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Thursday, March 26, 2009

Introducing solid foods part 2

How many times a day should my baby be eating solid food?

At first he'll eat semi-liquid cereal mix just once a day. By around 8 months he should be eating solid food three times a day. A typical day's diet at this point might consist of:

• Breast milk or iron-fortified formula
• Iron-fortified cereal
• Yellow and green vegetables
• Fruit
• Small amounts of protein such as poultry, cottage cheese, tofu, and meat

There are certain foods that you shouldn't give your baby yet. Honey, for example, can cause botulism in babies under a year old. For more details, see "Foods That Can Be Unsafe for Your Baby."

How can I help my child develop healthy eating habits?

Don't overfeed your baby. Watch for cues that he's full.

• Don't try to make your child eat food he doesn't like. Respect his preferences and avoid power struggles over food.

• Try to provide a balance of protein, carbohydrates, fruits, and vegetables. Use sweets, salts, and fats in moderation.

• Avoid fast food for as long as possible.

• Don't bribe or reward your child with food. Instead, offer plenty of hugs, kisses, and attention.

• Feed your baby in his highchair whenever possible, rather than in front of the television or on the go.

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