Introduction of solid food items to the baby’s diet should be a slow graduation, as the their internal organs are still developing and body is adjusting to the new changes. A step by step process will help her transition from milk/formula to the daily foods we adults eat. However, take proper care and ensure that the change isn’t overwhelming for the baby.
Lets start with understanding what exactly is Solid Food?
We refer Solid food for foods that help transition the baby from milk to adult food. After a period of about 4- 6 months, the nutrition from milk (either formula or breast milk), is not sufficient for the growing nutritional needs of the baby and solid foods need to be added to the baby’s diet.
When is the right time to Introduce Solids?
Usually, anytime post 4 months is considered safe as the digestive systems of babies will become ready for solid food by 4 months or so. But it is highly recommended by doctors to let the baby be exclusively fed milk for first 6 months as the growth rate of each baby may vary.
You may decide basis the readiness of the baby, pick hues like the baby needs frequent feedings or feels hungry even after being fed and or she is ready for solids if
- She can keep his head in an upright position and be able to sit upright in an infant feeding seat or highchair to swallow properly.
- The weight gain has been significant enough, nearly double of the birth weight.
- Your baby is curious to see to eat and is trying to reach out your plate to see what you are eating.
How to Introduce Solids?
Though we call it solids, the introduction happens with semi solids and gradually to solids. Introducing solids by pureeing, steaming or mashing each item at a time. Start with single grain cereals, and graduate to fruits and vegetables. Give one type of food for 2-3 days to see if the baby has an allergy to that food. Remember not to add any salt or sugar to the food as their bodies are still young to digest it.
Always start anything new, with a small teaspoon portion, and see how the baby reacts to the feel of the spoon and the texture of food, before giving it to her. If the baby refuses, do not force, but try again after a week or so. Remember this is new to them and they might not like it for the first time, but that doesn’t mean they wont eat it. Try again after a few days and observe.
First Solid Foods
Each baby is unique so your doctor may give the best advice about solids. You can also give pureed single grain cereal, and pureed fruits and vegetables. As a general rule, transition the baby to solid food with pureed food, then move on to mashed or strained food, and then to small pieces of finger food that the baby can chew. One of the first fruit suggested is mashed banana and vegetables sweet potato.
Mix some tablespoons of fruit or vegetables along with the cereal and see how the baby reacts. The food should be very soft so that baby can easily press it against the roof of their mouth with their tongue.
Foods to avoid till baby turns One
There are certain food items which are suggested to avoid during till the baby’s first birthday either due to possible allergic reactions or choking or their young bodies are not yet ready to digest them.
- Milk (other then breast milk or formula milk)
- Peanut butter
- Some fish
- Berries and citrus
- Seeds and nuts
- Grapes and raisins
- Raw vegetables
- Carbonated drinks
What if the baby refuse to eat solids
It’s very common for babies to avoid solid food. As they are comfortable sucking their milk and might not like to try new texture or haven’t developed the skills to push the food into their throat. It is very important not to force the baby to eat. Make sure you feed her plenty of milk.
Try out introducing solids when your baby is well fed. Chances are higher that they will try, encourage your baby to touch and play with the food. It will get them used to the texture and shape of the food. The more they enjoy the texture, more likely if their chance of enjoying the food.
Read my earlier post Is Your New-Born Having Enough , or some tips about Travelling with an Infant
I hope you would find this tips useful. Do leave in your comments below if you have any questions or concerns, would be glad to address them.
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