Feeding your baby the right food is important to ensure his healthy growth during those early months. However, as there are a lot of claims on which baby feeding practices are the ones to go for, it can often be quite confusing. Thus, in this post, we take a look at some of the most popular baby feeding myths and see the truth behind them.
“Veggies First” And Other Baby Feeding Myths
Myth No.1: Homemade Food Is Healthier Than Store-bought Ones
This is probably one of the most common myths that you have heard from relatives, especially if you come from a more rural background. “Stay away from those packed baby food. Those are just full of harmful chemicals,” is often their reasoning. In reality, however, packed or canned baby food is not bad for your baby. In fact, as these are formulated with baby nutrition in mind, they are packed with the right amount of vitamins and nutrients for healthier development. These are also often a lot safer, as they are prepared in very sterile conditions. On the other hand, the opposite myth, that packed food being healthier, is also not true. While baby food manufacturers do ensure that most of the nutrients are retained during processing, some of these would still be inevitably lost. These lost nutrients are often present in freshly prepared baby food. Thus, it would be best to go for a combination of homebrewed and pre-packed foods when making your baby’s diet.
Myth No.2: It Would Be Better To Introduce Veggies First Before Fruits
Ah, the eternal “veggies first vs. fruits first” debate. Believers of this myth insist that if you do not introduce your baby to vegetables first before they get their first taste of fruits, then they are bound to hate those veggies later on. This, of course, has become the perennial headache of parents all over the world. Baby nutrition specialists say that this isn’t true. They point out that there is no real correlation between the introduction of fruits first into your baby’s diet and any potentially acquired dislike of vegetables later on. They also say that fruits are as important as starting foods as vegetables, as they provide many of the essential nutrients that complement those provided by veggies. What the specialists say you should note of is which fruit or vegetable you should introduce as their first food outside of milk. Here, they say that it is best to offer them food that has a wide variety of flavours to better develop their sense of taste. It would also be a good idea to opt for iron-rich fruits and vegetables as these help replenish your child’s iron reserves.
Myth No.3: Don’t Introduce Eggs, Meat, Or Peanut Butter Until Your Kid Hits His First Year
The reasoning here is that these are supposed to be the foods that most commonly trigger allergic reactions. However, according to the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases, there is no evidence that links that delaying the intake of particular food would curb potential allergic reactions against them. These would still happen to your children as long as they have the predisposition for it. If you are still concerned about the allergies that your baby might develop for certain goods, the best course of action is to closely monitor your child’s reaction to those foods. Should allergic reactions develop, discontinue giving him the foods you think cause those and immediately consult with your baby’s paediatrician.
Myth No.4: Your Baby Should Follow A Pre-determined Feeding Schedule
More often than not, this is done for organizational purposes, rather than adhering to any notion of baby development patterns. And this is where it can be problematic. As it is, children develop at different rates. Some might start eating solids earlier than other. Thus, trying to get them to follow a pre-organized feeding routine is likely going to be a hit or a miss. Instead, it would be better to follow your child’s rhythm as much as possible. This will make them more receptive to feeding, as feeding times will fit into periods when they are actually hungry. Furthermore, this will help them slowly ease into a more regular eating routine. Note that these are just some of the many myths about baby feeding. As you go on with your child’s first months, you will encounter more of them. To avoid falling for these, make sure you thoroughly research them before trying them on your baby.