Has your baby crossed the six months milestone? Are you keen to introduce first solid foods for baby? If you are curious and clueless reading this post may be a good idea.
Starting your baby on a solid diet can be messy, fun, playful and even scary. But fret not! Feeding first foods for baby is not as difficult as it sounds. You just need to keep a track of their growth and development. Here are some simple tips & suggestions on how to introduce first baby foods.
When Can You Introduce Solids In Your Baby’s Diet?
Here some signs to watch out for before weaning your baby.
- Your baby has lost his extrusion reflex.
- Your baby can sit up without support. Your baby needs to maintain a steady and upright position to take his first foods.
- Most of the babies are ready to take their first solid when they have doubled their weight. It usually happens around the 5th month. So check your baby’s weight.
- See if your baby is eyeing your meals and reaching out to try new foods.
- Babies also show signs of hunger after turning six months old. Your baby may clamor for more when the milk bottle is empty or may want you to nurse him more often.
Top Seven Best First Baby Foods:
Doctors strongly recommend iron-fortified cereals as one of the first foods for babies. It boosts his iron intake and regulates the baby’s bowel movement. Mix cereal with a few teaspoons of breast milk, water or formula before offering it to your baby.
In addition to cereals, you can give your baby pureed or mashed fruits. Most of the babies love fruit. Wash the fruits well before peeling and make sure they are fully ripe. Some of the best options include pears, prunes, avocado, peach and banana.
Cut the banana into slices and mash it with a fork. Unsweetened applesauce and apple puree are also perfect baby foods. Surprisingly, babies love the tangy taste of fruits. Try serving pureed cherries or plums to your babies. You don’t need to cook avocado for your baby. Scoop out the avocado flesh and mash it with a fork before serving. Offering various seasonal fruits to your baby will tantalize his tiny taste buds in a healthy way.
Veggies also make a good baby food option. Wash, peel and cook the veggies until tender. Do not give canned vegetables to your baby as they contain added salt. Instead, you can give your baby mashed potatoes, boiled or baked and pureed sweet potatoes. Alternatively, you can serve him a puree of baby carrots, peas, squash and green beans.
You can give small amounts of unsweetened juice diluted with boiled water with meals. Remember to serve the juice in a feeding cup, not a bottle.
Stewed and pureed poultry is an ideal baby food. Most of the babies love to eat chicken. You can also add fish to his diet but carefully remove the bones while serving it to your little one.
6. Whole Grains:
Whole grains like millet and quinoa will expose your baby’s palate to a whole new world of food textures. The variety of textures of different grains will help your baby learn to use his mouth and tongue. Cook millet or quinoa in vegetable broth and serve with pureed butternut squash.
7. Readymade Baby Food:
You can also serve ready-made baby foods to your baby. But before proceeding, you need to keep these things in mind:
- Check the manufacturing and expiry date and seal on each package.
- Watch out for additive, artificial flavoring and food coloring.
- Do not buy a baby food pack that is leaking or open.
- Buy the baby foods from a renowned and well-stocked shop.
What Should You Do If Your Baby Rejects The First Food?
There is a high possibility that your baby will refuse the first food offered to him. Don’t worry. Try again after some time. You may also have to wait for a few days until your baby has forgotten the experience. Do not think that your baby hates the food. It is just that he is unfamiliar with it. If your baby refuses to open up for the next bite or turns away his face or starts playing with his food, then probably he is full.
Tips To Prevent Choking:
It is crucial to take all the precautions to prevent choking. Here are a few handy tips you can follow:
- Make your baby sits upright in a high chair while feeding.
- Never offer foods that are potential choking hazards like hot dogs, whole grapes, and popcorn.
How Much Food Is Enough?
Many mothers worry that they may be serving either too much solid food or too little. But it is not as complicated as it seems.
In the beginning, give just one serving of solid food a day or every alternate day if your baby is reluctant. Your baby may take just one or two spoonful. Don’t worry, he will work his way up soon. Increase the amount and the frequency of feeding gradually. By around 8 or 9 months, your baby will be eating three solid meals a day.
Points To Remember:
- Your baby’s first food should be a single ingredient food.
- Do not add salt or sugar to baby first foods.
- Do not offer solids to your baby if he is sick, tired or cranky.
- Offer a new food in the morning or early in the day after to watch out for allergic reactions.
- Wait for at least nine months before offering highly allergenic foods like eggs, shellfish and peanuts.
- Do not give honey to your baby as it can cause a potentially dangerous disease called infant botulism.
- Refrain from giving your baby cow’s milk before his first birthday as it can irritate your baby’s tiny tummy.
- If the food is hot, cool it and test the temperature on your wrist before giving it to your baby.
- Each time you introduce a new food to your baby, wait for four days to see if it causes any reaction.
- When your baby’s tiny teeth appear, you can help develop his chewing skills, by offering him foods with more texture.
Most importantly, you have to be patient with your tot. Remember that it may take him a little time to get accustomed to new foods, so don’t get frustrated. Be kind and gentle while dealing with your infant. Also, consult a pediatrician before introducing your baby to any new food.
What first foods did you introduce in your baby’s diet? Do share your experience and advice with other moms.