When is it time to introduce the baby to solid food? After 6months one can introduce the baby to solid foods and alternate with breast milk, or infant formula. It is advised to mothers to exclusively breastfeed their babies for 6 months. Additionally, one can express and store the breast milk in baby bottles for feeding time while at work. Even so, infant formula is a good alternative for mothers who are not able to breastfeed their babies as recommended due to various factors.
Even so, children are different and can achieve different milestones at different ages. For instance, by now one should see the baby trying to seat with little or no support thanks to feeding chairs. Also if the child can support their head without the neck swaying he is ready to try solid food. Particularly, if the child leans forward or opens their mouth when you try to feed them that is a good sign.
When to Introduce the Solid Food
Despite babies developing differently or at different times by 6 months the baby is good to start on solid food. Nonetheless, introduce one variety to prevent any allergies or food intolerance issues. This is the time the baby’s stomach is trying to learn to digest solid food hence the process should be implemented gradually.
Within 7 months start adding different types of food to his diet to get all the nutritious aspects that will help in growth and development.
Monitor your child when introducing a new type of food for 4 days to see if they are okay or have a problem with it.
Obviously, it is good to check that it is the right time to start introducing solid food to the baby as she has to be able to chew and swallow food smoothly.
The baby is learning to feed and can lead to messiness and spilling of food. Keep your baby’s clothes clean and dry by putting a bib on her.
Which Food Should I Give My Baby?
One can introduce meat, fruits, vegetables, grains, smoothies to name a few. Children can be picky eaters which can lead to food pocketing. Try to balance your child’s solid food to provide both nutritious values as well as taste delicious. Introduce also oats and barley while giving infant cereals. Avoid foods that can cause obesity or allergies.
Your baby can be allergic to certain proteins. The common ones are eggs, fish, soybeans, peanuts, shellfish and you might want to consult the doctor first if your family is affected by this.
How to Prepare Baby’s Food
The food can be prepared in different ways. Importantly remember the baby has just started on solid food and requires foods that can be easily swallowed and watery for easy digestion.
The food can be mashed, pureed, and smooth in texture to avoid any choking. Unquestionably, the baby is trying to learn how to swallow and needs to be fed a small portion.
Notably, the baby might try to spit, not swallow, and cough as he is not used. But with time and after getting used to swallowing feeding becomes easy.
For babies who are learning to swallow you need to prepare the food as smooth as possible for a smooth texture to allow easy swallow. Remember the baby is not able to swallow and can choke on big pieces of food or fruits.
Making your own baby food at home helps you keep track of every ingredient used.
We have baby cutlery that makes feeding easy, for instance, spoons, fork, cups that can be used with puree.
Purées are easy to swallow and served on a spoon, and can be introduced as the first type when starting on solid food.
With puree, one can make homemade or buy already prepared puree in baby stores. If you are a lover of making your own baby food you can go with homemade, it will be both nutritious and save you money.
It is fast to prepare puree for the baby. All one needs is a blender, or a food processor, or a baby food grinder to prepare the baby food into the right texture.
How to Make Puree
- Select fresh good quality produces. It can be from your home garden or buy organic.
- Do not keep the baby produce for long use within 2-3 days as you want fresh food for the baby.
- Clean and prepare the food. The working area and utensils should also be clean. You do not want the baby to be sick.
- Start by cooking the vegetable/fruit either by steaming, baking, microwaving, or boiling. Doesn’t kill nutrients.
- Take the cooked vegetable or fruit and remove them into the machine you have decided to use for pureeing. Steaming is best for cooking vegetables as it preserves the nutrients. You can stem for 10 minutes.
- Set aside the liquid that the vegetables/fruits were cooked in and add as you prepare puree to get all the nutrients in the liquid.
- Set your machine to puree or grind and begin to mash the vegetables or fruits. You can add the stock, liquid set aside, breast milk, or formula.
- If the puree is a lot put it in several storage containers for later feeding.
- Give baby small portions in intervals to avoid overfeeding. New eaters just need 2-3 teaspoons of food.
- When the food is a lot store it in safe glass jars or plastic containers with airtight lids and place in the refrigerator. Label it and used it within 3 days after that discard.
- Allow the food to cool before feeding the baby.
When cooking food for baby, if the above gadgets are not available you can use a spoon, fork, or masher (if it’s potato, pumpkin, avocados, banana) to prepare the mashed food.
When you first introduce cereals and grains to your baby, you can serve with breast milk or formula to thin out the consistency.
Fruits and Vegetables
When preparing fruits or vegetables you can bake, steam, or boil vegetables and hard fruits. After making a puree or grind to make them smooth for easy swallow.
Fruits are apple are hard and the baby can have difficulty swallowing so boiling and making a puree will ensure the baby enjoys the fruit in a smoothie way.
The traditional fruits that can be included in baby food are bananas, pears, blueberries, peaches, apricots, prunes, mangoes, and apples.
Vegetables can include spinach, sweet potatoes, butternut squash, avocado, carrots, and peas.
Meat, Poultry or Fish
Ensure the meat is properly cleaned and prepared, remove skin and trim any fat. Check for any bones to avoid choking.
The meat can be minced or blended alongside other baby meals and eaten as puree.
Mix the food or puree with a little water, breast milk, or formula when making it for consistency.
After sometimes when the baby grows and is now able to eat the family meal the food can be blended or made as a puree for her.
This is one food that is tasty and nutritious to the baby as she grows. Although fish is not encouraged as it can cause allergies but if your child isn’t reacting it gives healthy fats and is highly nutritious.
You do not have to add sugar or salt when starting to give the baby solid food as their taste buds are not familiar with that and are still developing.
It is important to store homemade baby food correctly, so it doesn’t spoil or develop bacteria that will make your baby ill.
Lastly, do not overwhelm your baby, introduce one food at a time and another after 4 days to check for any allergic reaction with any food.