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.)