By the time your child is 4 to 6 months old, you’ve probably mastered the skill of breastfeeding or bottle-feeding. However, as with many aspects of parenting, things are about to change as your child approaches the joyful milestone of being ready for solid foods. Read this article for introducing solid foods to your baby.
While some infants may be content to wait for longer, others could be eager to begin eating. Looking for indications that your kid is ready to feed is the easiest approach to determine this.
Here are all the details you need to start your kid on solid foods to your baby, along with advice on how to handle mealtime.
Beginning of Solid Foods
Consider solid meals as a “bonus” food when you’re ready to offer them because the majority of their calories and nutrients will still come from breast milk or formula. Before meals, right after, and right before night, feed your infant breastmilk or a bottle.
You’ll need to try a few different things to see what works best for your infant at first. Here are a few indications that your infant could be prepared to start food for baby:
- They can sit straight and raise their heads.
- They are curious and are observing everything, including what you are eating.
- They might open their jaws to try to take a bite as they follow your fork with their heads.
- The reaction that normally forces food out of their mouths with a tongue thrust was missing.
- Even after drinking all of the milk for the day, they still appear to be hungry (eight to 10 breastfeeding or about 32 ounces of formula).
It’s okay if your baby doesn’t appear to be hungry just yet. Never forget that you don’t need to rush to reach this goal. Waiting is frequently preferable to starting early.
Age-specific Foods For Baby
The time when bland rice porridge was the norm has long since passed. There are no strict guidelines in place today for a baby’s first meal. To introduce your infant to new flavors, it’s crucial to provide a range of fruits, vegetables, and meats in any sequence.
If you’re curious, it’s a fallacy that giving your infant fruits initially will make them exclusively crave sweets, so feel free to try any fruit you like. Confused as to which solids to begin with? Here are a few ideas.
Cereals made of only one grain: 4 to 6 months
After birth, the amount of iron deposited in the uterus decreases, and a baby’s level reaches an all-time low at about nine months. Iron-fortified cereals are the ideal early food because of this.
Mix 4 to 5 teaspoons of breast milk or formula with 1 teaspoon of single-grain cereal. If your infant shakes their head no, looks away, or closes their mouth after just one mouthful, don’t force them to keep feeding.
Wait a week or so and attempt again if they don’t appear at all interested in trying cereal. Once your infant gets accustomed to eating runny cereal, thicken it by adding more cereal and reducing the amount of water or milk.
Also, read our article about “A complete guide to food fermentation process“.
4 to 8 months: pureed vegetables, fruits, and meats
There is no evidence to support the claim that consuming fruits before veggies can lead to a lifetime preference for sweet meals. Therefore, it is up to you to choose whether to start with bananas, carrots, or, for that matter, pureed chicken.
Consult your baby’s pediatrician for advice on the most effective ways to introduce common allergens if you have a strong family history of food allergies. Food for babies that frequently causes allergies include dairy, eggs, and peanuts.
6 to 8 months: finger snacks with only one ingredient
Many infants like experimenting with self-feeding from a young age, whether you started with purees or are starting solids with finger foods. At this moment, avoid presenting any hard, raw foods (such as apple slices or carrot sticks).
Ensure that fruits and vegetables are soft enough to be mashed with your thumb and forefinger. Cooked peas, diced bananas or avocado, or rice puffs are a few tasty examples.
The shape is important as well. A mound of potato salad or a wedge of avocado will be simpler to handle than smaller foods for younger babies who will be picking things up with their full palms.
7-9 months: Foods that have been chopped, crushed, or mashed
Move your youngster away from smooth purees as soon as they can. More finger foods with different textures should be included, such as yogurt, cottage cheese, bananas, and mashed sweet potatoes. Try pureed meats such as beef, chicken, and poultry since they can require more iron. These are great iron sources and introduce solid foods to your baby.