Why feed babies one new food at a time?

Do you really have to start with rice cereal? Why do we only feed babies unseasoned food? Matt Shipman gets some interesting answers from a NC State nutrition professor. Turns out: The big issue with seasoning is sodium. Babies can't process much of it and a lot of seasonings are loaded with it.

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  1. There was a good quote in the Dr Sears book about when to start solid foods. They asked some woman who had had numerous children when she started feeding them regular food. She said something along the lines of "when they start stealing it off my plate".

  2. Yeah. I was going to say. What I've read recently (and what our doctor told us) is that delaying exposure to potentially allergenic foods increases the likelihood of a response. The stuff about putting off peanuts until like, age 5, is hurting, not helping. At least according to the most recent research.

    It seems, from my perspective, like there's a lot of really confuddled information going around on this. Some sources tell you that your kid is totally going to get an allergy if you don't introduce foods in just the correct way, other sources say, "No that's been disproven". And it all sort of seems like nobody really knows what's actually going on.

  3. The Bear loveslovesloveslovesloves curry. I put it on her mashed avocado this week and there was never a happier nor more avocado-covered baby.

  4. My wife is an ethnobotanist and I'm a dental archeologist. We raised all six of our infants using a diet of foods sourced from our own ethnic homelands - so "local" but local to where our ancestors were born, not to where we are now. Obviously, no "new world" foods. Rather than make purée, we use the traditional method and pre-masticate their food - something that is still practiced by many indigenous tribes. We feed them right at the table (well, we don't actually sit at a table, more of a stone thing that we sit on, covered with "found" hides (not hunted, mostly just road kill - we're not cavemen, after all)) and of course we don't use bibs, spoons, or other modern "conveniences" that come between a parent's mouth and the baby's stomach. We find that our child mortality rate is no higher than what people experienced in the 1400's so all in all, it's worked out very well. And of course our surviving kids are all above average, just like everyone else who posts on boing boing.

  5. It's funny how everyone always seems so completely certain about how to raise an infant, even as the advice seems to change every decade or two. I read an article on this from the 1930s which compared infant practice in the late 19th century, early 20th century and contemporary. The only constant seemed to be "Don't let your baby eat diaper pins."

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