It’s official, you and your baby have made it to the six month mark! Congratulations! This is a huge milestone and something which should be celebrated and acknowledged. This is also the age when your baby will no longer be solely dependent on milk and you can start exploring other options. This is an exciting time so let’s get started and learn more about feeding you six month and older baby!
1- Nutrition for your six to twelve month old baby
In the first session, we take a look at the nutritional needs for your infant when they are six to twelve months old. Did you know any iron-fortified cereals are really good, because they’re yummy and high in iron! Fruits, vegetables and dairy products like cheese and yogurt are also good options your baby. It can be helpful to thinly puree these foods at first as your baby gets used to the different textures. We’ve found that FoodShare is a great resource which shares more information on how and what to puree.
2- Baby-led weaning
As we start to introduce solids, it can be the start of your baby-led weaning approach. Our IBCLC, Caitlin shares that baby-led weaning is an approach to starting solids that involves eating family foods and solid food from the start. Before trying this method, it is good to see if your baby can sit through a whole meal in a high chair. If they can do that, then your baby is likely mentally ready to be able to start eating solids. Be sure to check with baby’s doctor to see if this is appropriate for your family before embarking on this journey.
3 - Weaning your baby
As you start feeding your baby solids you may want to start trying to wean your baby from the breast. In this session, we’ll discuss how to do so in a way that’s safe for both you and your baby. Watch the session by our lactation specialist, Caitlin Black Allen to learn more about how to safely start weaning your baby!
4 - Introduction to solids
Introducing solids can feel overwhelming. We’ve been there and we get it 100%. That’s why we’ve broken it down into simple and easy steps to make it less stressful. In this session, you can learn more about the when and how to transition baby to their first bites of solid food. Read on below to learn about specific foods to start your baby on!
5 - Introducing iron-rich foods to your baby
Iron, that’s a big one! It is important to start introducing iron-rich foods, to ensure that your baby doesn’t miss out on this important nutrient! In this session we will cover common sources of iron, the importance of iron-rich foods when introducing solids and how to safely administer iron to baby. Did you know that some common sources of iron include infant cereals, silken tofu, bean purees, ground beef, and hemp hearts! If you do go with infant cereals, be careful as it may lead to some constipation. These iron-rich foods are important for your baby’s growth and brain development, so be sure to incorporate them into baby’s diet!
6 - Sweet potatoes, bananas and avocados, what’s next?
Introducing solids does not have to be boring! You may have tried the traditional sweet potatoes, bananas and avocados, but you don’t have to stop there! It is important to introduce fibre rich foods as baby can often get constipated when starting solids. Some of our favourite other options include steamed/pureed broccoli and cauliflower, canned pumpkin with flax oil, or pureed prunes. Additionally, be sure to add some iron-rich foods to their diet like ground meat/ribs, hemp hearts, sardines, and tofu. There are plenty of other great foods for starting solids so don’t be afraid to experiment and see what works best for your family!
7- Introducing different allergens to baby
Peanut, dairy, fish, these are all common allergies that any of us can be prone to getting. That’s why when introducing solids, it is important to introduce common allergens to help prevent future food allergies. Our naturopathic doctor, Dr. Von Hagen shares her favourite ways to introduce common allergens like peanuts. She suggests never starting with whole nuts or nut butter but rather to use finely ground products like almond flour to start. Some other common allergens to introduce include, mustard, eggs, tofu and yogurt. Try adding some onto a rice cracker before feeding it to your baby. And always remember to record their reaction to the allergen for your future records.
8 - Allergy friendly recipe swaps
Did you find out that your baby has allergies? Cooking for your baby and little ones can be tough when they have allergies. But don’t fret! There are many different options and recipe swaps for common allergens. One easy recipe swap includes swapping peanut butter for tahini or sunflower seed butter. Another great option is to use tofu instead of scrambled eggs. Always remember that if your baby is allergic, it is important to remove that food item from their diet, but there are plenty of alternate options available!
9- Weaning and your mental health
Now that you’ve gotten the physical tips on how to wean your baby and introduce solids to them, let’s talk about your health. According to many sources, weaning may impact your mental health. In this session we will take a look at what hormones are involved in this process and natural ways to support you during this time. Self-care definitely plays an important role in helping to maintain your mental health through this process!