When I was feeding my daughter her first foods when she was about 6 months old I started with cereal. Then vegetables and fruit, then meat, but now there are new guidelines that show a baby’s first foods need to include those that are iron rich.
For the first 6 months it is so important to breast feed if possible. After that breast milk does not give a growing baby the nutrients that they need. “At this age, iron-rich foods, such as meat, meat alternatives (e.g., eggs, tofu, and legumes), and iron-fortified infant cereals, are important to help meet the nutrient needs of the rapidly growing infants. ”
The new recommendations from Health Canada have definitely changed. Guess a steak for baby would be a safe bet now..well a pureed steak. These new guidelines look much like what an aboriginal diet for a baby looks like. Meats are now being introduced much sooner then before.
The recommendations say to serve your babies iron-rich foods at least two or more times each day; and meat, such as beef, poultry, fish or meat alternatives daily. Frequent consumption of meat, poultry and fish, can contribute considerably to meeting infant iron requirements because the heme iron they provide is more readily absorbed than non-heme iron found in plant based foods such as infant cereals.
Why the change? Iron rich foods including beef, chicken, fish, eggs, tofu, and legumes offer rapidly growing nutrients needed for development. Iron is critical for a baby’s growth and cognitive development. Perhaps the aboriginals who have been doing this for years have it right.
Need to know how to make a simple beef puree for your baby:
Puréed Baby Meat
1/2 cup (125 mL)beef, cut into small pieces
1/4 cup (50 mL) water or cooking liquid or milk
In a food processor or blender, combine meat and water. Process for 1 to 2 minutes or until smooth. Serve immediately or freeze for later use.
*Source Canada Beef.