Food and Cooking
Starting your baby on solids can be very overwhelming and I also found it quite emotional. Realizing that your little one is growing up so fast and can already start eating "grown-up food".

There are so many different things to be aware of and take into consideration when planning to start solids. Many mothers have a long list of questions and concerns, like "What should her first food be?", "How much should I be feeding her per meal?", "What if she has an allergic reaction!".

As mothers, we all want the best for our babies and that includes giving them a healthy nutritious diet, that won't cause them harm. I have therefore compiled a complete guide to "The food rules".

Here is a nice summary of the food rules for babies:
  • No Honey before age 1 (raw or cooked).
  • No Salt before age 1.
  • No Sugar before age 1.
  • No bottles of cow's milk or other milks before age 1, as breastmilk / formula remains the main source of nutrition before age 1.
  • No juices or other cold drinks eg. sodas. (Diluted juice can be offered after 1, diluted 1 part juice to 10 parts water, basically only used as a flavoring)
  • No large bottles of water, a baby 6 months to 1 year can have a maximum of 2oz / 60ml of other fluids in addition to their breastmilk / formula per day. (The 60 ml max includes water and teas for the day)
  • No caffeinated drinks, including English tea that contains caffeine. Rooibos tea in small amounts is okay, keeping in mind the 60ml per day limit for other fluids and being mindful of the fact that rooibos tea has been linked to interfering with the body's ability to absorb iron.
  • No hard nuts. (choking hazard)
  • No popcorn until age 5. (choking hazard)
  • All meats, fish and eggs fully cooked until age 5.
  • No deli meats. (risk of listeria)
  • Limit Smoked meats such as Bacon due to Nitrates released in the smoking process.
  • Viennas to cut into lengthwise quarters if offered (choking hazard).
  • No spoons full of peanut-butter or other nut butters (choking hazard). It can be spread on toast, or rice cakes, drizzled over steamed apple etc.
  • Grapes, blueberries and olives need to be quartered length wise (choking hazard).
  • Brown Bread, Rye Bread or Seed Loaf are better options than White bread due to sugar content (Check the ingredients for Honey), Sweet Potato Bread is a good source of iron.
  • No tuna fish due to mercury content.
  • Limit Soy sauce (high in sodium).
  • Raw hard vegetables, including raw apple, are chocking hazards and should rather be steamed.
  • Check the ingredients of ready made baby foods and cereals, most have very high sugar content.
  • Best to skip rice cereal, as it has no nutritional value.
  • Never add cereal to baby's bottle (choking hazard).

Be sure to pass this along to make another mom's life a little easier. You can even print this for granny if she is going to be looking after little one.