Baby Food Myths You Shouldn't Believe
Nowadays, there's a lot of conflicting information on the best baby food. And many mothers are bombarded with all sorts of nutritional information. As such, choosing the right food can be daunting. Although the World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that you wean your baby at six months, food-related myths prevent mothers from feeding their babies as required. For this reason, this article will discuss baby food myths that you shouldn't believe.
1. Introduce vegetables first then fruits later on
Most people believe that you should first introduce your baby to vegetables. But, this isn't true. If you give your baby fruits first, they are likely to reject or hate vegetables. Besides, they are sweeter than vegetables. However, there are no studies about this. Most of all, you should avoid allergy-causing foods and any other food that is unsuitable for the baby.
2. Giving your baby fruit juice is similar to providing fruits and vegetables
Pure fruit juice contains vitamins essential for the optimal growth of your baby. But, drinking fruits juice shouldn't be a substitute for eating fresh fruits and vegetables, which contain lots of fiber. If your baby drinks a lot of fruit juice, the baby may not feed well since fruit juice has a lot of calories and natural sugar. So, it's advisable to give the baby lots of water and a variety of fruits and vegetables instead. If, at all, you give pure fruit juice, make it yourself from fresh fruits and possibly dilute it with a lot of water.
3. You should introduce solids early
Most mothers believe that you should give the baby solid food early to avoid problems in the future. Failing to do so will make your baby refuse some types of foods in the future. However, this is one of the baby food myths. In fact, you should introduce solids at the age of six months.
Starting solids at 4 months or earlier makes the baby unable to digest the food entirely and can easily suffer from diarrhea. Your child will get used to a wide variety of foods when you introduce them gradually but at the right time.
4. Breast Milk contains insufficient iron
You should exclusively breastfeed your baby or give a formula for the first six months of life. However, some people presume that breast milk contains inadequate amount of iron, making it necessary to offer solid foods even when the baby is too young. Indeed, breast milk contains lesser amounts of iron than formula milk, but it's readily absorbed.
On the other hand, you need to increase iron in the formula to ensure that the baby absorbs enough. Also, introduce your baby to solid foods at the right time and offer iron-rich foods for additional iron.
5. All babies require vitamin supplements
A healthy diet should supply your baby with all the essential nutrients. So, vitamin supplements may not be necessary if you feed your baby food that is rich in energy and protein. But, a child with poor eating habits or from needy families can supplement their diet with micronutrients. Your choice of food affects the quality of your breastmilk, and your doctor may prescribe prenatal vitamin supplements if you're breastfeeding.
6. You shouldn't wean your baby with any other food apart from rice
Rice cereal is associated with numerous benefits. It rarely causes allergies; it's smooth and mixes easily. Also, it is ideal for the baby's first food. However, this doesn't mean that you can't start with other food types like pumpkin or strained apples. When introducing solids to your baby, you can give different types of food as long as it's safe and isn't likely to cause a reaction.
7. Growth hormones in milk or meat can make your child fat
Nowadays, kids have a sedentary lifestyle along with calorie-rich diets making them likely to be obese. Sadly, most parents blame this on growth hormones. Although they are useful in increasing milk production and lean muscle in cows, hormone products are safe. Hormones consumed in meat or milk are broken down and later digested. Moreover, they do not affect your baby's weight.
Your choice of diet plays a major role in the health of your baby. So, seek information on the right foods to give your baby from a professional and shun any baby food myths that could hinder you from feeding your baby properly. By so doing, your baby will thrive and will be likely to fight off infections.