Healthy eating habits start early. As soon as your bub is ready to start exploring solids, you have an opportunity to support their learning (which at this stage is just sucking and chewing and drooling) but these are little life skills that need to be learned and developed through practice.
First feeds can be daunting. But like all baby firsts, they can be exciting and oh so cute to witness! If you are prepared and patient, and bubs feels safe and ready - you will both have it down in no time. And there are plenty of tools to help along the way.
A fresh food feeder can assist with the transition to self-feeding and beyond. It works by popping chunks of fresh food into the pouch, then locking it away by attaching it to an easy-grip handle. Babies are then able to easily grasp and navigate the feeder to their mouth to suck, slurp and explore new tastes.
How to know when my baby is ready?
Somewhere between 4 and 6 months is usually advised by the baby experts, as a good time to start with solids! Of course, it varies so it’s a good idea to tune-in to your bubs behaviours and let them guide you.
There are some signs you can look out for that suggest you and your baby are about to embark on a first-foods adventure! Bubs should be able to hold their head unsupported and will start to watch you nibble and munch with interest.
They might hold their teeny little mouth open and imitate eating and chewing actions and will start to show, through cooing sounds and hand gestures (like attempting to steal your toast clean out of your hand) that they are keen to get in on the solid food action! If you are unsure, you can always check in with your health nurse, or mama crew.
Introducing solids helps bub to learn new skills needed for eating, like hand to mouth coordination and the strength and endurance for chewing, munching and crunching. Not to mention exploring a variety of yummy tastes.
First feeds may be led by a parent, or baby-led using fingers or suitable cutlery. A fresh food feeder supports both; letting mama or bubba take the lead, to practice with tastes and textures whilst eliminating the fear of choking so mama can rest assured.
What’s more a fresh food feeder let’s bub grasp easily and requires less motor coordination than other self-feeding ways. And it’s less messy. Because whilst we know messy eating and play are important – there are times at home or on-the-go when less mess is most welcome.
What about drinks? At 4 to 6 months, some bubs that are still having lots of breastfeeds may not need extra drinks. But when bub starts solids you can offer boiled, cooled water in a suitable cup like a spout or sippy to keep healthy and hydrated, and so littlies can munch and sip like the rest of the family!
Generally, first foods can be served up fresh, streamed, microwaved, or boiled and can be smooth, pureed, mashed or in soft pieces. With a fresh food feeder soft pieces are the go.
Choose easily available produce guided by the season. Vegetables like avocado, sweet potato, pumpkin, broccoli, carrot, and cucumber are great starters. Or fruits (be it fresh or stewed to soften slightly) like banana, pear, apple, watermelon, kiwi fruit, oranges – take your pick.
Start with single flavours to get bubs learning and exploring and then build up to tasty combinations like banana & avocado, apple & cauliflower, and pea & pear. Gradually you can build up to larger, firmer pieces and add in dairy options like yoghurt mixed with fruit or even frozen yoghurt ice blocks – what a treat!
Particularly for a teething bub, a fresh food feeder can provide relief to sore gums. And not just for babies, toddlers can enjoy frozen fruits or small icy treats using a fresh food feeder too. Particularly useful as a simple and nutritious snack while you pack away the shopping or get dinner prepped.
A variety of different colours, textures and flavours will help keep all kids healthy… and coming back for more!
Keeping it clean
Like all things used for bubs, it’s super important to keep feeding items hygienically clean before, during and in-between use.
Baby’s first tastes are all about exploring new skills, flavours and textures. Let mealtime be playtime in the journey of self-feeding. And as a bonus, you can keep bub busy licking and slurping just long enough to enjoy a peaceful moment and a hot (not luke-warm) cuppa. Ah, it’s the simple things!
You’ve got this mama… and we’ve got you!
Article supplied by b.box for kids.