While there are a few essential rules to follow when preparing food for your baby, there are also some common misconceptions regarding what your baby can and cannot consume. Of course, it is essential to consult with your pediatrician about your child’s food choices; however, there may be a few tenets about feeding your baby that have been handed down for generations that just may be antiquated and unnecessary. Once we get past these myths, not only will you have wider range in the kitchen, but also your little one will be opened up to a world of wonder!
1. Bland Food is Safe Food
Yes, when it comes to your infant, it is better to be safe than sorry. Often times, mothers assume that cereals, grains and pastas are the safer bet for their children. However, this notion contributes to the tendency for toddlers to turn their backs on nutrient-rich foods and whine for the familiarity of chicken nuggets and macaroni. It is important, and possible, to introduce complexity into meals early on, made possible by adding sweet potatoes into mac and cheese, for example, or by replacing breaded chicken for steamed vegetables with baked chicken. Swap whole wheat for regular, give faro a try instead of barley, or serve quinoa instead of pasta – do not be afraid to mix it up!
2. Steer Clear of Spices and Seasonings
Something that distinguishes American baby food from other international cuisines is our inclination to feed children flavorless, neutral foods under the assumption that babies have sensitive pallets. While I do not suggest adding in sriracha or red pepper flakes, it doesn’t hurt to experiment with certain spices and seasonings. Why not test your child’s taste buds by throwing in some rosemary. Parsley, cilantro or paprika every now and then!
3. Serve Your Baby Separate Food
An idea most adults normally agree on is that homemade typically beats food from a can. Your baby can live by this, too! There’s no need to buy jarred baby food that is often processed. Instead, you can use things that are ingredients in your own meals. Foods with soft consistencies act as great starters. By just mashing avocado with a fork and adding some seasonings, you have lunch and dinner. For something sweeter, smash a banana and add cinnamon. With a food processor, you can puree steamed vegetables and flavorful spices, making a delicious meal for your little one!