Starting Solids: Is It Possible to Overfeed My Baby?
Avoid overfeeding your baby, and help them discover their unique needs and limits around food.
Woah the overwhelm. Starting solids can feel more scary than exciting. Especially for new parents who are worried about overfeeding.
But feeding your baby solids marks the exciting beginning of a very healthy and balanced relationship with food. The importance and timing here should be underscored. The earlier you expose your baby to healthy and fresh ingredients, the healthier they will eat– for life! And that includes following their cues when they are full.
By following the guidelines below, you can avoid overfeeding your baby, and help them discover their unique needs, limits, and favorites when it comes to organic baby food.
Important Practices for Starting Baby Food
No Salt or Sugar
When starting on organic baby foods, stick to whole foods, or natural seasoning with herbs and spices. Organic foods with added salt and sugar may alter their food preferences and encourage the baby to eat more than they need. Avoiding salt and sugar will help with overfeeding fears.
Additionally, salting food can lead to a lifetime of over-salting foods. Adding sugar has the same effect. (Hello, sweet tooth.) Unfortunately, there has been a boom in high sugar and high salt foods in the baby food industry, for children 6 months to 3 years. Some of this is a reaction to parents needing “on-the-go” foods, but salt and sugar can lead to decreased immunity, and salting a baby’s food could be harmful to immature kidneys, which are ill-prepared to process added salt. Yumi has no added sugar and no added salt. With Yumi, convenience can also be healthy.
Babies Don’t Need to Clean Their Plate
Don’t encourage a clean plate policy. When your baby gives signals they are satisfied, save any leftovers for their next meal, instead of urging them to finish what is left in the jar or just take another bite or two.
These signals include: pushing their food or plate away, turning their head, starting to play or looking disinterested in feeding, and spitting the food out. Keep an eye on fullness cues.
Don’t worry. You will start to recognize your baby’s signs that they are full and respond accordingly. You will not overfeed them!
Expect Your Baby’s Appetite to Fluctuate
Expect a smaller appetite as your baby nears one year of age and their growth rate naturally slows. Allow your baby to consume smaller portions, knowing that when they need more, they will eat larger portions. Again, be aware that your baby is developing hunger and fullness cues. If your baby turns their head away or keeps their lips shut, it might mean mealtime is over.
Reminder: a full baby is a happy baby, and often means a better sleeper. (No promises.)
Don’t use food as a reward or to appease an upset child who isn’t truly hungry. Feed your baby at typical meal or snack times or when they show signs of hunger. This will also help you avoid bad food habits.
Other Tips and Tricks for Mealtime Success
Here are some more tips and tricks to keep in mind during meal time.