Back to articles Your Baby-feeding Checklist: Countdown to Health! By: Dr. Joey Shulman

Categories: Parenting

Feeding your baby in the first year is an exciting time for both parent and tot. In order to set the stage for proper growth and development, there are certain food basics every parent should be aware of. Your countdown to health begins here.

#5 – Let your baby be our guide


For the first 4-6 months of life, most babies will get all the nutrition they require from their mother’s milk or formula. At around this same age, your baby will also start to give you signs that s/he is ready to move on to the next stage of eating solid foods. Typical signs and cues to look for:

  • S/he can sit up without support and has full control of her head and neck muscles;
  • S/he shows interest in what you are eating and grabs your spoon or fork or opens his mouth;
  • S/he seems hungrier earlier than usual;
  • S/he can hold food in her mouth without pushing it out right away;
  • S/he stops sleeping thru the night;
  • S/he will push away food when he isn’t hungry.

Be sure to introduce new foods over a period of time, allowing 3-5 days lag between each new food to be sure your baby doesn’t have a reaction.

#4 – Go for organic


In addition to eliminating toxic residue such as herbicides, pesticides and fungicides, organic produce is higher in certain vitamins and minerals. For example, organic crops contain 27% more vitamin C, 21% more iron, 29% more magnesium and 13% more phosphorus. This improvement in nutritional quality is largely due to the health and richness of the soil.


#3 – Fresh is best


Instead of going for jarred baby food that has the potential of contamination – go for fresh! A hidden danger with baby food is that parents may feed their little one directly out of the jar. In doing so, saliva can be transferred to the jar which promotes bacterial growth when placed back in the fridge. In addition, once baby food is opened, it only lasts 1-3 days in the fridge.


As a healthier alternative, you can either make your own homemade baby food or use one of the many delicious Sweetpea Baby Food recipes. Sweetpea offers a variety of fruit, vegetables and protein options that are packaged in individual ice cube trays. This eliminates the potential for cross contamination while also providing parents with a “just like homemade” easy option.


#2 – Watch the salt intake


You should never add extra salt to your babyies’ food in their first year as it can be damaging to the kidneys. Whatever they need can be gotten from breast milk and from foods naturally.  All Sweetpea varieties are “no salt added” recipes.


#1 – Know that your baby is unique


All children are different when it comes to appetite and eating habits. One child may eat anything he is served, while another may have a small appetite and be a bit of a fusspot. If parents are feeding their baby with optimal nutritional choices such as organic fruits, vegetables, whole grains, essential fats and proteins, they should feel secure that they are paving a path of optimal health and development. Keep in mind that babies are more in tune with their hunger signals and cues than we are. It is not wise to ever force a baby to eat.


If you have any concerns or questions regarding your baby’s nutritional needs, you  should talk to your doctor . As a first step you can e-mail your questions to and we will try and help you.


In a nutshell:


Starting your little one off with good eating habits and nutritious food can help to set the stage for a lifetime of healthy living. Learning the fundamentals of nutrition will be a lifetime gift you give to your child.  Bon appetite! 

Reprinted with permission from Sweetpea Baby Food