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Mother are always curious regarding their child’s diet during different stages of development. Transition from liquids to solids is one such stage. Introducing solid food for the first time to my daughter was quite exciting as we were stepping towards another important milestone. Think of all the tastes and textures that await your baby — from juicy mango to creamy avocado. You must encourage your baby to enjoy while trying new foods as it is part of the experiment of taking their taste buds to the next level. Experts recommend waiting till 6 months to start solids for the first time, but sometimes it totally depends on your little one’s own growth.
How to decide if baby is ready for solid food:
You can check following clues that can you help you to decide if your baby is ready for the big step into the world of solid foods:
- Check if your infant can support and hold her head. Solid foods should not be offered till your baby has good neck control.
- Check if your baby’s tongue thrust reflex has gone. You can simply try placing a tiny piece of baby-appropriate food thinned with breast milk in your baby’s tongue. If the food comes right back out again with that tiny tongue, the thrust is still present.
- Is your baby showing interest in table foods? If she’s grabbing the fork out of your hand for every bite you take, this shows that she’s ready for more grown-up fare.
- Just watch if your baby is able to open mouth wide. If yes then you can offer food which can be taken from a spoon.
Some essential tips while feeding solid foods:
Since there were a lot of people around me suggesting how to feed infants, I preferred adopting some of the advice only. So, here are some best and the most effective advice you must look into while feeding solid foods to your baby:
1) Choose a correct posture for your kid while feeding solid foods
You must always choose the “Sitting Upright” posture for your kid while feeding. If your baby is too small and isn’t able to sit on its own, you have to support them a bit. Having said this, you can also invest in buying a good quality high chair or a booster chair!
2) Understand the difference between Traditional feeding and self-feeding
Traditionally, parents used to prefer feeding their baby all alone. But since self-feeding is the trend nowadays, I’m still not in favour of sticking to just one method. Because initially, I started with traditional feeding, and when my little one got used to the concept of eating and became familiarized with how the food needs to be eaten, she started eating all on its own.
3) Eat with your baby
Kids are quite curious to explore everyone’s meal on the dining table during lunch or dinner time. And in my case, my daughter used to ask us for our food even after she got the same on her plate. That’s when I decided to eat with my daughter, and it’s fun too!
4) Never distract the baby while offering food
Keep your mobile phones away from you while feeding your baby. Since kids get distracted easily and don’t understand when they are full.Most of the time they will skip their dinner just to play around. The distraction does not just include mobile phones but also toys too.
5) Don’t be in a rush
Feeding babies can get arduous sometimes because they show a lot of tantrums and there is so much mess around. But you have to keep some control on your anger. If you your anger to your baby, they will start developing a negative association with food. Hence, take the whole process slowly, and let the child decide what he/she actually wants to eat.
What are the best solid foods for a baby?
There are no specific rules for a baby’s first foods. You should offer a variety of fruits, vegetables in any order to get your baby used to different tastes. Here are few suggestions.
Try to offer Single-grain cereals: Always pick a single-grain, iron-enriched, whole-grain variety, like brown rice or whole-grain oat. To prepare just mix a small amount of baby cereal with breast milk or formula or even water to create a creamy texture. Don’t sweeten it by adding anything because babies should develop a taste for plain cereals.
Pureed veggies, fruits and meats:
You can start with sweet potatoes and carrots before moving on to the green team, like peas and string beans, which have slightly stronger flavors. In fruits you can try Delicious, digestible fruits like finely mashed bananas, baby applesauce, peaches and pears.
Introduce finger foods at 8 months which can add a whole other dimension to eating. Make sure fruits and veggies you are offering as finger food should be soft enough to mash with gentle pressure between your thumb and forefinger. Avoid any hard, raw foods such as apple slices or carrot sticks at this point
Which foods to avoid:
- Honey should be avoided until your baby is one year old as it can cause a serious illness.
- Avoid cow milk and Stick with breast milk and formula as a primary beverage though you can use cow’s milk in cooking or baking.
- Avoid nuts, seeds, raisins, hard candy, grapes, hard raw vegetables, popcorn, peanut butter, and hot dogs as it can cause choking hazards during your baby’s first year
Over the next few months keep introducing a variety of foods .If your baby doesn’t seem to like a food, try again at later meals. It can take quite a few tries before babies get adapt to solid foods.In some ways, feeding a baby is easier than feeding older palates.
I am writing 26 post in this series .Do check my earlier post