Tips for Starting New Foods
- If you have a child with CMA and want to begin transitioning to more solid foods, talk to a healthcare professional first.
- Make sure that your child isn’t experiencing any obvious signs of the cow’s milk allergy before beginning to introduce new foods.
- If you’re ready to start your child on any new foods, do it at lunch, not dinner, as it’ll likely be easier to keep an eye on them and get medical assistance if they have an allergic reaction.
- Keep track of when you give your child any new foods and what, if any, reactions they have to them.
- Babies are more likely to prefer foods with flavors that they know, so introduce new foods along with familiar ones, rather than on their own.
- Wait until your baby is hungry before offering them a food they haven’t tried before.
- Don’t worry if your baby doesn’t like a new food straight away. They may need to try it up to 10 times before they get used to it.
- Babies can generally sense negative feelings so try to be positive when feeding your baby.
- Help your baby feel included by feeding and talking to them at family mealtimes. This also may help babies learn to eat and chew solid foods by watching you ‘model’ how to eat (e.g. how to move your mouth and jaw to bite and chew).
General Feeding Tips for Introducing Solids
Babies should be allowed to eat as quickly or slowly as they like. Don’t rush or push your baby into eating more when it seems like they’ve had enough.
- Just give your baby little bits of a new food to start with — one or two teaspoons of smooth purée is usually enough.
- The amount of food eaten when introducing solids to babies doesn’t matter; what counts is getting them used to eating solids.
- Try giving your baby food with an increasing variety of textures as they age.
- Be sure to read food labels carefully to avoid products with milk ingredients.
- Make more food than is needed and freeze the leftovers.
- While babies are still spoon-feeding, offer them milk-free finger foods so that they can hold them, which can help them get used to chewing.
Overall, keep food allergies in mind when you start introducing solids to babies. The process of adapting to baby food allergies can tend to be easier when you take the time to let them try new things and find out what they like.