The moment when we start diversifying the baby’s food represents the start for new food habits which will influence the growth and the development of the baby all through its life. It is a common knowledge that the first 4-6 months are dominated by dairy products and preferably by maternal milk. During this time the baby gets all the nutrients from one source.
If you introduce new foods sooner than 4-6 months the baby might develop severe digestive issues.
Before the age of 6 months the baby’s deglutition is not mature enough and the head and body positions may cause unwanted accidents.
You can start considering solid baby food when the baby:
- Holds its head and has enough balance to sit down without being supported permanently by a parent
- The baby follows the food with its eyes
- Opens the mouth when it sees the food coming close and moves the lower lip when you remove the teaspoon from its mouth
- The baby can push the food from the spoon to the back of the mouth in order to swallow it.
A few decades ago it was recommended to introduce meat based baby food to the baby around the age of 7-8 months depending on the baby’s tolerance for the new addition. Nowadays this change in the baby’s diet is encouraged to start a month sooner.
This happens because after the age of 6 months the reserves of iron and zinc inside the mother’s body decrease. The maternal milk can’t keep up with the baby’s metabolism and this is the moment when you should introduce the meat in the baby’s diet.
Around 90% of the 10 months old babies have an iron and zinc deficiency and these elements must be supplemented by the baby’s nutrition. The meat is an important source of iron and zinc and quite the only one able to provide both elements in the same time.