To state the obvious, starting your babe on solids can be HARD. That’s why it’s so important to be armed with information before you enter the frontlines. To help you out, we sat down with pediatrician Dr. Alison Mitzner and got the lowdown on meat introduction. Here are the do’s don’ts:
When should I introduce meat to my baby?
So you’ve heard the age-old tale that meat should never be introduced first? Well, consider that myth officially debunked. Meat can absolutely be the first solid that you introduce to your babe if you’d like, as long as it is blended or pureed. Dr. Mitzner tells us, “Per the Academy of Pediatrics, there is no reason why you cannot start with meats and actually it is a good food to start, as it is rich in iron. Meats have iron which your baby needs especially if purely breastfed.”
Most parents start their little ones on solids between four and six months, but it’s best to check with your pediatrician before introducing any new food. Remember, every baby is different and starting solids should be an exciting milestone for your family—there’s no reason to rush it!
What meat should I feed my baby?
Now, where to start? As you may have guessed, “Chicken is a good meat to start with due to its milder taste. Then you can move to beef and red meat. You can try mixing some meat into the veggies as well.”
When can I add meat as a finger food?
When it comes to finger foods, do not introduce meat until your baby has become an Experienced Finger Food Eater (we may have to trademark that name) meaning they have grown to enjoy multiple foods and are boasting a few teeth as well. This keeps the risk of choking at a minimum.
How should I introduce meat as a finger food?
When (and if) you do introduce meat as a finger food, be sure to stick with well cooked meat and cut the meat into very small pieces. Dr. Mitzner shares: “As with any new food your baby may reject the meat, but you can try again at a later time as it may take time and several attempts for a baby to take to it. In the interim you can make sure they are getting the iron and protein they need with beans, veggies, egg etc.”
Starting your mini on solids is an individual journey for both mama and baby. But don’t fret, Little Spoon wants to help you every step of the way, from first bites to final questions. So, remember to give yourself grace during the process. Every child will react to certain foods and meats differently, so stay patient and remember that re-introduction is key to the process.