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Thread: Starting Solids: Series from Breastfeeding Today

  1. #1

    Default Starting Solids: Series from Breastfeeding Today

    La Leche League believes that

    Good nutrition means eating a well-balanced and varied diet of foods in as close to their natural state as possible.
    This series of articles from Breastfeeding Today explores the many aspects of feeding your baby, from first tastes through the first year.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Starting Solids: Series of articles from Breastfeeding T

    Starting Solids: When?

    by Katja Leccisi, MS, RDN
    , Breastfeeding Today, August 2016

    Ask most moms, and they will be able to tell you when their babies started eating foods. Well, perhaps not all of their babies if they have many, but their first ones for sure! I have asked grandmothers, and they still remember when they started feeding their little ones “pablum.” I can remember when food first crossed the lips of my now 22-year-old daughter at six months of age. Can you guess what is was? Ice cream! Not typical, especially not for a family of nutrition professionals, but her dad gave her a spoonful … that first taste was just for fun.

    Starting solid foods is a big step, the first in the weaning process. Recommendations have changed over the years, and I find that sometimes moms are not sure what the latest news is. In this first part of the Starting Solids series, I will give you the most up-to-date information to the questions that I am most often asked.

    Q: When should I start introducing foods to my baby?

    A: Around the middle of the first year.

    Although there was a period of debate as to whether complementary feeding should start at four or six months old, it’s now agreed that for most babies, complementary foods be introduced at around six months of age. Some babies will show signs of readiness a little before and some after six months.

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  3. #3

    Default Re: Starting Solids: Series from Breastfeeding Today

    First Foods: how to start offering solids

    by Katja Leccisi, MS, RDN
    , Breastfeeding Today, October 2016

    Part two: How to offer first foods to your baby

    In part one we discussed how to know when your baby is ready to start solid foods. So now you are ready with a high chair and cute little baby dishes at the ready. The advice is flying in from all camps: “Let him feed himself” or “Start with puréed foods” are just two of the potentially conflicting pieces of advice you may hear.

    Starting foods is a big step, the first in the weaning process. Recommendations have changed over the years, and I find that sometimes parents are not sure what the latest news is. In this second part of the Starting Solids series, I will give you the most up-to-date information to the questions parents most often ask me about how to start feeding their baby.


    Q: What is the best way to introduce foods to my baby?

    A: There is no single correct way.


    The form of the first foods you offer to your baby—purées or pieces—will depend very much on his stage of development and your personal preferences. Some parents like to begin by offering their baby purées first (before progressing to textured foods and pieces): a necessary approach if your baby is younger than six months old and is not yet showing all the signs of readiness to eat. For babies who are ready to eat solids, you can offer more textured foods and larger pieces of foods right away so that your baby can feed himself.


    Q: What does it mean to be a responsive feeder?

    A: Listening and responding to your baby’s cues.


    Responsive feeding means listening to the early cues your baby gives you to communicate that he’s hungry or has had enough to eat. As a breastfeeding mother, you’ve probably been doing this since birth. You simply want to continue being attentive as your baby starts to eat complementary foods. Responsive feeding means that you are present with your baby when you offer food, in a safe and comfortable environment, making eye contact and giving positive verbal encouragement, but not pressuring him to eat. Being a responsive feeder allows your baby to exercise his innate ability to self-regulate the amount he eats, that is, to eat as much as his body needs to grow and thrive.

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  4. #4

    Default Re: Starting Solids: Series of articles from Breastfeeding T

    Allergies and Safety Concerns when Starting Solids

    by Katja Leccisi, MS, RDN
    , Breastfeeding Today, December 2016

    Allergies and babies' safety when starting solids are amongst parents' most common concerns. Katja answers your commonly asked questions in the third part in our Starting Solids series. This series explored the many aspects of feeding your baby, from tasting first foods through the first year.

    In part one, I discussed how to know when your baby is ready to start solid foods, and in part two examined how to start offering solids to your baby.

    Part three: allergies and safety concerns

    Answers to your questions about food allergies and food safety.

    Starting to feed your baby foods can be exciting and fun, but there may also be some insecurities that come into play. Almost all the parents I see are at least a little worried about the safety aspect of feeding their baby, whether it has to do with hygiene, choking, or food allergies.

    The following questions are those that I hear the most often, related to these topics. I hope that my answers will reassure you, and let you focus on the pleasure of watching your baby explore new foods.


    Q: How will I know if my baby is gagging or if she’s choking?

    A: Gagging is a reflex that pushes food away and out of the mouth. Choking happens when the airway is blocked and the baby can’t breathe.


    When a baby gags, her reflex will kick in quickly to make her retch, which will force the food to the front of her mouth.

    If your baby starts choking, coughing often resolves it. But if your baby’s airway is blocked, she may stop making sounds and turn bluish. Intervention must be immediate.


    Q: I’m interested in baby led weaning, but I’m worried about my baby choking. Is it safe?

    A: Yes, if you follow commonsense guidelines.


    Babies who are offered foods using the baby led weaning method don’t choke any more than others, and as they grow older, may even choke less. If your baby gets too eager about feeding herself, don’t be surprised if she gags and spits it all out. This is her natural protective reflex. Many parents are nervous about their baby choking before they start offering foods that have not been puréed. Be alert to the types and form of foods you offer to your baby and be heedful of choking hazards. The natural gagging reflex kicks in to prevent swallowing and choking if they put too much food into their mouth at once. Never leave a baby alone to eat unsupervised.

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