Mom told you to feed your baby rice first but lola says to go with potatoes. With conflicting opinions on what and how your baby’s first meal should be, feeding time becomes a challenge for any parent who’s new to the routine.
Here are some baby food myths, along with the facts that will put you at ease during mealtimes.
Myth#1: When introducing food to your baby, the order to follow is rice-fruits-vegetables-meat.
Fact: There is truth to this statement, but the reasons behind this order are based on the idea of the food pyramid. Lia Padilla-Medalla, M.D., a pediatrician and lecturer on children’s nutrition at Cardinal Santos Medical Center in San Juan, says, “The food pyramid tells you how much of a certain food group should be given. It guides you if you are giving all the food groups at the right amount.”
Rice and rice cereals are usually given first because these are easy to manipulate. You can adjust the consistency to make it either very thick or thin. So whether combined with soup or broth, rice makes for an ideal first meal. Mashed foods are next on the list, and you may start with either fruits or vegetables.
These must be almost liquid to avoid choking and to ensure easy digestion. Meats are tough to mash, which is why they are given last.
Myth #2: It’s not a good idea to give your child food with spices. Stick to bland-tasting food.
Fact: Race and culture figure greatly in a child’s ability to tolerate spice. The genetic makeup allows the taste buds to either be very sensitive or numb. “When culture comes in, there are many things we cannot avoid. Like in Korea, they never eat anything without kimchi, or in India, they never eat anything without spice,” explains Dr. Medalla.
When seasoning your child’s food, consider how much sugar or salt you will add. Excess in sugar could lead to obesity in the future.
It is also not advisable to heavily salt your baby’s food because her kidneys cannot tolerate a high amount just yet.