Debunking Baby Food Myths
You may be surprised to learn that many baby food rules, once thought to be truths written in stone, are changing. Learn what experts now recommend as the best foods for your growing baby as we bust six common baby-feeding myths.
Myth #4: Babies Know Exactly What They Need to Eat
Dr. Kleinman laughs when he describes this common baby myth. To the contrary, babies do not have some mystical ability to sense a nutritious food and gravitate toward it. If you cover baby’s highchair tray with an assortment of foods, she won’t naturally grab the healthy choices. That’s why your infant depends on you to provide healthy and filling foods at each meal and snack.
During your baby’s first few months of solid foods, you’ll probably do most of the feeding. However, as babies increase the amount of solids they consume, their motor abilities increase so that they can begin feeding themselves. Amy Lanou, author of Healthy Eating for Life for Children and former nutrition director for Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, suggests offering your baby some finger foods. Lanou, who advocates a plant-based diet, recommends these finger foods:
- Wedge of toasted oat bread
- Small chunks of well-cooked sweet potato
- Slices of soft banana
- Chunks of avocado
- Beans that are cooked until soft and then mashed
Offering these types of foods gives babies a sense of choice and control while still providing them with valuable nutrients. Whether you decide to introduce animal-based products or raise your child on a vegetarian diet, there are many delicious and healthy options from which to select your baby’s foods, but don’t count on your baby’s ability to pick out the best.
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