Can Babies Eat Baby Food At 3 Months?
The answer varies from each baby and mainly depends on the babies’ needs as they would tell you the signs when they need food.
However,in 2010 the British Dietetic Association (BDA) Paediatric Group recommended that terms babies should start their first solid food by 6 months but not before 17 weeks (4months).
And the introduction of feeding complimentary food is called weaning. Weaning is the first start of discovering food by all senses so it should be fun and interesting to babies.
Some people believe that babies start to eat earlier which help them to grow stronger and keep them full so that they can sleep whole night long. Some researches show that babies can get all the nutrients they need from breast milk or infant formula until they are around six months old.
It’s worth waiting till then gives their digestive system time to develop fully so it can cope with solid foods. Actually, babies cannot absorb proper nutrition from food until 8-9 months.
What Is The Signs For Weaning?
Every baby is different; however, there are three clear signs that babies show he/she is ready for solid foods beside breast milk or formula. These three signs seem not appear together until your babies 6 months old.
- They can sit up with steady headsas 6 months old babies have developed strength of necks.
- They have a good co-ordination among their eyes, hands and mouth so they can look at the food, pick it up and put it in their mouth, all by themselves.
- They can swallow food. If babies are not ready yet, they normally push their food back out of their tongues.
Some misleading signs that make you think they are ready for weaning:
- Chewing fists.
- Waking in the night when they have slept through most of the nights before.
- Demanding for extra milk feeds.
These behaviours are normal in babies and it not considered as a sign of hunger or assumed that they are ready to eat solid food. In order to help them to sleep through the night, it is worth giving extra feeds until they are ready for weaning.
Methods: Self-Feeding (Baby Let Weaning), Feeding, No Salt/Sugar/Seasoning
There are so many ways to start weaning; however, it again mostly depends on your babies and mothers’ preference. Some would like to feed babies puree spoon by spoon so that they can try the taste of different food.
Others love to let babies discover themselves by letting them touching, playing with food and putting in their mouths by themselves. You can combine both ways following with your babies’ development.
The rules of thumbs are:
- Being with your babies all the time when feeding by yourselves or themselves to avoid choke.
- Vegetables and fruits first then meat later and other dairy products.
- Same food repeated on 2 days to check allergy.
- No sugar/ salt or food without added sugar/salt.
- Small amounts: a teaspoon, few pieces a day at the beginning then increasing later; don’t give your babies too much even they still look like wanting some more. Let them enjoy food and they still have the whole life to try food.
What Food/Drink For Which Age?
Baby Food For 5 Months Or 6 Months:
At first start, introducing babies with mashed/puree or soft cooked fruits and vegetables such as parsnip, potato, sweet potato, squash, carrot, etc. And soft fruits like water melon, pear, melon, banana, avocado. Baby cereal with breastmilk or formula milk is also a good choice for start. You can mix with mashed fruits to add flavours.
Even though babies start to eat solid food at this age, maintaining breast milk or formula as babies still need nutrition from milk and solid food is just the introduction of a new.
It is also worth introducing finger food alongside. Finger food is small cut with a bit stick out enough for babies holding and it is as small as a finger. Finger food helps babies to develop self-feeding, and grabbing skills. Also, finger food let babies feel the textures of different kinds.
After trying all vegetables and fruits, babies are introduced to soft cooked meat for the next step. For examples, cooked and mashed chicken, fish and hard-boiled egg. They also can have pasta, noodles, rice, toast. Full-fat yogurt and no added sugar/salt dairy products could be introduced to babies as well. However, cow-milk is not suitable for babies under one year old.
Babies should be introduced how to use cups at 6 months for sipping water with meals. At this age, they should not be given fruit juice, squash or any added sugar drinks. It is better to give them fruits instead of fruit juice.
Baby Food From 7-9 Months:
At this stage, your babies really need nutrition from food as that in milk seems not enough for their development. Babies tend to have three meals a day with variety of smashed/chopped food from vegetables, fruits to different ranges of meat: chicken, pork, beef, fish. Also, they can try other starchy food and non-dairy proteins, milk and dairy products.
Baby Food From 10-12 Months:
Your babies now can eat three meals a day and two or more healthy snacks like vegetables sticks, fruits, rice cakes alongside breast milk or formula milk. Babies can drink full-fat cow milk after 12 months as they need vitamins and fat in milk for development. Children after 2 years can have semi-skimmed milk if they eat well and can get enough nutrient from food.
Your babies may need these amounts in a day:
- Three to four portions of starchy food.
- Three to four portions of fruits and vegetables.
- Two servings of protein from meat and other sources.
Food To Avoid
- Honey: contains batterias that can cause very bad illness to your babies so it is best not to give honey to babies under one year old.
- Nuts: children under five years old should not be given whole nuts in case of being choke. Also, if there is no nut allergy in the family history, crushed nuts can be introduced to babies at 6 months.
- Jelly cubes: raw jelly cubes can make children choke so it needs cooking under the manufacturer’s guides.
- Fruits: some fruits like grapes can be dangerous for babies as well as young children. Therefore, grapes should be cut up vertically and again always stay with your babies when feeding.
- Shark, swordfish and marlin: are not allowed to give to your babies as the amount of mercury in their meat could affect your babies’ nervous system.
- Raw shellfish: can increase the risk of poison so don’t give it to your babies.
- Eggs: can be introduced to babies after 6 months but make sure they are cooked thoroughly with solid white and yolk.
Weaning is a great start of eating adventure for babies; therefore, it should be enjoyable, fun and healthy to give your babies a good start to the entire whole life.
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Hannah Tong is the founder of Omaby.com, a blog dedicated to providing advice on mother and child care and truthful information. She love taking care of her kids and teaching them the right things. She is enthusiastic and loves sharing her experiences about how to protect family’s health.