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Babies and foods - Page 2

Poll Results: Do you think it's ok for babies to have anything enter their gut before 6+ months?

 
  • 2% (2)
    Nothing but breastmilk
  • 17% (12)
    Only if medication is absolutely necessary, but no foods or supplements of any sort, just breastmilk
  • 27% (19)
    Nothing but breastmilk and supplements (like oral vitamin K, probiotics, possibly tea or gripe water for colic, etc)
  • 20% (14)
    I think it's fine for babies to get small amounts through mouthing things or supplements as long as you aren't actually spoon feeding them solids
  • 8% (6)
    I think it's better if babies get SMALL tastes here and there, I'm not too worried about baby's gut
  • 15% (11)
    I think it is fine to supplement before 6 months with foods/formula/cereal
  • 2% (2)
    I think supplementing with formula is fine, but I wouldn't allow my baby to get any tastes of food before 6 months
  • 4% (3)
    Other (explain)
69 Total Votes  
post #21 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by Terrilein View Post

Well, I have this consensus paper in German. The paper is very breastfeeding friendly, mentions the WHO recommendation, and then discusses why this paper departs from the WHO rec, (European babies aren't in danger of starving) and goes on to discuss why solids should be starrted between 4-6 months. Among other reasons, it is mentioned that waiting 6 months to introduce solids does not prevent allergies. And introducing glutens early reduces the risk for certain diseases like Diabetes mellitus Type 1 and even reduces the risk of developing celiac by 50% as long as the baby is still nursing. Really wish this paper was translated into Englisch. It's a good read.


Haha that's funny, my SIL presented me with an article about this research recently (we are also in Germany), and I sort of got annoyed and snippy, because she was coming at me saying "Yeah PJ, this says breastmilk is not enough after 3 or 4 months and you should start with purees now, etc". I was annoyed because I like to believe, quite firmly, that exclusively BFing is the very best for all babies for the first six months, and sometimes beyond if the baby hesitates in starting solids right at six months. I voted for the third option, because it's what we've done. And I agree with Cecelia's Mama that you can find research to support ANY opinion these days (I mean, the CIO folks have their research too). We are also doing BLW so I didn't even want to get into it with SIL about why we're skipping purees because this research is not compatible with that. 

 

Aaaanyway, I don't think it's going to cause any major harm to give a baby under 6 months an apple to gnaw on. I didn't do it, but I try not to be too uptight about this stuff and once my hubby gave DS some bread at 5 months and he of course put it right in his mouth...and this was before we started solids and our plan is to give only very limited grains at first....but I didn't really mind because, well, ya gotta choose your battles so to speak and this just didn't strike me as such a big deal.

post #22 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by Abraisme View Post

Both of my kids started sucking on chunks of food around 5mo.  They had all the signs of eating readiness and really WANTED to eat.  Both went on to be good eaters with no issues what-so-ever.  I think that you should listen to your kids needs and if he/she seems honestly ready then it's fine imo.  I would say that 4mo is kind of on the really young side, but each kid is different with different needs.  Good luck!  Oh, and NO NO NO NO rice cereal!  ;)



First-time mom here. Why no rice cereal?

 

post #23 of 36

I can't believe your SIL tried pressuring you with this article! That's totally NOT what I got out of it. How's your German, and did you read the paper through yourself? (For the rest of you ladies interested in it) It says that ideally you should start solids between 4-6 months (definitely NOT before 4 months), and that this is a very individual thing (every baby is different), and that you should NOT stop nursing. At no point did I read anything about a mother's milk lacking anything (vitamins, minerals, etc) or not being enough. (But maybe one of the studies this paper is based on says that.) So basically you can exclusively bf until 6 months according to this article. You'd just be starting solids at the end of this optimal time window which is really no big dea. I understood this paper as basically giving everyone a green light to start solids earlier if baby is showing readiness and that waiting due to allergies is not necessary since there's no proof that this helps prevents allergies at all. But the paper does recommend those with allergy concerns to start earlier than later. Still, the paper takes the individual child's development, interest in food, and ability to eat into consideration. So starting at 4 months is definitely NOT required for every baby.

The paper specifically recommends introducing solids NOT before the 17th week (4 months), but not later than the 26th week (6 months) either. Further it specifically says that nursing exclusively for 4-6 months accommodates the developmental needs of each child and is scientifcally documented. So if your SIL still uses this paper to give you grief - which I doubt since your baby has probably already started solids in the meantime? -  tell her she needs to put her glasses on and re-read it.

Anyhow, I exclusively nursed my dd 6 months before offering solids and ended up nursing her exclusively for 10 months because she wasn't interested in solids at all. At that point we practically skipped purees and switched to table food or BLW very quickly. We also nursed for 3.5 years. So I'd be the last person on earth to claim that a mother's milk isn't enough after x months. I think that as long as everyone keeps in mind that solids are for experimenting in the first year and that milk remains the most important source of nutrion, then it's ok to start solids before the 6 months if the baby is ready. I wish I could have done BLW with this baby, but he's very happy to be getting his purees and I'm hopeful that his coordination will soon improve so that he can start feeding himself more.

And yes, you can find studies to support anything your heart desires, but this paper makes really good sense and is still very bf friendly. That's why I recommend reading it.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by P.J. View Post

Haha that's funny, my SIL presented me with an article about this research recently (we are also in Germany), and I sort of got annoyed and snippy, because she was coming at me saying "Yeah PJ, this says breastmilk is not enough after 3 or 4 months and you should start with purees now, etc". I was annoyed because I like to believe, quite firmly, that exclusively BFing is the very best for all babies for the first six months, and sometimes beyond if the baby hesitates in starting solids right at six months. I voted for the third option, because it's what we've done. And I agree with Cecelia's Mama that you can find research to support ANY opinion these days (I mean, the CIO folks have their research too). We are also doing BLW so I didn't even want to get into it with SIL about why we're skipping purees because this research is not compatible with that. 

 

Aaaanyway, I don't think it's going to cause any major harm to give a baby under 6 months an apple to gnaw on. I didn't do it, but I try not to be too uptight about this stuff and once my hubby gave DS some bread at 5 months and he of course put it right in his mouth...and this was before we started solids and our plan is to give only very limited grains at first....but I didn't really mind because, well, ya gotta choose your battles so to speak and this just didn't strike me as such a big deal.

post #24 of 36

Rice cereal is pretty void, nutritionally speaking - you often see on the box "with added vitamins" because it has almost NOTHING good in it.  It's just bulk and calories (i'm pretty sure breastmilk has more calories, per ounce, though).  A lot of folks avoid it in favour of "real food".  And by that i mean table foods, mashed or not, as you prefer.  Arguably rice cereal just gets babies used to swallowing something less runny than breastmilk, but wouldn't you rather have a bit of carrot or some sweet potato than mushed rice?

 

With DD1 i had to supplement with FF from 5months and then began on solids with spoon feeding AND rice cereal from 5.5months.  I cannot recall what her signs of readiness were - i think she didn't have any actually.  But she didn't seem to suffer.  It was a LOT of work feeding her, and i couldn't have meals "with" her because mine would get cold while i fed her, or she would cry while i ate and she waited.  It was just silly!  With DD2 of course i have both experience and have read/thought more and we are theoretically doing BLW.  BUT a) the first "food" DD2 had was given to her, at 5.25months, by a friend's toddler (it was a bit of croissant!) so that was the 6months holy EBF wrecked (not really, being dramatic! lol) and then about 10 days after that she took the toast crust from her sister's hand (it was NOT being offered!) and shoved it straight in her mouth and when it was taken back she screamed and screamed.  So from then we just offered her what we were eating.

 

She was "officially" 6 months on Saturday just, and she has already tried steak, brocolli, curry, rice, naan, chapati, red pepper, pasta with many-veg sauce, other breads and a LOT of toast (we are bread people!), egg, cheese, sushi, carrot, avocado, apple, banana, onions, a chip and those organic baby biscuits (which i bought because she's teething and loves to get something hard to chomp on, and i like to have something in my bag to offer if we're eating something unsuitable so she doesn't sit and cry through the whole meal), porridge, yogurt (greek and fruit).  She really loves tasting things so i don't mash anything, i just give her a little portion of whatever we're having.  If it's sloppy i load the spoon for her but i don't spoon it in very often, i just leave her to it.

 

I don't plan on making any effort to help her eat bigger portions, i'm just going to keep offering food and BFing her and expect she will gradually switch over to eating more.  Not worrying about it right now anyway.

post #25 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoBecGo View Post

Rice cereal is pretty void, nutritionally speaking - you often see on the box "with added vitamins" because it has almost NOTHING good in it.  It's just bulk and calories (i'm pretty sure breastmilk has more calories, per ounce, though).  A lot of folks avoid it in favour of "real food".  And by that i mean table foods, mashed or not, as you prefer.  Arguably rice cereal just gets babies used to swallowing something less runny than breastmilk, but wouldn't you rather have a bit of carrot or some sweet potato than mushed rice?


The next argument that people make is that rice cereal is good because it is iron fortified. Well, there is some evidence that the iron in fortified rice cereal is not easily absorbed by the baby's body, like iron would be in foods that are naturally iron rich. So beyond it being a bulk filler, it also may not be as good for low iron babies as the cereal companies claim.
post #26 of 36

Yep, i have also been told "you can mix things with it so the baby gets used to the new flavours" but i have heard that breastmilk takes on the flavours of what mama has been eating and anyway, i don't think onions taste like rice-cereal-with-onions-in-it, i think they taste like onions.  I do think the whole "methodology" and mindset we have in the West surrounding baby foods and feeding is due to the influence of formula and baby food companies for the last 60+ years.  The insistence that babies are fussy little things which will get ill at the drop of a hat stems back from times when babies would refuse or drink but then die of drinking formula's made of things like pea flour and potash (which the manufacturers claimed were "the exact ingredients of breastmilk").  There is this whole "mystique" and medicalisation of how it's done (like "fortified with iron") which is a symptom of that.  Really if it's so hard to feed babies and they are so delicate and fragile, how on EARTH did we survive the last 80million years?  I was once told VERY vehemently by someone that i was cruel to offer my baby curry and that it would make her very ill.  I asked "what do you think babies in India eat!?" and was met with stunned silence.  I really really think it's ok, probably ideal, to give the baby breastmilk for as long as they need it and let them eat the food they grab at from when they do so.  Unless one lives on fast food, junk food and candy that's going to be the most natural way to introduce the family's normal diet to the new family members, right?
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cecilia's Mama View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by GoBecGo View Post

Rice cereal is pretty void, nutritionally speaking - you often see on the box "with added vitamins" because it has almost NOTHING good in it.  It's just bulk and calories (i'm pretty sure breastmilk has more calories, per ounce, though).  A lot of folks avoid it in favour of "real food".  And by that i mean table foods, mashed or not, as you prefer.  Arguably rice cereal just gets babies used to swallowing something less runny than breastmilk, but wouldn't you rather have a bit of carrot or some sweet potato than mushed rice?




The next argument that people make is that rice cereal is good because it is iron fortified. Well, there is some evidence that the iron in fortified rice cereal is not easily absorbed by the baby's body, like iron would be in foods that are naturally iron rich. So beyond it being a bulk filler, it also may not be as good for low iron babies as the cereal companies claim.
post #27 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoBecGo View Post

Rice cereal is pretty void, nutritionally speaking - you often see on the box "with added vitamins" because it has almost NOTHING good in it.  It's just bulk and calories (i'm pretty sure breastmilk has more calories, per ounce, though).  A lot of folks avoid it in favour of "real food".  And by that i mean table foods, mashed or not, as you prefer.  Arguably rice cereal just gets babies used to swallowing something less runny than breastmilk, but wouldn't you rather have a bit of carrot or some sweet potato than mushed rice?

 

 Okay, so I have to agree that fortified "baby" rice cereal from a box is probably gross and void of nutrition, as you say.

 

However, we eat a lot of rice cereal around here...it's one of my favorite breakfasts.  I soak and roast brown sweet (sticky) rice, then grind it in a stone flour mill, and use it to make porridge.  It is nutty and delicious, and certainly not void of nutrition, and I definitely would not prefer carrots or yams for breakfast, although I love both.  I would not compare the rice cereal to breastmilk nutritionally, but then I wouldn't make that comparison with carrots or yams either.

 

I know some avoid grains until their babes are older, but brown rice is a delicious and nutritious food that is easy to digest.

post #28 of 36

I don't want to restate the obvious, but the thing you are making in your home (which sounds delicious) is NOT what the babyfood companies are selling.  I LOVE brown rice, and even a puffed white rice cereal can be nice for an occasional change, but the powder you get in the box from the store is just, well, not that, you know?  Have you ever seen/tried the commercial babyrice?  It's something else!  I wouldn't call your rice porridge babyrice, i would call it homemade rice porridge.  I'm not saying ALL rice is void of nutrition, just the shop-bought-babyrice one gets thrust on one with every turned page in the baby mags, pamphlets in supermarkets, ads in "weaning advice" leaflets etc.
 

If i lived closer i would be trying to buy a bag of your ground rice (the process sounds labour intensive for a lazy susan like me :))!

Quote:
Originally Posted by sunnygir1 View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by GoBecGo View Post

Rice cereal is pretty void, nutritionally speaking - you often see on the box "with added vitamins" because it has almost NOTHING good in it.  It's just bulk and calories (i'm pretty sure breastmilk has more calories, per ounce, though).  A lot of folks avoid it in favour of "real food".  And by that i mean table foods, mashed or not, as you prefer.  Arguably rice cereal just gets babies used to swallowing something less runny than breastmilk, but wouldn't you rather have a bit of carrot or some sweet potato than mushed rice?

 

 Okay, so I have to agree that fortified "baby" rice cereal from a box is probably gross and void of nutrition, as you say.

 

However, we eat a lot of rice cereal around here...it's one of my favorite breakfasts.  I soak and roast brown sweet (sticky) rice, then grind it in a stone flour mill, and use it to make porridge.  It is nutty and delicious, and certainly not void of nutrition, and I definitely would not prefer carrots or yams for breakfast, although I love both.  I would not compare the rice cereal to breastmilk nutritionally, but then I wouldn't make that comparison with carrots or yams either.

 

I know some avoid grains until their babes are older, but brown rice is a delicious and nutritious food that is easy to digest.

post #29 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by sunnygir1 View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by GoBecGo View Post

Rice cereal is pretty void, nutritionally speaking - you often see on the box "with added vitamins" because it has almost NOTHING good in it.  It's just bulk and calories (i'm pretty sure breastmilk has more calories, per ounce, though).  A lot of folks avoid it in favour of "real food".  And by that i mean table foods, mashed or not, as you prefer.  Arguably rice cereal just gets babies used to swallowing something less runny than breastmilk, but wouldn't you rather have a bit of carrot or some sweet potato than mushed rice?

 

 Okay, so I have to agree that fortified "baby" rice cereal from a box is probably gross and void of nutrition, as you say.

 

However, we eat a lot of rice cereal around here...it's one of my favorite breakfasts.  I soak and roast brown sweet (sticky) rice, then grind it in a stone flour mill, and use it to make porridge.  It is nutty and delicious, and certainly not void of nutrition, and I definitely would not prefer carrots or yams for breakfast, although I love both.  I would not compare the rice cereal to breastmilk nutritionally, but then I wouldn't make that comparison with carrots or yams either.

 

I know some avoid grains until their babes are older, but brown rice is a delicious and nutritious food that is easy to digest.



These are totally different things. Brown rice is totally different than white rice. Super Baby Food has lots of "super porridge" or whatever it is. Our kids eat and still eat variations of it for breakfast. But it always has fruit and whole milk yogurt.

post #30 of 36

To quote my sister, mother of four, "solids are great at first, so fun, but then you realize you have to feed them every day." As a result each of her kids nurses longer and longer longer until she started solids. It just wasnt worth the hassle.

post #31 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by JudiAU View Post

To quote my sister, mother of four, "solids are great at first, so fun, but then you realize you have to feed them every day." As a result each of her kids nurses longer and longer longer until she started solids. It just wasnt worth the hassle.



yeahthat.gif  I was just thinking this as I cleaned up my DD tonight... she didn't eat a speck of anything, but had a ton of fun mashing sweet potato fries all over!

post #32 of 36

Not to belabor the rice cereal conversation, but I buy organic brown rice cereal.  The only ingredient is "organic whole grain brown rice flour," and DD loves it!  I give it to her in the morning mixed with fruit (applesauce, pear puree, blueberries, anything!)  DD is almost 8 months and gobbles it up.  Don't dismiss rice cereal completely because they are not all the same.  Just like there is "white" pasta and wheat pasta and white potatoes and sweet potatoes and white bread and whole grain bread--one choice is nutrionally better than the other.

post #33 of 36
Thread Starter 

I agree that it would be more efficient to just breastfeed.  They didn't always have access to what we would consider "baby friendly foods" and it would have been a lot more work to puree foods (although I'm sure they may have fed babies pre-chewed food that was partially digested with mama's salivary enzymes).  At the same time, they also were probably pretty laid back about what baby got into and if their 3.5 month old grabbed a bone and started gnawing on it, I doubt the parents would have slapped it out of baby's hand and freaked out that they didn't get the pediatrician's green light for solids yet.  So I'm totally not interested in pureeing/mashing and spoon-feeding her, but just in the past couple days, she enjoyed grabbing a strip of lettuce and sucking on it (carefully supervised) and a piece of injera (Ethiopian flat bread made from teff... no common allergens in there).  Again, I don't think she actually injested anything, but she got some flavore and texture in her mouth.  Perhaps this introduciton will make the transition to actually eating easier later?  Not sure, but my older daughter was not interested in eating much of anything until she was well over a year as far as I remember.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by SilverFish View Post

my dd got small tastes of things before 6 months. she put everything in her mouth, so inevitably, some food items were among them. there was a clear distinction in her mind between "food" and "not-food" that occurred at about 8 months though.... before that, food was not more worthwhile to gum on than anything else. but i am still amazed at that lightbulb moment concerning food though, where we went from occasional experimentation with food to "give me a meal now how DARE you sit down to eat without offering me something ARGGHH!" having witnessed that, i would not be concerned with a baby having solids before 6 months anymore, because it's clear to me that that moment occurs at different times in each baby. what's more important is that food is offered, not forced, and that breastmilk still be the main source of nutrition.

 

my nephew, for example, was one of those babies who had that "ahah!" moment fairly early... before 6 months i'm pretty sure. but it concerned me that my sister was spoon feeding him  large amounts of cereal and purees from 4 months (i.e taking his first signs of interest to be signs that he needed a full meal) and that solids were used to replace breastmilk. recommendations for early introduction to solids might be fact-based, but i think that lots of parents, especially those having a hard time with breastfeeding (or not completely comfortable/supportive of it) can use that recommendation to shift a baby's main nutrition from breastmilk to solids.

 

my one concern with early solids is that logically, it doesn't make sense that we evolved to feed very young babies (i.e under one year) very much in the way of solids. food has been a very precious commodity for most of our existence as humans, and if you've ever seen a baby eat, you know that they are not the most efficient eaters. they would require soft, sweet, ripe foods, and those foods are not plentiful in nature. no way our ancestors were sitting around letting precious ripe fruits get smushed into the ground by an uncoordinated baby... whereas an adult female can take the more plentiful coarser foods and turn them into a concentrated, efficient energy source for a baby. today we have perfect baby foods in abundance, so it doesn't bother me when my dd drops a whole piece of banana on the ground or smushes it into her hair. but if that was the only banana we were going to see all week? heck no! i would be eating that banana myself, and giving her breastmilk instead.

post #34 of 36

I don't know about this business about babies not having had access to "baby food" or purees. I think mamas for millenia have probably been mashing up stuff for babies. I know in the Jewish Talmud (a Jewish text of law over 1500 years old) they have specific rules and laws regarding to the feeding of babies including a detailed set of laws about chewing up and spitting out meats for babies. I think the fact that the mention of chewing up food for a baby exists stands to reason that ancient people used to feed their infants food before they were totally ready to sit and chow down on their own. Many cultures eat milled grains like kamut, wheat, or rice as a daily staple of their diet so it makes sense that these grains might be first to feed baby. In Asian cultures that eat a diet primarily of rice I would guess that a mushy rice mixture would be part of a baby's first diet.

post #35 of 36
Thread Starter 

My only issue with pureed food is that it is easy to force a too-young baby into foods s/he would otherwise not be ready for.  I could easily throw lasanga in the blender, water it down, and get a 3 month old to eat it, but we could all agree that wouldn't really be good for such a young baby.  dd1 would only eat avocado when I added so much breastmilk to it, it was probably more milk than food and super thin.  Maybe that was a sign that, while she was maybe 8 months old or older, she might not have been ready for that.  If she had the coordination to self feed even mushed up food, then I would be more likely to see her as "ready"

post #36 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by SeattleRain View Post

I don't know about this business about babies not having had access to "baby food" or purees. I think mamas for millenia have probably been mashing up stuff for babies. I know in the Jewish Talmud (a Jewish text of law over 1500 years old) they have specific rules and laws regarding to the feeding of babies including a detailed set of laws about chewing up and spitting out meats for babies. I think the fact that the mention of chewing up food for a baby exists stands to reason that ancient people used to feed their infants food before they were totally ready to sit and chow down on their own. Many cultures eat milled grains like kamut, wheat, or rice as a daily staple of their diet so it makes sense that these grains might be first to feed baby. In Asian cultures that eat a diet primarily of rice I would guess that a mushy rice mixture would be part of a baby's first diet.


well, evolutionarily speaking, 1,500 years is barely a blip in human development... our biological systems were being fine tuned long before that. however, i completely agree that babies were eating some solids long before they had a full set of teeth and great hand coordination, but the point still stands that when rich, soft foods (meat, ripe fruits, etc) are fairly scarce, a baby who might be wasteful of those resources isn't going to get a huge portion of them, and until their systems are mature enough to efficiently turn coarser foods into energy, breastmilk is going to be the main source of nutrition. so no, i'm not arguing that babies never got any form of solids, i'm just saying that our evolutionary history is pretty good evidence that until recently, solids would not have been a practical way to get calories into a baby.

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