Feeding your baby his or her first solid food is a major milestone. Most babies begin eating soft foods when they are about 6 months old. By the time they are 10-11 months old, the baby starts eating a variety of foods from different food groups. But how to introduce solid foods to an infant’s/ child’s diet plan? Let’s find out in this section below:
According to health and nutrition experts here are some general guidelines to help you understand if your baby is ready for that first exciting spoonful of food.
➢ The baby is around 6-month old
➢ The baby can sit up without support
➢ Baby can hold his/her head up in a steady position
➢ Baby tends to naturally push out anything that’s put into their mouth – including the first spoonful of food you will offer her.
➢ Baby can recognize and pick up an object
➢ The baby looks at the food you are holding with interest
➢ Baby tries to occasionally grab at whatever he sees you eating
➢ The baby looks hungry even after breastfeeding
If your baby is showing these signs of readiness, it’s time that you set up mealtime for the infant.
How to Start?
Introducing solids is a gradual process. Here are some tips on how to get it started.
➢ To begin with, offer your baby one solid meal a day. At first, try offering mashed or pureed food – one that has a very smooth texture. Two to four spoonfuls will do at first.
➢ Let your child lick or taste the food with their own hands and fingers. It’s one of the best ways to help them understand and sense new taste, new texture, etc. Moreover, just enjoy your baby’s messy tray, sloppy hands, and sticky face. Remember, you are building the foundation of healthy eating for a lifetime.
➢ Stick with the same food for 2-3 days before introducing another one.
➢ You may even want to talk to your baby while feeding, to help him/her enjoy this new milestone.
Note: Don’t force your baby to eat more than he/she wants to. Allow the infant to learn or recognize their hunger cues instead.
Do not add any spices (including salt), nor add sugar, honey or jaggery to your infant’s meals.
Foods to Try
To expand your baby’s palate, try including the following food items in your child’s diet plan.
➢ Vegetables like Beetroot, Potato, Sweet Potato, Carrot, Turnips, Pumpkin, Bottle gourd, etc
➢ Fruits like Banana, stewed apple or pear, etc
➢ Overcooked Rice, Ragi or Porridge (Do not introduce cow or other plant/animal milk till your baby is 1 year old. Use the formula milk to make porridge).
➢ other grains and Cereals
If you wish to explore more ideas on how to introduce solids food in your child’s diet plan, contact Kanupriya Khanna. One of the best dietitians for kids – Kanupriya can help you create a good meal plan for your toddler.
You can also visit the website https://kanupriyakhanna.in/ for more diet tips and ideas