I instantly pinned it. Then someone quickly pointed out that “food rules” have changed (well, in Canada anyway.)
So I asked Claire to look into it and, sure enough, food introduction guidelines have changed yet again.
I did an updated graphic below to give you the skinny, but still check out the original post from Along Abbey Road because she has some great ideas on what to feed a baby so it’s not the same old same old.
Personally I think it comes down to what works best for your family so don’t sweat it too much. It’s just nice to know what the party line is right now so you’re on the ball at dinner parties, plus, I tend to embrace anything that has that old-man “Ah fuck it, just feed ’em what you’re eating” kind of feel.
(And please pass along any helpful resources so I can add it to the post. Lord knows this is confusing enough so it would be nice to have it in one spot. Thanks!)
Having started three babies on solids in the last 5 years, I read these new recommendations and leaped for joy for all you new mamas out there. 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.
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. 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! 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!
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.)
Claire Goss is a stay-at-home mother of three (ages 6, 4, and 1) who lives in suburban Boston. She has MA degree in child development, which doesn’t come in handy at all when your child has just ripped open 10 packets of infant oatmeal and dumped them on the floor. She is also known as Guru Louise at Rants from Mommyland and was also a regular contributor at Babble.com. She has been reading Pregnant Chicken for years and loves writing for the Burd because she gets to use all those curse words she is forced to edit out of daily preschool vocabulary.