Babies and foods - Page 2 - Mothering Forums

View Poll Results: Do you think it's ok for babies to have anything enter their gut before 6+ months?
Nothing but breastmilk 2 2.90%
Only if medication is absolutely necessary, but no foods or supplements of any sort, just breastmilk 12 17.39%
Nothing but breastmilk and supplements (like oral vitamin K, probiotics, possibly tea or gripe water for colic, etc) 19 27.54%
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 14 20.29%
I think it's better if babies get SMALL tastes here and there, I'm not too worried about baby's gut 6 8.70%
I think it is fine to supplement before 6 months with foods/formula/cereal 11 15.94%
I think supplementing with formula is fine, but I wouldn't allow my baby to get any tastes of food before 6 months 2 2.90%
Other (explain) 3 4.35%
Voters: 69. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 12-09-2010, 05:40 PM
 
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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!

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Old 12-09-2010, 07:34 PM
 
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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.

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Old 12-09-2010, 09:44 PM - Thread Starter
 
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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.
 

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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.



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Old 12-09-2010, 10:31 PM
 
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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.


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Old 12-10-2010, 11:59 AM - Thread Starter
 
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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"

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Old 12-11-2010, 05:58 AM
 
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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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