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Eating Out with Your Baby

Eating Out with Your Baby

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Your child has started with complementary food at 6 months of age, and you are in mood to eat out. What should you pack for your baby while leaving home, or is it ok to offer a bite from your plate at the restaurant?

Thursday, April 6th, 2017

You may not want to give your 6–12-month-old baby outside food, as your baby’s immune system may yet not be strong enough to tackle food infections.

Here are some ideas for some simple, nutritious, easy-to-pack foods for your child:

 

6–12 months12–18 months
Cooked pureed fruits and vegetablesThin slices of fresh fruits
Mashed rice or wheat cereals with milkSoft cooked vegetable pieces
Ready-to-eat packed infant foodsWhole-grain crackers
Fortified cereals which can be just mixed with water and fed to the babyChapatti soaked in milk and little sugar and ghee
Breast milk of course!Non-citrus juices mixed with equal part of water

 

What Precautions should you take?

Do not forget to keep a flask of boiled water when going out with your baby. It helps mix up cereals and dilute feed when needed.

  • Keep hand wipes handy and use them before feeding your child.
  • Microwave is now available readily at almost all eateries. You can request to warm your baby’s homemade food before feeding.
  • Homemade foods should not be stored without refrigeration for more than 2 hrs.
    So, plan to feed these to the baby first.
  • Do not introduce new foods when out to avoid any risk of allergic reactions or other unpleasant reactions.
  • Let your child simply watch you eating and enjoying the food.

In case your baby cannot resist the temptation of food on your plate, ensure you:

  • Never offer any raw foods, such as cucumber, carrot, a piece of sandwich, as these pose high risk of infection.
  • Never give spicy and heavily seasoned foods to your baby.
  • Offer a small bite to taste, if your baby eats regular family meal otherwise.
  • Offer only well-cooked food items from your plate.

Here are some other tips to make your restaurant visit comfortable:

  • Go to restaurants which are child-friendly, not over-crowded, have enough place to move around, offer high chair, etc.
  • Call ahead to check with the restaurant about the best time to visit, get recommendations from other parents so as to avoid unpleasant surprises.
  • Book an out-of-the-way table so that you can enjoy your meal with fewer disturbances and also breastfeed your baby in privacy, if needed.
  • Keep your diaper bag well-equipped and handy.
  • If your baby gets cranky, one parent can take the baby out while the other finishes up the meal.
  • If nothing works, just request to pack up your meal and enjoy it at home.

Happy outing!

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