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What To Look for When Picking Out Baby Foods
When your little one starts eating solids, you want what’s best for them. But, how do you choose between the different kinds of baby foods? We’ve got you covered!
What To Look for When Picking Out Baby Foods
One of the most amazing benefits of breastfeeding is knowing that your body provides all the nutrients your baby needs, from hydration to iron and calcium. Even when your baby begins eating solids, you’ll still be breastfeeding to ensure they get enough nutrients and hydration.
However, knowing what to look for in baby foods can be confusing and stressful. If breastfeeding isn’t an option, various alternatives, such as feeding formula, are available.
That’s where Yumi comes in! This guide breaks down everything from which nutrients to look for in baby food, what textures you need for different stages, to how to read labels and pick out packaging.
Let’s talk about how to achieve nutritional balance and pick out baby foods like a pro!
One of the most essential factors to look for when picking out baby food is the nutrients they contain. Babies at six months old have different nutritional needs than babies who are 11 months old as their bodies are growing and developing in different ways.
Here’s a guide to which nutrients your baby needs at different ages:
- For example, babies of 6 months need foods rich in iron. While breast milk provided all the iron your baby needed up until now, they will need more in their foods when they’re beginning solids and breastfeeding less.
- 7-month-old babies need lots of protein as they start moving more. Protein supports this movement and promotes strength!
- At eight months, your baby will need magnesium to promote sleep and napping.
- 9-month-old babies need copper, magnesium, and manganese for metabolism and blood cell formation.
- At ten months, your baby needs calcium to support delicate growth and movement.
- At 11 months, your little one relies on choline to improve brain function and promote cognitive development.
- Once your baby reaches 12 months of age, they still need a rich diet of calcium for their bone growth.
Consistency is another important factor to look for when picking out baby foods! Some baby foods that are thin and soupy are meant for babies who are new to eating solids. Other baby foods have a mashed, chunky consistency and are made for babies who’ve been eating solids for a few months.
In addition, baby snacks or bite-sized foods are made for older babies who have begun to chew.
Here’s a guide to what baby food consistency to look for when baby food shopping:
- Thinner, single-ingredient purees are best for babies who are six months and older.
- Slightly thicker single-ingredient purees are made for babies six months and up who have moved on from thinner purees.
- Two slightly thicker ingredient purees are for babies seven months and older!
- At eight months, your baby can have mashed multi-ingredient baby foods that are still smooth but have more texture.
- When your babe is nine months, they can have mashed baby foods that are more textured and include seeds, fibers, and skins. These can also be multi-ingredient foods.
- At ten months, your little one can have baby food with small pieces of whole foods. For instance, whole peas and chopped-up vegetables. This helps them get acquainted with picking up food with their own hands and bringing it to their mouths.
- Puffed snacks such as our Beet Puffs or Cauliflower Puff snacks are for babies 11 months and older!
- At 11 months, your baby can also have nutrient-dense bite-sized snacks! For instance, our Broccoli Lentil Bites, or Butternut Squash Bites are rich in nutrients and help your baby develop and expand their taste and texture palates!
Why is it important to slowly introduce textures and consistencies into your baby’s diet? Your baby’s tummy is delicate, and their digestive system is too. So, as your baby begins breastfeeding less and eating more solids, their tummies work in different ways to process and digest these solids. Just wait until you change your baby’s diaper after introducing their first solids!
Moving through texture and consistency stages gradually, as well as introducing single-ingredient stages before multi-ingredient foods help their tummies adjust to new foods. And this makes the feeding experience better for both of you!
Pouches vs. Jars
Another important thing to look for is packaging. Should your baby’s food be in a pouch? In a jar? In a can? While it may not seem to matter, it makes a bigger difference than most realize. Let’s talk about it!
Baby food pouches have been increasing in popularity for the last decade. And we understand why! The convenience of not needing to refrigerate or use a spoon to feed your baby makes it quick, easy, and effortless. However, there are a few things to know before stocking up on baby food pouches.
Baby food pouches take away from the baby food eating experience. Letting your baby pick up a spoon and move it to their mouth helps develop their motor skills and helps them learn cause and effect when they interact with the world! Your baby learns that when they touch the spoon, it moves, and if they pick it up and put it to their mouths, they can eat it. Pouches take away from this interaction and can actually cause your baby to develop motor skills more slowly and rely more on pouches.
Another reason we don’t love food pouches is that they tend to have high sugar content, and low fiber content. Feeding your baby too much sugar can be dangerous and affect not only their health now, but their health down the road.
What they eat now matters. If they eat sugary foods now, they’re more likely to eat more sugary foods down the road and even as an adult. Fiber is also important for your little one’s digestion and break down of nutrients in their body. Finding foods with a good fiber-to-food ratio is important, but most food pouches are low in fiber and can’t provide this ratio.
Pouches are fine in moderation, especially if you’re looking for a quick and easy snack on a busy day. However, relying on baby food pouches to provide all the nutrition and meals for your baby may cause more harm than good.
Why is Picking the Right Baby Food So Important?
Research shows that there is no time in your child’s development as of vital in the first 1000 days. Starting at conception and ending when your baby turns two, this is the time when your baby grows the most.hat you feed them during this time literally sets the stage for the rest of their lives.
So, knowing which baby food to choose and which factors to look for is important! From which nutrients to give your baby, what consistency, and how to make sure they get the best ingredients to promote their growth, picking out baby food is one of the most important things you can do as a parent.
And, you’re not alone! We’ve carefully crafted these tools and resources to help you make the best nutrition decisions for your little one.
How To Make the Best Choice
Checking every baby food option at your local grocery store for nutrients, consistency, an organic label, and sugar content can be a hassle, and take the fun out of shopping for baby food with your little one.
That’s why we do what we do! We’ve made our Yumi Milestone Plan to ensure that, at every stage of life, your precious little one gets every ounce of nutrients they need with none of the added sugar or unnecessary ingredients.
We believe every bite counts, but we also believe each minute with your baby counts too! You set the stage for the rest of their lives, so we’ve done the research and science for you so you can sit back and enjoy all the little milestones with your babe.