Preview the new Recipes for Growing Me ~9 months edition!
January 25, 2021
Many parents wonder whether they should start complementary foods with spoon-feeding or baby-led weaning. A combined approach is beneficial for your baby for a couple of reasons. When complementary feeding begins, usually around 6-months-old, there is a risk of iron deficiency and choking from chunkier foods. Most parents start with iron-fortified baby cereal or pureed meats since the oral cavity is not ready to manipulate a chunky texture at this age. Initially, spoon-feeding makes sense because it ensures your little one is getting enough daily iron.[i] [ii] But as your infant gets older and the oral cavity develops, they will soon be ready to try different textures. Baby-led weaning is optimal when they are developmentally ready (usually around 8-9 months old). Read our previous blog on Texture in Your Baby’s Diet to learn more about changes in the oral cavity and the importance of texture, for fine motor and oral development.
Benefits of Self-FeedingOnce you determine your infant is ready to accept changes in texture, supporting them with self-feeding is beneficial for several reasons:
Caption: A mother mimics drinking from an open cup for her infant son learning to self-feed
How to Know When Your Baby is Ready for Self-FeedingSome of the signs to look for if your infant is ready to start self-feeding include: opening their mouth to signal readiness for food, bringing the hand to mouth, reaching for foods, reaching out for a spoon, or taking food from your plate. [vii][viii] Close supervision during feeding is required and your responsibility will be to offer a variety of nutritious foods cut into bite sizes with an appropriate texture (ie. nothing too hard or sticky that could potentially become a choking hazard).
Here are six self-feeding recommendations to start:
Caption: A young girl with yogurt on her face learning to eat with a spoon
Tidbit for Your Tiny OneResearchers who looked at the correlation of motor skills in infancy and later cognitive achievement, noted that enhanced development of fine motor skills at 12 months resulted in better communication skills by 24 months of age. [xi] This is another benefit of providing finger foods to your child and to encourage self-feeding!
Some key takeaways:
In the second book of our series Recipes for Growing Me ~9-months, we celebrate the fun that babies begin to experience with food:
J is for…Joy
At this developmental stageMy food is like a toyIt provides me with great funAnd brings me so much joyThere really is no needTo question or to guessI get it in my handsAnd create a great big messBut letting me use my handsOr small utensils is keyAs I learn from experienceThis brings joy to me
We hope we’ve contributed something beneficial to your baby’s diet, and remember…don’t hog the blog! Share it with new moms today! Want to learn more from our baby’s first cookbook? Order now and enjoy 15% OFF Baby’s First Cookbook—with code BLOGHOG.
Have a bloomin’ day!Sarah & Karen
References[i] D’Auria, E., Berganmin, M., Staiano, A., Banderali, G., Pendezza, E., Penagini, F., Zuccotti, G. V., and Peroni, D. G., (2018). Baby-led weaning: what a systematic review of the literature adds on. Italian Journal of Pediatrics, 44 (1).
[ii] [iii] Solid, K., (2020). What is baby-led weaning? Food Insight, 10651497, Summer 2020.
[iv] [vii] [ix] Raising Children Network (Australia), (2021). Children learning to feed themselves. https://raisingchildren.net.au/toddlers/nutrition-fitness/family-meals/learning-to-feed-themselves
[v] [x] Carruth, B.R., Zieler, P., Gordon, A.R, and Hendricks, K., (2004). Developmental milestones and self-feeding behaviours in infants and toddlers. Journal of American Dietetic Association, 101: 51-6.
[vi] Cichero, J.A.Y, (2016). Introducing solid foods using baby-led weaning vs. spoon-feeding: A focus on oral development, nutrition intake and quality of research to bring balance to the debate. British Nutrition Foundation Nutrition Bulletin, 41, 72-77.
[viii] Cichero, J.A.Y, (2016). Introducing solid foods using baby-led weaning vs. spoon-feeding: A focus on oral development, nutrition intake and quality of research to bring balance to the debate. British Nutrition Foundation Nutrition Bulletin, 41, 72-77.
[xi] Valla, L., Slinning, K., Kalleson, R., Wentzel-Larsen, T., and Riiser, K., (2020). Motor skills and later communication in early childhood: Results from a population-based study. Child: Care, Health and Development, 46 (4), 407-413
April 26, 2021
If you feel that your baby is struggling or showing signs of falling behind compared to typical stages of development, numerous health professionals are available who can provide an assessment and work with you and your baby. In this month’s blog we focus on allied health professionals, what they do, and where you can go to find more information.
March 29, 2021
February 22, 2021
They grow up so fast!
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