The first food bubs love
By 6 months, babies are ready to begin eating solids. Prior to this, their swallowing reflex has not fully developed and besides, mother’s milk or an infant formula is providing all the nutrients a baby requires. A newborn will double in size by the time they are 12 months old. It is important to feed them plenty of nutritious foods during this rapid growth phase – breast milk or infant formula for the first 6 months, then introducing nutritious solid foods.
Rice cereal is commonly the first solid food offered to babies. Mashed fruits and vegetables soon follow as they are least likely to cause an allergic reaction. Bananas, with the soft texture and natural sweetness that babies love, are an ideal first food as they come packed with essential vitamins (eg vitamin C & B6) and minerals (eg potassium and magnesium), in their freshest, most natural form.
The ideal finger food
Bananas are the perfect food for bubs. Nibbled, chewed, sucked or squished. Give them a small amount of banana at a time. During teething, a finger food like a cool or frozen banana can help relieve the pain of a tooth coming through.
Introducing new foods
Remember that a new food may need to be introduced 8-10 times before it becomes well accepted by infants. Acceptance of new foods is often quicker with naturally sweet foods like the banana. You may wish to try giving banana mashed with breast milk or formula in the first few times at introducing solids. The texture of the banana can increase as the baby learns to chew. Make sure the banana is ripe, usually indicated by the skin beginning to mottle.
It is advisable to introduce new foods one at a time in small amounts to make it easier to observe any food allergy. Food allergies affect only 5 children out of 100 and are most likely to be seen with egg, fish, shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, milk, wheat, and soy. Children will grow out of some of these allergies by the time they are five years. It is very rare for a child to have an allergy to a banana. If you suspect an allergy, see your doctor. Do not try and diagnose an allergy yourself. If you happen to be wrong, then you are denying your child a wholesome food.