- Let your baby set the pace. Every child is different, and you’ll be able to see what works best for your little food explorer.
- Progress from single-ingredient purées to different textures and richer flavours to broaden your baby’s taste.
- Cook the same ingredients in different ways to learn what your baby’s preferences are.
- Baby see baby do, so be a good role model and let baby join in with family meals. Watching the family will pique their curiosity and interest in foods.
- Watch out for allergies. Common food allergens include: milk (and milk products); egg; peanut; tree nuts (e.g. almonds, cashews, walnuts); soy; seafood (e.g. fish, shellfish, crustaceans); wheat; sesame.
- Read up on what you should consider when it comes to baby food allergies vs intolerances.
- Variety is key. Focus on iron-rich foods and include all of the main food groups: dairy (always full-fat and pasteurized), grains and starches (rice, pasta, potatoes), protein foods (meat, fish, eggs, and legumes. Also nuts—crushed, ground, or as a smooth butter), fruit and veggies (fresh, frozen or canned, but no added sugar or salt).
- Don’t give up! You may need to offer your baby new foods and textures up to ten times before he enjoys them.
- Try to avoid salty and sugary foods, foods high in saturated fat, low-fat foods, raw fish, foods that are choking hazards - like whole nuts, grapes, and sticky foods, and honey for babies under 1 year of age.
- Remember, breast milk and/or formula are still the main source of nutrition in baby’s first year.
Health Canada, Canadian Paediatric Society, Dietitians of Canada, & Breastfeeding Committee for Canada (2014) Nutrition for healthy term infants: Recommendations from six to 24 months. Accessed September 2020.
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