Book excerpt

Baby Love

Healthy, Easy, Delicious Meals for Your Baby and Toddler

Norah O'Donnell and Chef Geoff Tracy

St. Martin's Press

Baby Love - Chapter 1 Getting Started

Babies are ready to begin eating solid foods at four to six months of age. At this time almost all babies can learn to eat from a spoon. Most start with rice cereal mixed with breast milk or formula.

If all is going well, check with your pediatrician about beginning to feed your munchkin simple pureed fruits or vegetables. Some pediatricians recommend you start with vegetables first to avoid developing a sweet tooth. However, the American Academy of Pediatrics states that “there is no evidence that your baby will develop a dislike for vegetables if fruit is given first. Babies are born with a preference for sweets, and the order of introducing foods does not change this.”

New foods should be introduced one at a time. Wait at least two to three days before starting another to make sure your child is not allergic. Watch for any allergic reactions such as diarrhea, rash, or vomiting. Once, our son, Henry, broke out in a facial rash. We called the doctor, who suggested it might be the tomatoes in the Bolognese! Sometimes infants don’t like the acidity in tomatoes. The lesson: stop the food and then check with your doctor about the reaction.

We also made the decision to introduce new foods at breakfast or lunchtime rather than at dinnertime. In case the twins got a tummyache or gas at least it was during the day. You don’t want a gassy baby keeping you up all night!

Within a few months of starting purees, your baby should be enjoying all sorts of fruits, vegetables, and meats. You know the saying, “Variety is the spice of life!” There is no better time to introduce these healthy foods.

BABY LOVE. Copyright © 2010 by Norah O’Donnell and Chef Geoff Tracy.  All rights reserved.

NORAH O’DONNELL is chief Washington correspondent and anchor for MSNBC, an Emmy Award--winning correspondent for NBC, and a contributing correspondent for NBC’s Today Show. She has served as White House correspondent for NBC News, reporting for Nightly News, Today, and MSNBC.

GEOFF TRACY graduated first in his class from the Culinary Institute of America. He opened his first two restaurants before the age of thirty. He currently owns and operates five successful restaurants in the nation’s capital. In 2008 Tracy was awarded the Albert Uster Chef of the Year Award. He is best known as Chef Geoff.

Both authors are graduates of Georgetown University. As a married couple, they live in Washington, D.C., with their three young children.