My Favorite First Foods

My Favorite First Foods

My favorite first foods is part of the NayaCare series, The Pediatrician Meets the Nutritionist which provides a nutritionist and pediatrician perspective on introducing solid food into your baby’s diet.

Sonal Patel, MD, Pediatrician:  

When we start introducing baby food, developmentally, we want babies to be sitting upright supported with good head and neck control.  Most babies master this by 6 months.  Other signs of readiness include interest in what parents are eating, reaching out for food, and opening their mouth once food is near. 

“Food is fun until one (year).”  This statement acknowledges that the nutrition coming from food does not replace any milk feeds (breast or formula).  Therefore, take the stress out of feeding.  Make it an opportunity to explore textures and tastes with your little one for the next 6 months.  When starting, there is no schedule.  However, it is easiest when you are eating as well.  Subconsciously, this sets the idea of “family meals” as your little one grows.  

Now, the debate over puree versus solids is just that– a debate.  Foods that can be mashed up do not necessarily have to be fully pureed. For example, a ripe banana can be served with blending breastmilk/water or hand held.  The general rule of thumb is start with what YOU feel comfortable with: puree, mashed, solid, bought or homemade.  

The concept of baby led weaning (BLW) in which you introduce formed food is sometimes concerning to parents due to choking hazard.  However, a recent research study looking at BLW and choking demonstrated no increased risk.  When feeding your baby, puréed or solids, you need to supervise and monitor portions to prevent choking.  You cannot simply just walk away.  Infant CPR is recommended.  Lastly, allowing your baby to play with food placed on their high chair or hand held spoon helps develop fine motor skills.  

Emily Pierson, NFC, MNT: 

Bananas
Bananas are one of my favorite first foods for many reasons, the first being that they basically have their own enzymes that help to break down the food, this makes for easy digesting for new tummies.  The fiber in bananas also helps prevent bloating and constipation. Bananas are also a great source of potassium – this important nutrient supports cellular function and acts as an electrolyte to aid in hydration. 

Ways to serve baby banana: puree or mash alone or with a bit of breast milk or formula with a pinch of cinnamon – OR – peel a bit of banana for baby to hold, leaving a bit of the skin on one end for baby to grab. 

Wait until bananas are almost over-ripe before serving to the baby, this will make them softer and less of a choking hazard.  At this stage they will also contain more enzymes to aid in their digestion. Look for one that is soft, but not mushy, with a few small brown spots.

Avocado
Another one of my favorite baby foods! Avocados are full of healthy fats to support brain development and fiber to support digestion.  Avocados also contain Zinc and Vitamin E, two important nutrients for immune health, as well as many growth-supporting B vitamins.  Because avocados are soft, they aren’t usually considered much of a choking hazard, but as always, stay close by and keep an eye on your baby while they are eating.  

When first introducing avocadoes to a baby, I like to offer large, thick spears of ripe avocado with the skin still on, this allows the baby to get a better grip on the food, just be sure to wash the skin before cutting.  Another option is to mash up some avocado and mix with breast milk or formula and serve to the baby in a puree style.  

I like these spoons for first-time eating practice: ChooMee FlexiDip Baby Starter Spoon


Recently on the NayaCare Blog

Episode 3: Lauren

Episode 3: Lauren

It didn’t seem like it was going to be all that bad! Lauren had her beautiful baby boy right as our area began to shut down. But she wasn’t at all prepared for how Covid impacted her postpartum care and journey.

Listen as she shares her story and why she’s so happy she invested in NayaCare for her postpartum care. 

Lauren and her husband were told that it may take a while for them to get pregnant. They began trying right after they got married, and surprise! In month one they had a positive pregnancy test. 

Her pregnancy went great. No crazy symptoms or issues. Then as she prepared to go into the hospital, things started to go sideways. 

She was supposed to have the support of her mom and her mother-in-law, but they weren’t allowed at the hospital. Her husband was allowed to be there, unmasked, but she had to labor with a mask on. 

The biggest challenge however came when they finally got home with their precious bundle. Their support system couldn’t be there to help them out.

Colorado was completely locked down at that time, so they couldn’t receive visitors. 

One thing that went right however was not having to go anywhere else for their appointments. Her home visits were a life saver.

Now that her family has been able to see their little one and they’ve been able to go out, things are looking up. She wishes she’d had those little moments earlier, but she’s soaking them up and so grateful to appreciate them to the fullest. 

Listen in to hear her full story and learn more about Lauren’s postpartum experience during Covid.

Links and Resources: 

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Introducing: The Pediatrician Meets The Nutritionist

Introducing: The Pediatrician Meets The Nutritionist

Dear NayaCare Families, 

We are so excited to offer our new blog:  The Pediatrician meets the Nutritionist: Baby’s Introduction to Food.  Similar to breastfeeding, there is so much information leaving parents confused.  Moreover, everyone seems to have an opinion and judgement on whether puree versus baby-led weaning.   We want to cut through the fluff and provide vetted knowledge that you can apply.    

It is my pleasure to introduce Emily Pierson, a Certified Natural Foods Chef and Master Nutrition Therapist.  I met Emily through NayaCare.  (I love working with my moms!) She has a beautiful 6 month son.  Similar to many of you, she had questions regarding the introduction of baby food.  In our appointment, we both realized how much misinformation is out there.  

We will be following Emily and her son with their food journey on social media (Instagram, Facebook) and through our blogs.  How our program differs from others is because we will combine the Pediatrician and Nutrition perspectives to give you concrete information so you become empowered in your own journey.   We will also guide you through food concepts such as puree and baby led weaning.  We will present both ways so you can ultimately decide what is best for you and your baby.  Also, Emily will periodically share tips on how to incorporate certain food for the whole family.  

The general rule of thumb is start with what YOU feel comfortable with: puree, mashed, solid, bought or homemade. 

Happy exploring! Please feel free to ask any questions along the way and share with anyone that will benefit! 

Sincerely, Dr. Patel 


Recently on the NayaCare Blog

Episode 2: Olivia

Episode 2: Olivia


For Olivia, pregnancy was a bit of a surprise. She’d stopped taking her birth control pills for a few weeks and thought it would take longer to get pregnant.


Surprise!


One month later she had a positive pregnancy test.


Her pregnancy was typical. But the week before she was to have her little one, the world shut down. They’d already been preparing to change their plans as they realized how fast Covid was spreading, but they were not prepared for the new reality.


Added to the issue of the pandemic, one week after having their little one, Colorado had a record breaking winter storm roll through.


They tried as early as they did to involve their parents in their new little bundle’s life. Covid took some of that time away from them.


Listen as Olivia shares her story and the fears she had as she approached her due date. Every woman gets nervous before giving birth, but women giving birth during the pandemic had even more to worry about.


One of the biggest worries was not having a support system when they went home.


In some ways, for Olivia and her husband, this was a good thing. They became a stronger unit and were able to focus on them and their baby. In other ways, it dashed their dreams of how they wanted to present their precious bundle to their world.
How did you share the news of your little one with friends and family?

Episode 1: Chelsea

Episode 1: Chelsea

Our first story comes from Chelsea. She and her fiance were very excited to be welcoming their first little one, but she realized that pregnancy, birth, and postpartum were going to be completely new experiences. 


She shares everything from craving fried chicken even though she had been a pescatarian for over 3 years to developing carpal tunnel and not feeling her baby kick until well into pregnancy.


Each one of these things was completely normal. 


Covid was not! That’s right. Chelsea delivered her precious bundle as the world was shutting down and her entire delivery and postpartum plan changed. 


Come to find out, delivery was the easy part. Postpartum was no cakewalk and while she’d done a ton of research, she didn’t know what she didn’t know. No one ever talks about what happens after having a baby.


We don’t talk about the erratic emotions or the never ending doctor’s appointments or all the new worries that take over your mind.


Listen as Chelsea shares her story and why she was so happy she found NayaCare when she did. 


Did you experience any of these same symptoms? How has Covid affected your pregnancy, birth, or postpartum? 

Links and Resources: 

NayaCare

NayaCare on Facebook

NayaCare on Instagram

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