This is the twelfth installment in our series on reducing your baby's allergy risk. If you missed the eleventh installment, read it here, or jump back to the During Pregnancy, First 24 Hours, Only Breastfeeding, or Starting Solids installments.
In this lesson, we'll cover months 9 to 10 and introducing new foods into your baby's diet.
Months 9 -12 are the best part of baby’s first year. Your little one is moving around, playful, and talking to you with simple sounds. This era of heavy exploration, rapid learning, and lots of play is about as cute as it gets!
Here are some parting wisdoms as your baby climbs her way to being a toddler.
Time to Eat Like a Big Kid
It’s time to start feeding your baby a wider range of textures if you haven’t already. Your baby may not have many teeth, but her neck muscles are getting stronger, meaning she can safely handle thicker foods.
Months 9-12 are where you’ll probably say adieu to Lil Mixins. If you have been using Lil Mixins Infant Powders to keep peanuts, eggs and tree nuts in you baby’s diet, you can safely switch to feeding your baby creamy peanut butter, almond butter on crackers, and scrambled eggs between 9 and 10 months. When possible, opt for foods and textures your baby will be able to pick up with a pincer grasp (their pointer finger and thumb).
Eat Real Food
If there’s one thing we harp on here it’s the importance of feeding your baby real food. In truth, this is one of the best things you can do for your baby.
You don’t need veggie sticks when carrot sticks are an option. Pre-made pouches are irrelevant when blended, frozen vegetables are almost as quick and have no unnecessary sugar. Stay away from sugary cereal and opt for oatmeal and toast instead.
And no matter what the grocery aisle looks like, puff snacks are not a food group!
Incorporate Gut Healthy Foods
Way back when you were pregnant, we talked about probiotic foods known to promote a healthy gut. While your baby probably loves yogurt, we’re guessing they may not like kimchi or sauerkraut just yet.
But pre-biotic foods like asparagus, bananas, spinach, garlic, artichokes, onions, and whole grains can certainly make their way into your baby’s diet.
Stay on Breastmilk or Formula At Least Through The First Birthday
Even though babies are eating more and more adult food, a key source of their nutrients is still coming from breastmilk or formula. You can continue to breastfeed for as long as you feel comfortable. Some children nurse once a day into pre-school, while others call it quits by the first birthday. Do whatever works for you and your baby.
Most parents stop formula at the first birthday. But babies do not need to switch to cow’s milk. If a baby is eating a good variety of foods with the family, they don’t need to drink milk at all -- they can simply have water. Some families, however, like to incorporate cow’s milk into their toddler’s diet. In either case, your baby probably won’t even notice if you simply switch one day.
Relax, And Have Fun With Food
The good news is the overwhelming majority of eczema issues and food allergies (assuming you are consistently feeding allergenic foods) surface before 10 months, and almost always by age 1. While pediatricians recommend regular exposure to peanuts and egg through age 1, they recommend a “do-what-suits-you” policy after that.