When you have a baby, you only want the best for him. Parents go to great lengths to ensure that their child does all the right things at the right time. This includes napping, breastfeeding, nappy changing, and a host of other activities. From breastfeeding and formula, the baby is now ready for solid food. What you feed your child is crucial at this moment as it will nurture his brain, bone and overall body development. So, what are the ideal eats for your little precious? We list some of them.
But first, here is a quick checklist of when to start on solids:
- After six months. As you may be aware, it is best to give your baby only breastmilk for the first six months as nothing can replace its goodness. Post that, you can slowly start introducing solids.
- When your baby can hold his head and sit upright in a chair or stroller (this will ensure that choking does not happen).
- Once the child has reached almost 6 kg or 13 pounds.
- When your baby can close his mouth around a spoon or even swallow food.
- Once you start seeing signs of teething, as solids may soothe inflamed gums and teach your child to take to new textures
Once you have managed to figure out whether or not the child is ready to start on solids, you will need to decide on what and how much of solid food you should introduce to the child. Here are the best-suited foods:
A great food to start your toddler on is ragi. Children from the South are especially fed it during weaning. The reason being, this wonder is packed with calcium, iron and also healthy amino acids. It enhances your precious one’s immunity. Add two spoons in a cup of milk and keep on stirring while boiling. Add a bit of jaggery for that sweet taste.
Broths and soups
One good way of introducing various flavours is with the help of broths and soups that take the goodness from all the vegetables and meat that you may want your child to eat. This way, he develops a culinary memory of the same and tends to eat meals without any fuss when they are introduced later.
This staple Indian dish consists of lentils and rice boiled and pureed to perfection so that your baby can easily digest the same. Soak the grains before you cook. You can also add a small nugget or carrot or a few beans to the mix so that the flavour changes literally every day, and the child learns to take to vegetables in the long run. Remember to puree well so that the baby does not choke.
Pureed vegetables and fruits
You can offer a small bowlful of pureed vegetables like broccoli, pumpkin, carrots, and others like apple, pear, and more fruits. This will help the child take to fruits and vegetables. When the child is old enough to hold a spoon and can chew, you should give them vegetable sticks to dip into the puree and eat. This also helps the child in building a varied palate over time.
There is much to be said about the high protein content available in legumes and lentils. This includes white-eyed beans, kidney beans, chickpeas, and even black beans. You can puree these with vegetables and offer a small bowlful to the baby. Start with a few spoonfuls first.
Dos and don’ts for introducing solids
- Never feed your baby when he is reclining or lying down. This can cause choking.
- Introduce one kind of food at least six times, even after your baby has rejected it. This gives him enough chances to take to it. Just because your baby has rejected that solid once does not mean he will never eat it.
- Introduce each solid food, one spoon at a time and feed it with a small spoon. Ensure that you do not give too much of it even if the baby seems to ask for it enthusiastically. This can lead to loose motions and loss of calories.
- Do not needlessly garnish the food with too much salt, sugar, and other additives. Let the child develop a taste for the fruit and vegetables first.
Wishing your little one a happy transition!