Congratulations, your healthy baby is growing and showing interest in nibbling solid food. Of course, the first solid food for babies is actually far from solid..more like mushy food..
Worried about what’s good for your baby’s health and what’s not?
You are not alone.
First-time mommies often fret about the best variety of food and the timing to give their newborns. After all, this is the very first step in a life-long relationship with food for your baby, and you want to get it just right.
Mashed up baby rice cereal which is fortified with iron is popular everywhere. Other good first food choices for six-month infants include yoghurt, fruit puree and vegetable puree. So feed your baby pureed bananas, papaya, carrots, pumpkin, potatoes and cauliflower.
When is your baby ready for solid food?
This varies from baby to baby, but a good time for starting solid food is between 4 to 6 months. At this age, babies get stronger around the neck, have greater head control and can eat in a sitting position. Your baby will also develop a curiosity toward food during this period, eyeing adults eating, maybe reaching for the food on your plate.
How do you start your baby on solids?
How your baby feels about the taste of its first solid food is important to most parents. The quantity, timing, hygiene and presentation will help shape your child’s nutrition pattern and future lifestyle. It is best to follow a solid food for babies chart recommended by a paediatrician, especially if there are any allergies.
Still, we suggest that you cover a few general food groups for 6 to 8-month-old infants:
- Milk: Breast milk and/ or formula.
- Cereals and Grains: Rice, barley, oats.
- Vegetables: Sweet potatoes, peas, green beans, pumpkin.
- Fruits: Apricots, mangoes, bananas, peaches, avocados, plums.
- Dairy: Plain yoghurt made from whole milk.
- Protein: Chicken and tofu.
Home-made solid food for babies is the safest and healthiest because it is fresh and clean. Grate, grind and strain the vegetables by using the baby home food maker. If you must pick baby food then always check the seal, labels, expiration and manufacturing dates. Always keep formula or breast milk handy storing it your baby’s feeding bottle.
This is also used to dilute solid food.
What is the best food to give as a top up?
There is sometimes a confusing whether to top up with solids after breastfeeding or feed the other way around. It is always best to first give breast milk or formula, followed by solids half an hour later. Young babies get most of their nutrition from milk and should not fill up on solids at the expense of their milk feed, at least in the first year.
What if my baby has food allergies?
Food allergic reactions are common in newborns which is why doctors advise feeding new solids gradually to babies. Wait at least 2 days before starting another new solid food.
Why follow the ‘4-day wait rule’?
Many seasoned moms like this rule because it lets them look out for any reactions like throwing up, diarrhoea and rashes. As a general rule, it is best not to feed your baby allergenic foods, such as nuts, eggs and fish in the first year to avoid allergies.
Final baby feeding tips
Ensure that your baby’s feeding is timely and adequate. You should feed your baby by the time he is 6 months old and make sure the food has enough nutritional value, at least one that parallels breast milk or formula milk.
Your baby’s first solid food should also be safe. Make it free of pathogens and contaminants.
And last, but not the least..
Try to present solid food for babies in an easily digestible AND attractive manner. Babies love colourful anything!
Explore more ways to ensure a happy and healthy mother and child at Zotezo.