Monday, March 31, 2014

The Sippy Cup

When introducing a sippy cup you will read that it is important to make sure and use at least two kinds.  Personally I prefer the sippy cup that has a straw attached to it.  This will teach your little one the wonderfully convenient skill of using a straw. Then when you are at someone’s house and you have forgotten the sippy cup or at a restaurant, all you need is a straw for him or her to have a functioning drink option.  The second reason that I worry about the other form of sippy cup is based on this article in the Wall Street Journal.   

Whichever you choose, here are some tips I found helpful in selecting a sippy cup for Zara. Look for a cup that:

·      Has a section where mom or dad can give it a squeeze to help them learn how to suck
·      You can clean the straw or mouthpiece with a small wire brush
·      Is a safe plastic, glass or stainless steel
·      Doesn’t leak or only leaks minimally when in a bag or being twirled in the air

I purchased two kinds:
1.     The Little Sipper with a straw from Munchkin
2.     The Safe Sippy with a straw.

And after about a week she can even use a straw!

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Introduction of Solids

You won’t want to begin trying solid foods until your baby is somewhere between 5-8 months of age.  Some research suggests that it is better to wait until 6 months of age to introduce solids as the undeveloped digestive system can be sensitive and food allergies can develop.  Since breast milk is such a great food I decided to wait until Zara was at least 6 months to begin any food introduction.

You should always nurse your infant first before offering a solid food. Offer whole foods in as close to the natural state as possible (mashed and cooked fruits and vegetables, cooked cereal grains, etc.). At about 9 months you may let your baby attempt to feed herself as part of her exploration.  Each item needs to be individually introduced for 3 days at a time to make sure delayed food sensitivities don’t crop up within the 72-hour window.  If your baby shows any of the following symptoms eliminate it for a while before you try it again. Don't offer any combinations until all the foods have been introduced individually.

Unusual fussiness
Stuffy/runny nose
Ear infections
Change in personality                               
Rash around mouth or anus (or other skin reactions)

It is very import how and in what order you introduce your food groups.  I prefer the following order and within each group I’m including the foods and the order I used for Zara.

1.     Vegetables:           
a.     Yellow/Orange vegetables first: squash, yams, sweet potatoes, carrots (corn is a common allergen so wait until 1 year)
                                               i.     For Zara: kopacha squash, butternut squash, sweet potato, yam, carrots
b.     Green Vegetables:  green Beans, broccoli, spinach, peas
                                               i.     For Zara:  green beans, peas, broccoli, spinach
c.      Various colored: cauliflower, purple yams, bok choy
                                               i.     For Zara: cauliflower, purple yams
2.     Fruits:  Limit these and think of them like a desert always giving veggies first: applesauce, pear, banana, papaya, mango, prunes, peaches
a.     For Zara: applesauce, pear, mango, prune, peach, papaya
b.     Hold off on all citrus, pineapple and kiwi until 1 year as these are hard on the tummy due to acidic content
3.     Proteins:  Lentils   Zara:  Lentils Hold off on the rest of the bigger beans and meats until baby is 1 year or more.

The easiest way to make baby food is to steam the fruit or veggie in distilled or filtered water and then blend using the distilled water that captured some of the nutrients while steaming. I recommend freezing in cubes for easy reheating.  Use the silicon ice cube trays as the food is easier to pop out and put in a bag.  See the photo of me doing this with squash.  That way once all the food is introduced you can easily mix and match.