What’s Up Doc?

November 12, 2010 at 6:41 pm Leave a comment

When we selected the foods for the Square One® Organics line we wanted to promote Food Family Awareness.  Sai Nimmagadda, Pediatric Allergist was the advising doctor on this issue.

Food Family Awareness promotes “cautious food introduction”.  Children may react similarly to foods in the same food family. When introducing foods to your child, be on the lookout for any negative digestive reaction.  If there doesn’t seem to be an issue with the food being introduced, families can then introduce an array of foods from that same food family, thus reducing the potential for food intolerance and possibly food allergies. If an infant can tolerate a particular food in a group there is a high probability of tolerating another food in a similar food groups.

On the other hand, if a child has an issue with a certain food, then he or she may have issues with other foods from that same food family so please introduce the members of that food family cautiously.   We strongly encourage using a 5-day trial when introducing new foods to your child. By introducing only one new food a day for 5 days in a row, you can more easily identify the foods that agree or disagree with your child’s digestive system. The 5-day trial also helps your child acquire a taste for new foods.  Check out SQ1 Food Family Guide here and download the SQ1 Superfood Introduction Guide here

Dr.  Nimmagadda wrote a great article for us in this month’s “What’s Up Doc?” Column.  Check it out below!

The AAP Section on Breastfeeding and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, recommend exclusive breastfeeding for the first 6 months of life. Exclusive breastfeeding is defined as an infant’s consumption of human milk with no supplementation of any type (no water, no juice, no nonhuman milk, and no foods) except for vitamins, minerals, and medications. Exclusive breastfeeding has been shown to provide improved protection against many diseases and to increase the likelihood of continued breastfeeding for at least the first year of life.

The AAP recommends that an infant not be started on solid foods until after 6 months of age. However, many pediatricians still start babies on solids around 4 months of age. The infant food introduction should always be approved by your pediatrician and can vary on each individual baby’s circumstances (development of eczema, particular food allergies etc). In children at risk for atopic disease (asthma, eczema, food allergy and allergic rhinitis), simply avoiding foods for a certain time may delay the onset of allergy, but it doesn’t prevent allergy.

How can you tell that your baby is ready for solid foods? Some clues that may help you include:

  • Able to sit with support, reaches and grabs, and mouths hands and toys
  • Watches you eat, following your fork as it moves from plate to mouth
  • “Mooches,” reaching for food on your plate Mimics your eating behaviors, such as opening her mouth wide when you open your mouth to eat. Grabbing your spoon is not a reliable sign of feeding readiness, since baby may be more interested in the noise, shape, and feel of your utensils rather than the food stuff on them.
  • Baby can show and tell. Around six months of age babies have the ability to say “yes” to wanting food by reaching or leaning toward the food and “no” by pushing or turning away. Expect mixed messages as your baby learns to communicate. When in doubt, offer, but don’t force.
  • Does baby seem hungry for additional food? If your baby is content with breast milk or formula, no need to complicate his life with solids. If, on the other hand, your baby seems unsatisfied after a feeding, is shortening the intervals between feedings, and several days of more frequent feedings don’t change this, it may be time to begin.

Once you determine that your baby is ready for solid foods, then its time to set up a feeding plan. Consider introduce new foods during the morning or early afternoon. This will enable you to deal with any adverse reactions when your pediatrician is in office. Many parents begin offering their babies solid foods by using their (clean and washed) finger as a spoon. If you use a spoon, ensure that you are using a soft comfy spoon. Remember baby’s gums may be tender from teething and a hard metal spoon may aggravate baby’s gums. If baby refuses the spoon or if the spoon seems to make baby uncomfortable, use your finger.

Baby cereal such as rice is the most intestinal-friendly grain because it is gluten- free, low in protein, and high in carbohydrates. It has a nutritional profile more like a fruit than a grain. Mix the cereal to a soupy consistency and lessen the amount of milk or formula you add as baby gets better at eating.

Once you’re confident that your baby can successfully tolerate the intricacies of solid foods it’s time to develop a food initiation plan. Soft cooked thinly pureed fruits and veggies should be baby’s first solid food experiences. Single ingredients only and at a space 5 days apart with introducing each new food. You may skip the cereal and begin with a fruit like apricot, peaches, papya, or guava. Vegetables such as pumpkin, sweet potato and carrots also make a great first choice as well.

Advancement of solid foods for the next 6-12 months should be based on the square one organics super-food guide and food family awareness guide. This extensive guide was developed with infant’s dietary, nutritional and tolerance levels in mind. The super-food guide was developed by arranging foods that were in similar families. When we selected the foods for the Square One line we wanted to promote Food Family Awareness. Food Family Awareness allows for “cautious food introduction” because a child is likely to react similarly to foods in the same food family. Once a food has been introduced without any negative digestive reactions, parents can introduce an array of foods from that same food family. Thus reducing the potential for food intolerance and possibly food allergies. If an infant can tolerate a particular food in a group there is a high probability of tolerating another food in a similar food groups.

The food family awareness takes into account the various food groups such as the gourd, legume, paw paw, mango, mustard, and goosefoot family. These food families are very important in the development of tolerance and reduction of food allergies for the newborn. Current research into food allergies suggests that early introduction and a wider variety of food families may reduce the potential for the development of severe food allergies. While this research is in the preliminary stages, it may open up the development of a more open and rigorous dietary food introduction.

If you have a family history of food allergies, keep a food diary, which not only helps you learn your baby’s preferences, but also helps you be more objective about which symptoms are caused by which foods. As you change the foods expect a change in the color, consistency, and frequency of the stools that your baby produces. This is normal, and not a sign of food intolerance. You may notice bits of food in baby’s stools, or the color may change — red stools with red vegetables, such as beets, and yellow stools with carrots. Babies who eat mainly bananas and/or rice products may become constipated. As your baby’s intestines mature enough to digest the food more thoroughly, the stools should be more normal in appearance.

Food introduction shouldn’t be a stressful process for anyone. Make sure to consult your pediatrician or health care provider so that unnecessary stress and complications can be avoided. As your baby grows and enjoys the foods that you’re introducing in meals this will be a fun time for bonding and happy moments for all.

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Entry filed under: organic baby food, What's Up Doc?. Tags: , , , , , , , , , .

Check Out This Interview with SQ1 Superfriend, CityMommy! Our Friend Really is a Rockstar!

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