Cow’s Milk and Babies: Wait until One Year

Although your baby may have been on a cow’s milk based formula since birth and has tried other dairy products such as yogurt, you should still hold off on giving your baby cow’s milk for the first 12 months of life. Cow’s milk can cause a number of problems, and differs from other dairy based products in its safety for babies.

Cow’s Milk and Baby’s Body

Under one year of age, your baby’s digestive system simply isn’t ready for cow’s milk. The proteins can be difficult to digest and can cause gastrointestinal problems. In large amounts, cow’s milk can damage the lining of baby’s stomach, resulting in internal bleeding. This is only one of the ways in which cow’s milk can lead to low iron levels in baby and serious consequences.

Cow’s milk is also known to block the absorption of iron, which is essential to your baby’s blood. Iron helps to create new red blood cells and also hemoglobin. Low iron results in low levels of red blood cells and a reduced ability for oxygen to be carried throughout the body. This is known as iron deficiency anemia, and it is common in babies who do not get enough iron through baby food diet. Cow’s milk can cause iron deficiency anemia through both blocked iron absorption and also by causing stomach bleeding that leaches more iron from the bloodstream.

As your baby grows past one year, the digestive system will be better able to handle the proteins in milk, but the risk of anemia still exists, so cow’s milk intake should always be regulated.

Why Some Dairy Products are Safe

Not all dairy carries the same risks as cow’s milk. In foods like cheese and yogurt the processing methods that are used in manufacturing break down the protein and the lactose, making them easier to digest. This is why many lactose intolerant people are able to eat these foods and yet can’t drink milk. The same applies to cow’s milk based formulas, however there are still some babies who can’t tolerate even the dairy protein in these formulas and need a different option.

The main difference between milk and other dairy products is that yogurt and cheese are unlikely to be eaten in large amounts, and are even less likely to replace formula or breast milk. During the first year, your baby needs all the nutrients that are provided by these sources. Cow’s milk does not provide everything a baby needs nutritionally. After one year old, babies are able to use cow’s milk as a beverage because they are eating larger amounts of solid baby foods that provide a much better nutritional base. A baby who starts drinking cow’s milk too early may skip formula or breast milk feedings and lose important nutrients.

Until your baby is a year old, the only beverage that is really required is breast milk or formula. Along with meeting all of your baby’s nutritional needs, they also offer plenty of fluid intake to keep baby hydrated. Once your baby is a year old, you can start to replace these feedings with cow’s milk and wean from the breast or bottle. At this time you should still be cautious that baby gets less than 24 ounces of cow’s milk every day. This will prevent anemia and also make certain milk isn’t replacing meals.

Favorite Snacks for Babies and Toddlers

When your baby has graduated from breast milk or formula and is eating three meals a day, snacks will become an important part of the daily routine. A small, healthy snack twice a day, usually mid-morning and mid-afternoon can be a healthy addition to your child’s diet as long as you make smart choices that will both please your child and provide important nutrients.

Look for snacks that are kid-friendly, provide sustained energy, and that are easy for your older baby or toddler to eat. Snack time shouldn’t take a long time, or a lot of preparation, so having snacks ready to go will make it easier to choose right.

Favorite Snacks for Older Babies

When your older baby is ready to start snacking, he probably still won’t have all his teeth or be able to chew some of the snack options grown ups enjoy. Still, there are plenty of snack options for babies that are healthy, easy to eat and great tasting too.

Your baby’s favorite snack might be one of his first finger foods. Cheerios, the popular early choice for babies learning to pick up foods with the thumb and forefinger, will continue to be a much-loved snack for some time. They are easily portable, don’t require refrigeration and are made with healthy whole oats. Other similar dry cereals will work just as well, just be sure to watch out for sugar content by reading the nutrition label on the cereal box.

Add some protein to your baby’s snack with small pieces of cheese, which will be very popular with older babies. Use caution to cut the pieces small enough to avoid a choking hazard – try cutting thin strips rather than cubes or chunks. Yogurt is another excellent snack option for older babies that adds protein.

Bananas are an excellent snack choice that babies love. One of his first baby foods, he can now handle slices of banana, which are easy for him to hold and also soft enough to prevent a choking hazard.

Favorite Snacks for Toddlers

Once your toddler has cut her molars, a whole new world of food opens up, and that translates to snacks as well. Favorite toddler snacks will be a little more advanced than those you offered her as a baby. Now is the time to look to all kinds of fresh fruits and vegetables, and take previously loved snacks a little further.

Popular snacks with the toddler crowd include thin cut apple slices – add some peanut butter or a yogurt dip for a little extra protein, berries such as blueberries, strawberries and raspberries, and grapes (cut up as they are still a choking hazard). Your toddler may also be ready for some raw veggies, such as thin carrot sticks and cucumber slices.

Toddlers still love cheese, and you can now offer slices paired with healthy whole grain crackers. Mix it up with different types of cheese for new tastes. Try melting cheese on the crackers in your toaster oven, and topping it with a small chunk of tomato for a different twist on a traditional snack.

The ability to self-feed with a spoon makes a cup of yogurt or applesauce an even more appealing snack for both mom and toddler alike. She will love feeling like a grown-up eating her own snack, and you will be free to get other things done!

Snack time for babies and toddlers is a great time for fun foods that are both healthy and delicious. The purpose of snacks is to keep your child going in between meals, so keep them small – remember it’s just a snack, not a second lunch!

Choosing Certified Organic Food

A renewed focus on healthy eating and healthier foods in recent years has resulted in a wider market for organic and natural foods. Many of these organic foods can now be found in standard grocery stores rather than only in upscale markets or health food stores. This makes choosing organic food for your family easier than ever before. To decide if organic is the right choice for your family, it’s important to understand what exactly organic foods are, what the requirements are for a food to be labeled as organic, and what the difference is between organic and natural foods.

What is Organic Food?

Organic food is grown and processed following strict guidelines that regulate the use of pesticides, hormones and fertilizers. This system of farming is aimed at reducing pollution and delivering food that is free of chemicals and additives believed to be harmful to our health. Organic farmers do not use chemical fertilizers or pest control methods, instead choosing more natural options. Organic foods include fruits, vegetables, meat, poultry, eggs and grains.

How do I Know If a Food is Organic?

The USDA labels all organic foods according to a set of guidelines for the growing and production of the food. In order to receive the USDA Organic label, the food in question must be at least 95% organic. This means 95% of the ingredients must be from organic sources. Some foods may be labeled specifically as 100% organic, generally fresh produce which has come directly from an organic farm certified by the USDA.

Some foods may contain organic ingredients, but if they are less than 95% organic can not carry the USDA label. Even if the package says organic, there is no guarantee that the food meets USDA standards unless the label is present.

You may also see foods labeled as “all natural”, which is not to be confused with organic. This generally means that the food contains natural ingredients and does not have any synthetic additives. It has no bearing on how the food was grown, and there is no USDA certification for all natural foods.

Are Organic Foods Better?

This is a controversial subject, and proponents of organic foods strongly believe that organic food is healthier, tastes better and is safer for both the environment and for human consumption.

Nutritionally, organic produce is the same as conventionally grown foods. Because organic food is not treated with preservatives, it tends to spoil faster than conventional foods. Although avoiding residues from pesticides is one of the main selling points of organic foods, the small amount that may appear on conventionally grown food is unlikely to be harmful. Because farming organically costs more, the extra cost is passed on to the consumer, which is the reason for the higher price tag on organic food. Many people believe organic food tastes better, but in blind taste tests, most people can’t tell the difference.

Choosing organic food for your family is a personal decision, which requires taking into account the potential risks of conventional food to both health and to the environment as well as your family’s budget. Luckily, for those who choose to buy organic, the rise in popularity of organically produced goods has made them a lot easier to find and may also affect the price of organic food in favor of the consumer in the future.

Making Sense of Nutrition Labels

When it comes to choosing the right foods for your family, the nutrition label can be your best friend. Learning to read and understand the information offered by the label will help you to find the foods that offer the most nutrition with the least extra ingredients your body doesn’t need.

The Basics of Food Labels

The standard food label offers certain basic information about the calories, vitamins and minerals, sugars, fiber, and fat that the food offers. The first thing to pay attention to on the label is right at the top: the serving size. A food may seem to be low calorie until you realize that the label quote calories per serving and not for the entire package. Some packages may contain ten or more servings. The label will also tell you what a serving size is, and this is what all of the nutritional information on the label is based on.

Food labels will then list the number of calories per serving, and the number of calories in the food that come from fat. Below that, the label will list the Total Fat, followed by a breakdown of saturated and trans fat. Next, you will see the amounts of Cholesterol, Sodium, and Carbohydrates, which will be broken down into dietary fiber and sugars. Finally, you will see a listing for Protein.

Beneath this main information, you will see a list of the vitamins and minerals in the food. The main four that appear on all nutrition labels are Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Calcium and Iron. If the food does not contain any of these, you may instead see a message to this effect.

Next to each of the listed components of the food, there will be a number in grams followed by a percentage. The percentage tells you what percent of the recommended daily value of each item a serving of this food provides. Bear in mind that this is based on a 2000 calorie a day diet, and may not necessarily reflect what percentage of your daily intake the food provides. Especially for young children, whose calorie intake is much lower than an adults, these numbers can be misleading.

Finally, you will see an ingredients list that shows everything that went into the food, listed in order of how much of each was added. You will also see a warning regarding any potential allergens in the food.

What to Look for in a Healthy Food

The numbers that should really concern you when reading food labels are those under fat, sugar, sodium and fiber. Depending on the food you are choosing, fiber may be one of the most important considerations. Watch for foods that contain no trans fat, low saturated fat, and low sodium. You will also want low sugar, but high fiber. Not every food will contain a lot of each vitamin or minerals, but some foods are naturally high in certain nutrients, while others have been enriched with extra nutrients.

When reading the ingredients list, you might not be able to pronounce everything you see. Obviously, the less ingredients, the more natural the food and the healthier it is likely to be. Not every food additive is dangerous and some are even natural, but the more additives and preservatives in a food, the less healthy it is likely to be.

Of course, the healthiest foods don’t even have labels – fresh fruits and vegetables provide a great source of nutrition, so choose as many of those foods as you can for the freshest, healthiest source of good nutrition.

Appropriate Serving Sizes for Toddlers

Toddlers are obviously much smaller than grown-ups, and it stands to reason that they will therefore require smaller servings of foods than an adult would. Many parents, however, serve toddlers much larger portions of foods than they should really be eating. This doesn’t matter all that much if they are having a double portion of vegetables, but when it comes to portion sizes of some other foods, it can lead to serious problems.

Serving Sizes and Labels

The nutrition label of most food products states what a serving size should be for that particular food, but beware! The serving size usually stated on the package refers to a 2000 calorie per day diet, and most toddlers need about half of that. In fact, on average a toddler’s serving of any food should be about ¼ of what a standard adult serving should be. Don’t go by the label; instead learn how to properly measure the appropriate amount of food for your toddler.

The Right Serving Size for Toddlers

For each food group, you can learn to recognize what a serving size looks like by taking the time to measure out your toddler’s food for a while. Eventually, you won’t need to measure as you will easily be able to recognize what constitutes an appropriate amount. Here are some easy measurements you can perform to start serving proper portions.

For dairy foods, your toddler needs the equivalent of about 16-20 ounces of milk in a day. Not all of the dairy servings need to come from milk, but if your toddler is fond of milk you might find that no other dairy is really needed. If your toddler doesn’t like milk, you can replace a serving of milk with a serving of cheese or yogurt. The average serving size for either milk or yogurt is about ½ cup, or 4 ounces. ¾ of an ounce of cheese will also make up the equivalent of one serving of dairy.

Proteins such as meat or beans aren’t needed in large quantities. A serving of meat for a toddler is about 1 ounce. Other protein sources that make up a serving include ½ an egg, a few tablespoons of beans or a tablespoon of peanut butter. Your toddler only needs two servings a day, so keep a close eye on how much protein you are serving.

For grains, you can measure out ¼ cup of cooked cereal such as oatmeal, or ¼ cup of rice or pasta. ½ of a slice of bread or the same amount of a tortilla make up another serving of grains.

Fruits and vegetables can be the hardest to get into your toddler, but it’s a bit easier when you realize how small the serving size actually is. A serving of fruit juice can make up one of your child’s fruit servings for the day, but should be no more than 6 ounces. For the rest of your child’s servings, about ¼ cup of cooked or fresh fruits and vegetables provides a serving. This is equivalent to about half of a banana or other whole fruit.

For foods like candy, baked goods and other snacks, there is no real serving size as they are not part of your child’s balanced diet. Add these treats with caution and bear in mind that a small amount is as much as your child needs. A toddler doesn’t need a whole cookie, and will likely be happy to get anything at all!

Teaching Healthy Eating Habits to Toddlers

If there is one thing that doesn’t come to mind when you think about toddlers, it’s healthy eating. Toddlers are well known for being picky eaters, and even those who ate whatever you put in front of them as babies have a habit of turning on you when the toddler years start. The healthy eating cause is not lost; there is hope for even the pickiest toddler. It takes a real commitment to healthy eating as a parent, and a little extra patience, but you can teach your toddler healthy eating habits.

Just Keep Trying

The biggest mistake parents make is to give up and simply not offer the healthy foods anymore because their child doesn’t like it or won’t eat it. By removing the vegetables from your toddler’s dinner plate, you send the message that it’s ok to skip them. As frustrating as it might be to see those healthy foods simply left on the plate meal after meal, day after day, consistency and perseverance are vital to getting your toddler to eat better.

Make sure that every meal includes a serving of fruit or vegetables, even if your toddler immediately announces that he doesn’t like what is on his plate. Although you can’t make him eat it, you can make sure he gets the message that these foods are a part of the diet in your house, and they aren’t going away.

Monkey See, Monkey Do

Toddlers are famous imitators, and they want to be just like mom and dad. So it stands to reason that the number one way you can teach your child healthy eating habits is to adopt them yourself. Your toddler needs to see that you are eating the same healthy foods you have piled on his plate. The more often he sees you eating your vegetables, the more likely he is to emulate you.

Even if you don’t particularly like a certain vegetable or fruit, don’t let your toddler in on the secret, or soon you will hear from him that he doesn’t like it either. The best lesson in healthy eating is the one you don’t try to teach directly; instead it is found in the day to day habit of watching you eat healthy foods. You not only need to eat the right foods, but avoid the unhealthy ones. You can’t very well tell your toddler he can’t have potato chips before dinner if he sees you snacking on them.

Don’t Offer Bribes

While the habit of offering a sweet treat after dinner in return for eating her peas might work in the short-term, in the long run you will find this backfires. Eventually, she will stop falling for the bribe. Or worse, she will come to expect that there will always be a treat in return for eating what is on her plate. This doesn’t teach your toddler healthy eating, it merely teaches her to expect a reward for what should be a normal behavior. This can translate into other aspects of life, and before you know it you will find yourself bribing her to do everything from take a nap to put on her shoes.

If you really want your toddler to make the choice to eat healthy foods, you will have to do it the long way, with patience and determination. Stick to serving healthy foods, eat them yourself and eventually your toddler will get on board too.

A Closer Look at Sweet Potatoes

Although sweet potatoes don’t spend nearly as much time on the average American plate as their paler cousins, they deserve a second look. Packed with nutrition, this traditional Thanksgiving food is a great choice any time of year.

With a yellow to orange colored flesh, sweet potatoes are often confused with yams; in fact, many people believe they are the same thing. They actually differ, with true yams being a little more rare in American supermarkets. Most of what people serve as yams are actually sweet potatoes. Sweet potatoes have a sweeter, moister flesh than that of the yam, which is not actually grown in the United States, but is imported from Caribbean countries. Yams don’t have the same nutritional value as sweet potatoes, so you are better off with the more common version.

Although traditional sweet potato pies and casseroles are often seen at a Thanksgiving feast, there is a lot more that can be done with this healthy root vegetable.

The Nutrition in Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes are full of Vitamin A, providing an incredible amount in every serving. They are also high in Vitamin C and B6 as well as a good source of dietary fiber, iron, and potassium.

Sweet potatoes are also a source of antioxidants that are known to fight all kinds of diseases including cancer. Low in calories and fat, sweet potatoes offer a whole lot of nutrition for the small bite they take out of your daily calorie intake.

Cooking with Sweet Potatoes

You have probably heard of sweet potato pie, and may also have encountered a sweet potato casserole or two, but those two options barely scratch the surface of the sweet potato’s culinary usefulness. Good with the same spices you would use to cook pumpkin, such as nutmeg, cinnamon and cloves, sweet potatoes make delicious desserts. They can be added to all kinds of batters, including pancakes and waffles and baked into cookies, quick breads, and muffins.

Sweet potatoes also have plenty of savory applications. For starters, you can replace your same old French fries with sweet potato fries for a burst of color, and extra kick of nutrition, and an entirely new flavor. The sweet potato can also be prepared in many other ways you might serve regular potatoes, from mashed to roasted. They can even be baked whole and served with just a little butter for an easy and delicious side dish.

Although it’s less popular than pumpkin pie, at least in most of the country, sweet potato pie is a delicious treat that packs a powerful nutritious punch along with the sweetness. Sweet potatoes are also often paired with pecans in a pie, and don’t require as much sugar to sweeten the mix as the less sweet pumpkin does. Instead of adding more refined sugar, the sweet potato makes use of natural sweetness.

Like pumpkin, cooked sweet potatoes can be frozen for later use, which is more economical than buying canned. They can later be thawed for use in a variety of recipes.

Bring the sweet potato into your regular menu for a tasty, nutritious and economical side dish, or even a sweet treat. You might find your kids like it even more than the regular potatoes they usually eat. With a burst of color and a sweeter flavor, they are sure to become family favorites.

Creative Cooking with Cauliflower

Although it’s actually a member of the same family as broccoli, most cauliflower lacks the familiar green color shared by its relatives because it is shielded from the sun during growth by the leaves of the plant. In spite of the absence of chlorophyll, which is what gives broccoli, cabbage, and other green vegetables their color, cauliflower is still an incredible source of nutrients. Although traditionally seen in white, there are actually green, orange and also purple varieties of this vegetable. With a milder, almost sweet flavor, it might be easier to get your kids to give it a try.

On its own or mixed with other vegetables, cauliflower offers a flavorful, nutrition packed serving of healthy vegetables your family will love.

The Nutrition in Cauliflower

Just like broccoli, cauliflower contains enzymes and compounds that are known cancer fighters. These phytonutrients common to cruciferous vegetables help to eradicate free radicals and eliminate carcinogens from the body. New research on these incredibly healthy vegetables is uncovering more health benefits all the time, but there is already enough known to make them a must-have on your plate.

Cauliflower is packed with nutrients. It is an incredibly good source of Vitamin C, and also a good source of Vitamins K and B6 as well as folate. Cauliflower also provides dietary fiber and Omega-3 fatty acids. It also offers a number of other vitamins and minerals.

How to Serve Cauliflower

Cauliflower makes a great side dish simply oven roasted with a little garlic, but it can also be cooked and served in a number of different ways. It’s great added to a salad or even served on a vegetable platter with dip. It can be cooked and mashed just like potatoes, or even mixed in with potatoes. Cauliflower is also delicious with a cheese sauce – instead of macaroni and cheese, try serving baked cauliflower and cheese with a crumb topping for a delicious and very healthy twist on a kid’s favorite dish. They might even like it better than the original!

Cream of cauliflower soup is a delicious new twist on the same old cream soups you eat all the time – try it instead of cream of mushroom. Cauliflower is also a great addition to a stir-fry instead of or right along with broccoli.

Because it bakes up very nicely, cauliflower works wonderfully in casseroles. It’s especially good with creamy sauces and pairs very well with chicken, eggs and pork. Add some to fettuccine alfredo to boost the nutritional content and compliment the creamy taste. Because it has a mellower taste than broccoli, it won’t overwhelm delicate flavors in your favorite dishes. Try it in an omelet with cheese, or in a quiche.

Because it has a similar flavor and texture to potatoes, without the starch, cauliflower makes a great replacement for them in a number of dishes. You can cook cauliflower in just about any manner you would potatoes. They’re a great change to the same old meat-and-potatoes meals!

For a versatile food that offers an incredible number of nutrients and health benefits, cauliflower just can’t be beat. Because it’s generally at its best during the cooler months, it also translates into a great comfort food for a cold winter’s day; but it’s equally at home at a summer picnic in a fresh tossed salad or all by itself!

Adding Leeks to Your Menu

Leeks are a little known but very flavorful cousin of the onion that deserve a place in modern cooking. With a mild flavor that lends itself well to all kinds of recipes, this delicious and healthy vegetable offers a great deal of nutrition. Although they appear to be a larger version of the green onion, a green onion actually has a much stronger taste. Leeks are a great choice for the onion flavor without overwhelming other elements of your food.

The Nutrition in Leeks

Leeks are a fantastic source of Vitamins A, C, and K, as well as folate, which is essential to brain and eye development in young children. They are also a good source of calcium, magnesium, iron and potassium. Leeks are low in fat and sugar, and provide dietary fiber.

How to Cook with Leeks

Unlike other members of the onion family, leeks aren’t particularly well suited to eating raw, and are usually cooked and used to flavor a variety of dishes.

Because leeks grow up out of the ground and have many layers like onions, they tend to collect a good bit of dirt and sand in between the layers. One of the first things you will need to do with fresh leeks is to wash them thoroughly. Make sure to get through all the layers to remove all of the dirt. The best way to do this is to cut through the middle of the leek and fan it out under running water. Discard the dark green portion of the leek and cook with the white and light green parts for the best flavor.

There are many soups that use leeks, some of them quite famous, including cock-a-leekie soup, a Scottish dish made from leeks and chicken stock, and the French-named vichyssoise. Although this leek and potato soup is often thought to be of French descent, it likely has its roots in America, and may be one of the best known uses for leeks. As one of the national symbols of Wales, the leek appears in a number of traditional Welsh dishes as well.

You can use leeks in just about any recipe where you might use onions, but be aware that it will change the taste. This can be a good thing if your kids aren’t a fan of the strong taste of onions, adding the nutrition without the overpowering flavor. Leeks are also a great choice for a lightly flavored dip for vegetables or even chips (go for vegetables for a healthier choice, though!).

Add leeks to stews, or throw some into the slow cooker with a roast or chicken. They are also a great addition to quiche, again offering a more mellow flavor than onions. Consider mixing leeks in with mashed potatoes to add a kick of savory flavor as well as extra nutrition. They are an excellent substitution for green onions (also known as scallions) or chives.

With a delicious mild flavor that is kid-friendly and a good dose of important vitamins and minerals, leeks are a great addition to your cooking routine, and will add new flavor to old dishes. Easy to find in most supermarkets, be sure to give leeks a try the next time you are looking to add a little more taste and a lot more nutrition to simple meals like soups or stews.

Helping Your Baby Learn to Self-Feed

Although it will likely be a long time before your baby is really able to eat without any assistance, the early attempts at self-feeding are an important first step to your baby’s independence. From learning to pick up foods with her fingers to figuring out the fork and spoon, self-feeding is a process that takes a long time and lot of practice. Help your baby get started with the right foods and a little help.

Learning the Pincer Grasp

Around 8-10 months of age, your baby will start using her thumbs and fingers to pick up small objects, including foods. You will see a progression from baby using all of her fingers to scoop food into her fist, towards a more precise pincer grasp that uses only the thumb and forefinger to pick up objects one at a time. This pincer grasp is a good sign your baby is getting ready to self-feed with finger foods.

Offer a small pile of small but easy to grasp food like Cheerios cereal for your baby to practice on. At first, she probably won’t get much into her mouth, but it’s the practice that matters. As baby masters this skill, she will soon be able to eat a wide variety of finger foods without assistance. You should always keep a close eye on baby during these early attempts at self-feeding, as she is not used to the foods and there is a risk of choking. Make sure the choice of baby foods will soften quickly in the mouth to avoid serious choking.

Using Utensils

From the earliest feedings, your baby will probably show a great interest in the spoon. To get him used to the idea, bring two spoons to every feeding, and let him play with one while you feed him with the other. At first, that will be the extent of his spoon skills, but as time goes by you can let him start dipping his own spoon into the food and attempting to bring it to his mouth.

When you move on to chunkier foods, consider giving your baby a small fork (choose one that is intended for babies and not for grown-ups, with a short, easy to grasp handle and tines that are not too sharp) to attempt to pick up food. Because using a spoon requires more steadiness and skill, your baby will likely figure out the fork a little faster. This will encourage him to try harder with the spoon, as each success teaches him a little more and gets him excited about self-feeding.

Good Foods for Early Self-feeding

When teaching baby to self feed with a fork, try foods like pasta, small chunks of cooked vegetables, small pieces of fruit and cooked beans. For learning to use a spoon, it’s best to try thick foods such as oatmeal and yogurt. Thinner foods will be much harder for baby to keep on the spoon and will make a huge mess while frustrating your baby.

Stick to small bites of soft foods that are easy to chew, and bear in mind that early self-feeders often stuff way more food than they can handle into their mouths, so be on the lookout. Most babies will spit it out, but there is always a risk of choking. All self-feeding should be closely supervised until your baby starts to master it – and even then, stay close and keep an eye out!

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