The world of baby food can be so confusing. More times than I can count, I see parents feeding their Little’s baby food or rice cereal before they are supposed to be ingesting anything other than breast milk or formula. Why is this? Among the top answers: moms said they thought their baby was old enough to start eating solids, their baby seemed hungry a lot of the time, believed their doctor or another health care professional said their baby should start eating solids.
Giving your baby solid food too soon has been linked to a higher risk of obesity and diabetes, according to the study. Also, “starting infants on solids before 4 months can lead to allergies and eczema,” says Dr. Jennifer Shu, an Atlanta pediatrician and AAP spokeswoman. A great saying to remember is that “food before one is just for fun.” Babies do no need food for its nutritional value before the age of one years old BUT if you decide to start feeding them, you shouldn’t feed them before the age of six months! In the first six months, your baby has a tongue-thrust reflex that protects him from swallowing anything other than liquids. This is their body’s way of naturally telling you to back away from foods.
In addition to feeding babies foods to early, rice cereal is the second biggest mistake parents can make when it comes to their children’s nutrition. Rice cereal is often suggested as a ‘first food’ and is labelled as being suitable for babies from four months of age. Traditional cultures didn’t (and don’t) feed their young babies infant cereal. Among the few cultures who fed their babies a gruel of grains, their practice radically differed from what we do today. First, they only introduced the gruel after the baby was more than a year old. And second, they ensured that the gruel was mildly fermented by soaking the grains for 24 hours or more.
In order to digest grains, your body needs to make use of an enzyme called amylase. Amylase is the enzyme responsible for splitting starches. And, guess what? Babies don’t make amylase in large enough quantities to digest grains until after they are a year old at the earliest. Undigested grains wreak havoc on your baby’s intestinal lining. It can throw off the balance of bacteria in their gut and lead to lots of complications as they age including: food allergies, behavioral problems, mood issues, and more.
Each baby has different times in which they start desiring foods. Your baby’s feeding cues may include fingers and fists in the mouth, which often mean, “it’s time to eat.” I suggest letting your baby tell you when they are ready and not forcing them to eat just because. Each of my children started eating foods after six months but they each showed signs of wanting it. The fingers, grunting and trying to get to our foods and not spitting it out when I would feed them. Waiting until your baby can sit up is also another sign that they are ready for baby foods.
We start out with purées and also baby led weaning. You just hand them the food in a suitably-sized piece and if they like it they eat it and if they don’t they won’t. Purees are my favorite to have on hand for travel and time saving at meal times. Generally, I fed Scarlet Reese while I am cooking or prepping our meals and also while we are waiting on our food to come out at a restaurant. I have really high standards when it comes to using baby foods for my little ones and Amara Organics has become my go-to with Scarlet Reese. They are a company that uses the best technology to keep those nutrients and vitamins intact just like mom would at home. Amara Organics has the next best thing to homemade baby food for busy moms. Using a unique technology that allows them to lock in 95% of the original nutrients, it’s finally a pouch you can feel good about giving your child. They use a cold-pressure technique that locks in more nutrients than traditional pouches. All you have to do is mix it in liquid and it’s ready to go.
The Amara Organics brand really impressed me with their ingredients and also the fact that I can mix it with my breastmilk (or water) and feed my little. I really wish that I had known about this no additive, preservative free baby food brand with my other children. Scarlet Reese really loves eating their purees and I love the ease of them. You can check out all of their flavors over on their website. I received these products in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. Read my disclaimer page for more information.