Archive for the ‘East Valley Childrens Center’ Category

March 2012

There was the tendency through the 1970’s to start infants on solid foods at a very early age. Frequently, this was done because “everybody was doing it” rather than for any demonstrated benefit to the baby.

Milk is the only natural food for an infant during the first five to six months of life. It is a complete food containing all the nutrients that an infant needs during the all-important first four to six months of life. The infant digestive system is not designed to handle complex foods other than milk. Although most infants will not be obviously harmed by early introduction of solid foods, there is an increasing body of evidence that indicates subtle but definite disturbances of the intestinal tract can occur when solid foods are started too early.

There is strong indication that early introduction of solid foods will lead to an increased incidence of allergies later in life. Obesity frequently begins in infancy and has been related to the early introduction of solid foods.

For these reasons we recommend that infants start solid foods no earlier than four months of age (six months for some infants). This is also the recommendation of the Committee on Nutrition of the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Decisions as to what solid foods are introduced first are quite arbitrary. Any foods that the baby accepts readily are appropriate, though we would recommend delaying introduction of sweet, dessert type foods until after the first year. Generally, the more bland foods should be begun earliest and the more tasty, sweetened foods last.

There are no advantages to baby foods over prepared table foods other than their convenience. Any table foods that can be pureed are satisfactory for your baby. Whichever form of infant feeding you wish to use (prepared baby foods or prepared table foods), introduce no more than one new food every three to five days. This will allow you to identify any food that might be causing your baby a problem.

March 2012

Juice is simply flavored sugar water. Although fruit juice does contain Vitamin C, the extra sugar is completely unnecessary and will only serve to create a “sweet tooth”. We do not recommend the routine use of juices for any infant or toddler.

March 2012

Supplementary water is generally not needed since there is sufficient water in both breast milk and modern infant formulas. For the infant who is gaining weight well, supplementary bottles of water may be given as desired. They should not be sweetened with sugar or any other sweetener. If you offer plain water and it is refused, he/she is not thirsty. If he/she is thirsty, the water will be taken quite well. If he/she consistently refuses water, then it is not necessary to offer it at all.

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East Valley Children's Center 3200 S. George Drive, Tempe AZ 85282 ( map )
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Office Hours: By Appointment Only. M-F 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Evenings & Saturdays on urgent basis only.