As babies grow, they begin to rely more on solid foods for development. Baby food can be introduced while the baby is still breastfeeding or bottle feeding, and is often in the form of a puree that is easily swallowed by a weaning child. Signs that your infant is ready for baby food include:
- Being able to hold their head up by themselves
- Making chewing motions with the mouth
- Showing interest in what you are eating
- Sitting up or sitting in a highchair
- Opening their mouth readily when you hold a spoonful of food near
Remember, milk remains the most important food source for an infant until around 8 months old. Always offer the regular milk feed before solids until the child reaches this age, as the solid foods initially work as a top up rather than a total replacement.
It is also important to purchase baby food purees, baby cereal and other new foods that have zero unwanted ingredients. New parents opt for Amcal pharmacy baby foods manufactured by leading brands to ensure there is no unwanted salt or sugar, and only the best organic and natural additives and preservatives are used.
There is no substitute for knowing how to make homemade baby food, and there are plenty of great homemade baby food recipes available. However, not every parent or guardian has the opportunity to prepare every meal at home, making commercial baby foods, baby food purees and baby food pouches the convenient solution for people on the go. Advantages include:
- Products that meet guidelines from the American Academy of Paediatrics and Australian Government authorities.
- Conveniently stored for portability; great for busy families.
- No preparation time needed when using a baby food jar or pouch.
- A wide variety of food choices including vegetables and fruits.
Give your infant's taste buds a treat with rice cereal, healthy fats, solid foods, finger food, and pureed foods that add variety and nutrition to a baby's diet.
Almost all babies grow healthily on breast milk or formula for the first three to six months. It is recommended to gradually introduce an infant to solids at about six months of age. Beyond eight months of age, solids can be offered before milk or baby formula feeds and can begin to replace some milk feeds, e.g. lunch.
Babies need iron and protein in their diet from 6 months and beyond. The additional fill-up from puree, baby food or homemade baby food such as butternut squash will help the little one feel full enough to nap well and sleep comfortably overnight. It is best to give protein only at lunch until your baby is 10 months old, when protein can be introduced at dinner time. Too much protein at night can cause restlessness and digestive issues. Here are a few more points to remember.
- Solids won't immediately help your baby sleep through the night. Only small amounts of baby food or veggies are eaten to begin with, and it will take a little while for solids consumption to have a positive effect on sleep patterns.
- Filling up at dinnertime for a baby younger than ten months won't assist better sleep. Your baby will still need a milk feed before going to bed, and if they have already eaten lots of solids they may refuse to drink and wake during the night instead.
- If your baby is close to 6 months old and hasn't started on solids, he or she may start waking during the night out of genuine hunger. It could be time to start weaning and introduce baby food options.
- Once your baby is established on solids, they are capable of self-regulating the amount they eat. Allow your child to enjoy and explore a variety of baby food, veggies, pureed food, baby cereal and finger food suitable for a growing baby. Check out great Amcal baby food products suitable for healthy growing young ones.
- Solids can cause constipation early on as your baby's digestive system will take a little time to adapt to digesting something other than milk. If you are concerned about your baby's bowel movements or anything else related to breastfeeding, weaning and baby food, speak to your paediatrician or healthcare professional for the best advice moving forward.
The milk vs. solids needs of a baby change almost as much as their sleep needs during the first 24 months, so it is worth exploring the best feed times and sleep programs for you and your baby. Amcal baby food is the guaranteed way of keeping your baby regular, healthy and satisfied.
It is recommended to stick to breastfeeding or baby formula feeding for a baby up to 6 months of age. If you believe breastfeeding isn't delivering adequate calcium, vitamin A, protein, carbohydrates or other essential vitamins and minerals, speak to your paediatrician or healthcare professional.
It is best to start your little one with fairly liquid puree that closely resembles milk. Your baby will take a little time to adapt to chewing motions, making convenient baby food pouches a handy idea. Weaning an infant onto solid foods and new foods is a time of experimentation.
Along with nutritious Amcal products, it is worth trying puree recipes using a food processor, and storing small servings of homemade baby food in ice cube trays. Save time and money with a diverse baby food diet consisting of highest quality Amcal products and your own baby food made with love.
Every baby is different, and there are lots of baby food favourites. Ingredients can include whole milk, rice cereal, quinoa, brown rice, and veggies such as butternut squash and sweet potato. Various types of baby food are manufactured for every stage of growth, with Amcal favourite products that include:
- Farex Original Multigrain Cereal: Iron rich cereal for infants. Enriched with vitamins and minerals.
- Nestle Cerelac Infant Cereal Rice: A great introduction to solid foods, containing friendly probiotics and immune-nutrients to help your baby's natural defences.
- Heinz Little Kids Wholegrain Bars (apple, strawberry, yoghurt): No preservatives or artificial colours and flavours. Made from wholemeal flour, rolled oats, wheat bran and fruit puree.
- Heinz Organic Rice Cakes: Made with organic brown rice and apple juice, this snack is easy for growing toddlers to chew and swallow.
- Farex Rice Cereal: Made from ground rice, Farex is enriched with iron. This healthy product also contains antioxidants and vitamin C.
- Heinz Little Kids Fruit Salad Muesli Fingers: These delicious snacks are made with a blend of muesli and fruit, topped off with a drizzle of yoghurt.
- Bellamy's Organic Apple Snacks: Apple snacks are the convenient way to ensure you always have healthy fruit on hand for your little ones.
- Heinz Simply Vanilla Custard Pouch: Made in Australia, this is a favourite infant baby food containing full cream milk, unsalted butter and natural vanilla flavour.
It depends on the context. Baby food pouches are the best for parents and guardians on the move who need to bring convenient baby foods along. A baby food pouch can provide the ideal nutritional top-up your infant requires to remain happy, healthy and alert.
Use baby food pouches responsibly as a meal option, rather than a snack between meals. Take time out to sit with your baby while he or she enjoys lunch, rather than allowing your baby to suck on the pouch at random times. For unbeatable convenience, baby food pouches are the best, although they are not a permanent substitute for regular, balanced and healthy meals.
There are advantages with both baby food pouches and jars. When using a jar, you can spoon feed your baby and share the eating experience. However, every baby is different, and some like to take control and hold their own baby food pouch at meal times. Explore different eating styles and opportunities for the benefit of your baby.
It is natural for a baby to reject certain first foods in favour of others. Fortunately, there are lots of baby food options available at Amcal pharmacies, and the opportunity to create healthy homemade baby food is better than ever thanks to the new foods revolution. Here are a few tips to guide you and your child toward healthy eating habits.
- Understand your baby's appetite, or lack of appetite. If your child isn't hungry, don't force them to eat. If you are concerned, speak to your paediatrician.
- Stick to routines. Try to serve baby food and snacks at the same time every day. Make sure your baby doesn't fill up too much on snacks.
- Be patient with new foods. Your child may require repeated exposure to solid foods and new tastes before becoming comfortable with them. Praise your baby for trying and talk them through the experience in an encouraging way.
- Don't become a baby food short order cook who neglects nutrition in favour of short-term satisfaction and convenience. Make meal times a regular household event.
- Make eating time fun by cutting and shaping veggies into brightly coloured and attractive foods.
It is natural to want the best first foods for baby health and growth. Commercial baby foods available at Amcal are the perfect supplement to homemade baby food recipes, and the sure way to promote a healthy baby's diet during the transition from breastfeeding to solid foods.