Your Baby Can Eat Spicy Food

And 4 other truths about your little one's first foods.

Your Baby Can Eat Spicy Food

Move over, rice cereal. Forget about one dimensional flavors like pureed carrots or mashed banana. Instead, how about caviar? Or bone broth. And did you know babies can totally handle a little spice?

It turns out that starting with something bland, like our moms did with us, may not be the best, most nutritious way for your little one to start solids. In fact, that's not what babies are used to at all. Breastmilk is rich and flavorful, jam-packed with nutrients, and many experts say that what you should be feeding your baby is the exact opposite of that sad, slimy looking rice cereal.

Many baby food brands now experiment with baby's first solids and really work the gourmand angle. Nourish Baby, a new baby food subscription service in the West Village, New York, starts babies on super unique and intriguing flavor blends -- we’re talking James Beard caliber food for babies, with a menu that includes Korean black rice congee with ginger, tamari and ghee. The menu is a conversation starter for sure, but founder and registered dietician, Marissa Lippert, says the reason why their ingredients are so diverse is important. Most advice parents get about weaning baby onto solid foods has been more myth than science. It turns out, babies need lots of protein, iron, complex carbs, good fats, vitamins and minerals that aren't necessarily in the "first foods" that they so commonly get.

So to help parents navigate the flavorful world that baby's first food could (and should) be, we've teamed up with Marissa from Nourish to tell you the truth about your little one's tastebuds. Here are five major myths on baby food, busted.

1. Don’t rely on purees. Not everything has to be pureed! Mashed, chunky textures and even roasted, softer fruits and vegetables are perfectly ok to feed your babe as they’re exploring solid foods.

2. Forget rice cereal. Rice cereal actually isn’t your baby’s ideal first food! Babies are better off transitioning to solid foods with items that match the nutrient profiles of breast milk – fat, protein and cholesterol. Look to things like bone broth, egg yolk, chicken liver, ground lamb, salmon roe, avocado and ghee.

3. It actually is all fun and games. Let your babe play with his or her food! Seriously. When babies attempt to hand-feed themselves, they build dexterity and pincer grasp, and they start to self-regulate their own hunger and satiety cues – one of the most important building blocks of a healthy eater!

4. Try, try again. It may take your babe up to 20 times to like a newly introduced food. Don’t give up on those Brussels sprouts or poached wild salmon or roasted pears. Sometimes it just takes a while, and multiple tries, for infants to come around to particular foods or even spices.

5. Bring on the spice. Babies can and should eat subtle spices and flavors. If you start a baby off with a bland palate that’s what they’ll get used to and often gravitate towards. Adding subtle notes of spice and flavor components to foods is absolutely ok and will help your child build an adventurous palate! Different cultures across the global have been feeding infants their ethnic, spicier cuisines for centuries. Go ahead and experiment!

Photography by Stylish & Hip Kids Photography.

Time-saving formula tips our editors swear by

Less time making bottles, more time snuggling.

As a new parent, it can feel like feeding your baby is a full-time job—with a very demanding nightshift. Add in the additional steps it takes to prepare a bottle of formula and, well… we don't blame you if you're eager to save some time when you can. After all, that means more time for snuggling your baby or practicing your own well-deserved self-care.

Here's the upside: Many, many formula-feeding mamas before you have experienced the same thing, and they've developed some excellent tricks that can help you mix up a bottle in record time. Here are the best time-saving formula tips from editors here at Motherly.

1. Use room temperature water

The top suggestion that came up time and time again was to introduce bottles with room temperature water from the beginning. That way, you can make a bottle whenever you need it without worrying about warming up water—which is a total lifesaver when you have to make a bottle on the go or in the middle of the night.

2. Buy online to save shopping time

You'll need a lot of formula throughout the first year and beyond—so finding a brand like Comforts, which offers high-quality infant formula at lower prices, will help you save a substantial amount of money. Not to mention, you can order online or find the formula on shelves during your standard shopping trip—and that'll save you so much time and effort as well.

3. Pre-measure nighttime bottles

The middle of the night is the last time you'll want to spend precious minutes mixing up a bottle. Instead, our editors suggest measuring out the correct amount of powder formula into a bottle and putting the necessary portion of water on your bedside table. That way, all you have to do is roll over and combine the water and formula in the bottle before feeding your baby. Sounds so much better than hiking all the way to the kitchen and back at 3 am, right?

4. Divide serving sizes for outings

Before leaving the house with your baby, divvy up any portions of formula and water that you may need during your outing. Then, when your baby is hungry, just combine the pre-measured water and powder serving in the bottle. Our editors confirm this is much easier than trying to portion out the right amount of water or formula while riding in the car.

5. Memorize the mental math

Soon enough, you'll be able to prepare a bottle in your sleep. But, especially in the beginning or when increasing your baby's serving, the mental math can take a bit of time. If #mombrain makes it tough to commit the measurements to memory, write up a cheat sheet for yourself or anyone else who will prepare your baby's bottle.

6. Warm up chilled formula with water

If you're the savvy kind of mom who prepares and refrigerates bottles for the day in advance, you'll probably want to bring it up to room temperature before serving. Rather than purchase a bottle warmer, our editors say the old-fashioned method works incredibly well: Just plunge the sealed bottle in a bowl of warm water for a few minutes and—voila!—it's ready to serve.

Another great tip? Shop the Comforts line on to find premium baby products for a fraction of competitors' prices. Or, follow @comfortsforbaby for more information!

This article was sponsored by The Kroger Co. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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