Hey beautiful Mommies! I am back with another post. It covers an extremely crucial topic of introducing first foods to babies. You must be really nervous before introducing first foods to your baby and its completely understandable. When I started first foods for my baby, on one hand, I was happy that we achieved another milestone and on the other hand, I was nervous like how!
Tons of questions were there in my mind like will she accept the foods? Will it suit her? Hope she doesn’t catch any allergies!! I thought it will be good to share what I have learnt from my experience so that new mommies can reduce their anxieties about starting solids for their babies.
When to start?
1. You should start when you think your baby is ready for it.
2. Baby should be able to hold her neck properly and should be able to sit, at least with support.
3. The tongue thrust, in which the baby pushes out the food, should be gone. Babies are used to sucking to get milk. This reflex should be gone and baby should know that she needs to gulp or swallow the food.
4. You can start solids when you feel that baby’s hunger is not getting satisfied with just milk. And, your baby is giving you signs like getting up too many times at night. If your baby has given you a tough time at night and shown some unusual behavior then it might be time to introduce solids in her diet!
5. WHO recommends exclusive breast feeding till 6 months and then starting solids. However, I beg to differ! I think each baby is different so how can one categorize and generalize their behavior? A lot of moms I know started weaning their babies at 4.5 -5 months so if you feel you need to wean your baby, consult your pediatrician and go ahead with it! Also, a lot of babies have their first tooth sprouted as early as 4 -5 months, so when that happens it is probably a good time to start solids.
6. Baby centre app has suggested first foods for various ages. They have also suggested first foods for 4 to 6 months. In fact my pediatrician told me that earlier, weaning was acceptable at as early as 4 months, but nowadays the concept has changed and it’s recommended at 6 months. I suggest to go with what your baby tells you.
What all to start with?
You can start with any food, however it is ideal to start with fruits and then graduate to more solid foods. In some countries, cereals and oats are considered great first foods. I started with fruits and then graduated to other solids after my lil one turned 6 months. Try and give the same food for 4-5 days to see if the baby is allergic to it or not. Introducing too many foods initially may irritate her system, so be slow and steady. When you are starting solids, start with one food in a day and gradually increase that with time.
*The below recipes are without added salt or sugar.
1. Stewed apple: Take a nice big red apple, peel it’s skin and cut in small pieces. Boil it for 10-15 mins or till the time it is tender. Then grind it once it has cooled down. A tasty and healthy snack is ready! Start with giving your baby 1-2 pieces of the apple and gradually increase it to a full one. You can also prepare Pears in a similar way.
2. Potato cream: Take a medium sized potato and boil it. Now put it in a mixer / grinder and churn it with 2 scoops of formula milk and 2 ounces of water . Voila ! Potato cream is ready. And babies actually love it! Although I would recommend introducing this food only when the baby is comfortable with solids. You can also add cooked Porridge to it to make it taste even better.
3. Banana shake: Take a medium sized banana which is ripe and does not have any black marks on it’s skin. Put it in a grinder and add 2 scoops of formula and 2 ounces of water. Mix it and a healthy snack is ready for your baby.
4. Oats: Take 2 spoons of original oats and boil it in 2-3 ounces of formula milk . After giving it a good boil of 2-3 minutes, cool it down and grind it.
5. Semolina kheer: Take half teaspoon of ghee or butter , heat it and roast 1 spoon semolina in it. Once it turns golden then add half cup water and let it simmer until it reaches desired consistency then you can add a little bit of formula milk in the end. (I started with this when my baby turned 6 months old).
6. Khichdi: This is a very healthy and tasty meal for babies . They simply seem to love it and you can make it more nutritious by adding veggies. Now you can not make khichdi with any daal . You need to keep the daal light so stick with moong dal and rice khichdi . You can add veggies like carrots, beans , potato and a drop of ghee too. Take 1 table spoon rice and half table spoon moong daal. Put it in a pressure cooker. Cut 3 beans, an inch of carrot and half potato (about an inch) and add it to the pressure cooker. Add a pinch of turmeric too. Switch off the gas after 3 whistles and let the steam pass out on its own. Grind it once it cools down and it is ready for your lil one. You can also replace the rice with Porridge(daliya) to give variety to your baby.
Tips to Top:
1. Give your baby completely pureed food. The consistency should be runny for all foods to avoid choking.
2. Try to give the same food for 5 days. This way you would know whether your lil one is allergic to certain foods or not.
3. A weaning bib would be handy to avoid the mess! So, please buy a couple of them!
4. If your baby makes faces or refuses to eat initially, don’t give up. Babies are used to having milk so its difficult for them to accept foods at first, but they gradually start liking it. Give your baby some time to accept the foods. Try the same food atleast 10 times before deciding your baby does not like it.
5. Start giving sips of water too along with the foods . Your baby needs it once you start solids.
6. Once your baby graduates to having 3-4 meals in a day, you can make all the foods at once in the morning and keep it in the refrigerator. It is absolutely okay to do that. Heat it before you feed your baby to make it come to room temperature. Stir it before giving so that the heat distributes evenly and you don’t burn your baby’s mouth.
Hope I have given you enough info to start with and gradually when you know what exactly your baby likes, you can simply create some varieties of your own. I love to give my baby some home cooked meals and haven’t really given her cerelac, because when you can make these foods so easily you don’t really need processed foods. Hope you enjoy reading this blog. Do share your thoughts and feedback. Till next time – take care and Enjoy the Motherhood.
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