When should I introduce solid food to my baby?
Health experts and breastfeeding experts agree that it’s best to wait until your baby is around 6 months old before offering solid foods. But you can introduce solids any time between 4 and 6 months if your baby is ready. Until then, breast milk provides all the calories and nourishment your baby needs and can handle.
For some parents, introducing solid foods can also be confusing.
When should you start?
How much should you offer?
What comes first?
Feeding baby solids doesn’t need to be a challenge. There are just a few simple rules and milestones to keep in mind to make sure your baby’s food is just right to grow on.
How to Know When Your Baby Is Ready
Here are some signs that your baby is ready to try solids:
- Your baby can sit up (with support) and can hold her head and neck up well.
- Your baby’s birth weight has doubled.
- Your baby is interested in what you’re eating and may even try to grab food from your plate.
- Your baby can keep food in her mouth rather than letting it dribble out.
- Your baby is eager to participate in mealtime and may try to grab food and put it in his mouth.
Feeding tips for your child
These are some things to consider when feeding your baby:
1. When starting solid foods, give your baby one new food at a time—not mixtures. Give the new food for three to five days before adding another new food. This way you can tell what foods your baby may be allergic to or can't tolerate.
2. Try each new food in the morning/afternoon. Incase the baby reacts to it, see your doctor, child health nurse or dietitian
3. Don't use salt or sugar when making homemade infant foods. Canned foods may contain large amounts of salt and sugar and shouldn't be used for baby food.
4. Cow's milk shouldn't be added to the diet until your infant is age 1. Cow's milk doesn't provide the proper nutrients for your baby.
5. Feed all food with a spoon. Your baby needs to learn to eat from a spoon. Don't use an infant feeder. Only formula and water should go into the bottle.
6. Don't limit your baby's food choices to the ones you like. Offering a wide variety of foods early will pave the way for good eating habits later.
7. Babies will let you know when they have had enough by refusing the food or turning away.
What Foods to Start With
Stage 1 (Four to six months) –
Stage 1 Baby Food is a term that applies to baby foods that are highly pureed and strained. These foods are appropriate for babies who are just being introduced to solid foods. These are typically those foods that are also more easily digested by a tiny tummy. Give the new food for three to five days before adding another new food. This way you can tell what foods your baby may be allergic to or can't tolerate.
How to introduce Stage 1 foods -
Peel, core and cut apple into slices/chunks.Place slices or chunks into a pan with just enough water to slightly cover appleBoil/steam until tender; be sure to check on the water level and stir.Puree it in a food processor.
Peel ripe banana - do not cookPlace banana in a food processor/food mill or blender and pureeYou can also mash the banana in a bowl using a regular forkAdd formula/breast milk or water to thin (if desired)
Chop pears into squares (about a ¼ inch), discarding the peel and core.Place pears in sauce pan with water and simmer on medium-low heat until pears are tender – approximately 10-12 minutes.Once pears are tender, all contents of pan (including liquid) to food processor.Puree until smooth. Add water if necessary.
1/4 c. rice powder (rice ground in blender or food processor)
1 cup water
Bring liquid to boil in saucepan. Add the rice powder while stirring constantly.
Simmer for 10 minutes, whisking constantly, mix in formula or breast milk and fruits if desired
Its IMP to Note -
1. The food must be properly mashed and should not have any grainy particles in it.
2. When introducing new foods make sure you give only 2 spoons of it to test for any allergies/reaction to it.
3. Give your baby freshly cooked home food. The preservatives in tinned/packed food might cause gas in babies.