Friday, April 20, 2012

Baby Food For Thought

Ideas about what and when to feed baby vary greatly with time and culture. My little Avi is mostly nursing, but eagerly devours hummus from my fingers. I wanted to share two somewhat conflicting ideas about feeding infants.  I found both the following article and video to have very useful ideas for feeding babies.

In "Don’t Wait too Long to Start Solids", my friend Hannah Katsman, IBCLC, interviews Shoshi Belkowitz, a speech pathologist, Lactation consultant, and specialist in feeding and swallowing issues. I read the article several months ago, but one of the main points that stuck with me was the idea that baby's need for "solid" food coincides with their ability to sit up, grab small objects, and swallow. Teeth are not really necessary for mashing most foods.  Shoshi says:

... some nutrients need to be added to the baby’s diet at around six months, when iron stores from birth are starting to be depleted. While the iron in breastmilk is well-absorbed, iron is only present in small amounts. Also, at around this age, babies’ mouths and digestive system develop the physical ability to deal with solids. There is a psychological element too—at this age babies enjoy tasting, using their mouths, and experimenting with textures. 

Baby Canter's video "How to make baby food at home" has helpful tips for making and storing pureed baby food. I think that the actual need for this style baby food is limited. However, many parents find it an easy, convenient solution. My 2.5 year old has shown a sudden interest in baby food, so maybe I will try making and storing food like this for my little ones. I bet my older kids would also like eating frozen cubes of sweet potato!

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