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The 6 Key Points to Preparing Your Own Baby Food

Congratulations on taking the decision to prepare your own
food for your baby! By doing so, you're treating him to two
of life's greatest gifts -- good health and delicious food.

Before you get started, here are some important points to
keep in mind...

ONE AT A TIME
Introduce new foods to your baby's diet one at a time. Allow
at least five days between each new food. This will give you
time to spot any allergic reactions. Introduce them at
breakfast or lunch to reduce the risk of any allergic
symptoms developing during the night. Be sure to only give
your baby foods that are appropriate for his/her age.

TAKE IT IN STEPS
Make the progression from thin liquid purées to more solid,
chunkier meals slowly, making sure that your baby is able to
cope comfortably with the new texture every step of the way.

KEEP IT WHOLESOME
Add no salt, little or no sugar and little or no fat to your
baby's food. Let's leave the unwanted additives to the baby
food manufacturers. Even if, to you, the food seems to lack
something, your baby won't mind (it's still much tastier
than anything that comes in a jar).

DON'T FORCE YOUR BABY TO EAT IF HE/SHE DOESN'T WANT TO
We all have a tendency to over-react if our little bundle of
joy doesn't want his supper. But, remember, we all have times
when we just don't feel hungry -- it's just that your baby
has no way of telling you this. Give him/her the amount
he/she wants, no more and no less. Don't worry, he/she will
make up for it next time.

DON'T FORGET THE BASICS
Always test the temperature of the food before you serve it.
Keep in mind that your baby's mouth is more sensitive than
yours. Be sure to pay attention to good hygiene practices
when preparing your baby's food.

NEVER BEFORE 4 MONTHS
You may find that your friends and family -- with the best
of intentions -- will tell you to begin adding cereals to
the bottle when your baby is just a few weeks old. The story
goes that this will help him/her sleep better at night.
Please ignore this advice -- it is a myth. Your baby's body
isn't ready to cope with any solid foods yet.
Do NOT give your baby ANY solid foods before he/she reaches
four months of age. Most babies begin the transition
somewhere between five and seven months (no later than eight
months is recommended).

Finally, always keep in mind that every baby is unique. While
there are some rules that are true for every child, feeding
your baby is largely a process of 'learning on the job'.
After all, it's your baby who'll let you know when he/she is
ready to try out new foods and it's your baby who'll tell
you what he/she likes or doesn't like.

Use good old common sense. Follow the guidelines, but don't
be ruled by them.

Have Fun!

Nancy.

About the Author

Nancy Miller is author of 'How to Make Your Own Healthy Baby
Food' and a full-time working mom. Visit Nancy's website at
http://www.healthy-baby-food.com

Nancy Miller