Me, know best?
It doesn't always feel like that, especially when you are a new parent trying not to get into an acute state of anxiety about feeding your baby. We lack confidence in our ability to get it right. When your baby's first food is offered and rejected, we can feel bad and lose faith in our ability to cope. We can become immersed in a whole clutch of ‘difficulties' such as;
Establishing which food that is healthy?
What should be given at what stage and in what form?
Getting your baby to accept what seems appropriate?
The whole business of feeding your baby can leave us nothing short of desperate, dashing out on last-minute errands to stock up on the latest food or item of equipment suggested by the health visitor or the baby magazine that might help solve the problem. We can quickly lose any sense of perspective and faith that we will ever get the feeding right before the child becomes ill with some severe nutritional imbalance.
Baby-food manufacturers make a profitable industry out of exploiting these anxieties and our desire to feed our babies the best we can. The Baby Food market is worth more than £164,000 Million and growing.
YES, FEEDING BABIES ARE A DIFFICULT BUSINESS
And knowing best isn't that difficult. There are just two guiding principles:
We need to feed our babies on fresh foods, prepared from excellent quality raw materials and avoid processed foods where possible or limit it.
We need to accustom them gradually to eat the same food as ourselves, just in a more baby-friendly way.
Following these two principles, it is clear that the food we prepare at home will be the best food.
We can select the best quality food.
It will retain more natural nutritional goodness.
Our baby won't be eating the cheap industrial fillers.
The food the baby eats will taste better because it is just mushed –up real food.
Our baby will get used to the wide variety of flavours found in real, unprocessed food.
We can vary the textures and reflect the differences that occur naturally in unprocessed food.
It will save you money.
We can start off by feeding them the same food we eat, only in a different form.
For many anxious first- time parents especially, the application of these principles can feel like a heavy responsibility which demands a considerable leap of faith. It seems more comfortable just to buy custom-made baby foods like lots of other parents do. But as many more experienced parents can testify, the leap is worth it – babies can surprise us with the diversity of tastes and textures they enjoy. And for these babies, the transition to a broader real – food diet will be infinitely more effortless.
Written by Nutritionist Dr Zeeba Shariff
If you would like some support on the best way to wean your baby onto solids, you can arrange an appointment with Dr Zeeba Shariff at the clinic.
Contact our reception on to arrange an appointment on 0208 662 1155