There are lots of people out there with an opinion on how to introduce solids to your baby. Well-meaning grandmas, celebrity chefs, the random lady down the street. You name it, they have a great plan for what you should give your baby when.
For years the go-to first food for babies was rice cereal. Farex to be exact. Iron-fortified baby cereal, because the fear of God was put into mothers about how children need iron by 6 months of age… blah blah blah!
Now there are some babies who do need iron from solids foods in the second half of their first year of life. Iron stores from the mother during pregnancy do start to wane after around 6-8 months, and neither breast milk, nor formula, provide a good level of iron in a form that is easily absorbed by young guts.
But is rice cereal really the best way to combat this problem?
The short answer is…no!
There are other ways to get iron, in forms that are well absorbed. And there is great new research that we can give our babies that iron, and help prevent them developing food allergies at the same time.
See after years of delaying the introduction of highly allergenic foods like eggs and nuts, the newer research and guidelines suggest that maybe we need to change the game plan. Allergies are on the rise, 1 in 10 children under the age of 12 months have an allergy to something. Clearly, delaying eggs and nuts is not working to reduce allergies.
So the new research suggests that early introduction may actually help to reduce the rate of allergies.
Eggs are amazing. Full of iron, good omega 3 fats and protein, they are little powerhouses of nutrients.
An egg is a fantastic choice for early food. Even a first food.
You can give your child the iron they need, the protein and healthy brain growing fat they need, and hopefully, help to reduce their chance of developing an allergy.
My tips for giving egg… make sure it is cooked through. Hard-boiled makes a great food for baby-led weaning, scrambled is easily spoon-fed for those doing traditional weaning. If you are understandably concerned about bacteria, ensure it is well cooked and as fresh as possible. If you can, choose pasture-raised or free-range.
My best advice, steer clear of the highly processed cereals and head for something natural and full of goodness instead. Eggs are no longer the devil!
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