Jennifer Broe has made a business of feeding babies with Baby Gourmet - her line of organic, all natural tasty baby food - and has helped hundreds of moms when it comes time to start feeding their baby solid food. Baby Gourmet's success stems from acknowledging babies have taste buds and moms who want healthy, fresh options.
Below are a few of Jen's surprising tips (and tricks):
It’s important to introduce a single food at a time in case your baby has an allergic reaction to the food.
This way, you will be able to tell which food is causing the reaction, and remove it from their diet. The reason why you want to wait 3 days before trying a new food is that some reactions to food can be delayed, and may not show up immediately.
About 6% of infants have food allergies.
Some babies will outgrow food allergies as their immune system matures. If the allergies are not serious, you can try re-introducing the food after a few months. Rubbing it on the cheek or lip first and watching for a rash can give you some idea if your child is still allergic to that food. If the allergy was serious, do not re-introduce the food unless you are under medical care.
Feed your baby spices!
Offering a variety of tastes and seasonings as your baby is starting solids can possibly help reduce picky eating down the road. Just avoid added sugars, salt, colorings and preservatives. Seasonings such as garlic, ginger, oregano, cinnamon and nutmeg are fine.
Feed babies at the same time as adults.
It’s always a good idea to start family meal times as soon as possible. When your baby is starting solids, they can eat breakfast with you! As they progress through adding additional meals and snacks in their first year, they will have the same eating pattern as the adults in the family. Sitting and eating with your child takes all of the pressure off of them to eat (as you are eating your own food, not concentrating solely on baby eating his!). Eating with your baby also teaches your baby skills and serve as a good role model by eating a variety of foods yourself.
Babies should have regular mealtimes.
It will be easier for both parents and baby if regular mealtimes are scheduled. Baby may still demand to be breastfed during the first year, but meals can occur around the same time each day. For example, when starting solids, your baby’s first meals should be breakfast. This way, you will have the rest of the day to watch for signs of allergy or intolerance to the food, and your baby is more likely to be hungry and accept the food in the morning. By the time your baby reaches one year of age, they can eat the same meal pattern as you: 3 meals and a few snacks.
Protein is important!
Infants have the highest protein requirement per weight. The Recommended Dietary Allowance for babies aged 7-12 months is 1.2g of protein per kg of body weight daily. This is an average of 11g protein per day. For children aged 1-3, the requirement is about 13 g per day.
There are vegetarian options!
Vegetarian options for protein include beans and legumes, eggs and dairy products (for non-vegans), tofu and soy, nuts and seeds. If your baby doesn’t eat meat, you will need to make sure they are getting other sources of iron in their diet.
It’s important to let your baby decide how much to eat.
Follow their lead and don’t force them to eat more than they want.
Make sure to progress the texture of your baby’s food.
Once they are used to pureed foods, you can add some lumps (do this by 9 months, or your baby may be more resistant to them later).
Founder Jennifer Broe wanted to feed her babies food that was healthy and tasty, but was disappointed by grocery store options. She started making her own baby food based on home-tested and much-loved family recipes. In 2006, Baby Gourmet launched and Jen was soon doing an impressive business in the year-round Farmers' Market. Mothers wanted what she was selling.
After two years of successful sales, Jen closed down operations to pursue the opportunity to scale up with mass distribution. Baby Gourmet was re-launched in Canada through major retailers in February 2011, winning rave reviews and phenomenal business. After the first year on the Canadian market, Baby Gourmet was available where 75% of all baby food is sold including the two major retail chains: Walmart and Loblaws. The brand is launching in the U.S. and is distributed nation-wide through amazon.com.
As President, Jen oversees every aspect of Baby Gourmet with the passionate and watchful eye of a mother and ambitious entrepreneur. Founded on a mother's love and fueled by an unwavering commitment to quality.