Thanks, moms for the overwhelming response to my previous article on Nutrition for Babies: 3 to 6 months. Here is a picture of my little sonny when he was about 4 months. Thought I will share with all of you.
My son is now 9 months old and I like you spend a lot of time thinking about what to feed him every day. Considering that nutrition is my passion and profession, there are no short cuts for me. I am here to share how I have used my knowledge to practice.
For starters, I am a firm believer of cooking everything from scratch for my baby. I know it is time consuming, but you will be relived later when you will see your precious one enjoying all natural foods and flavors. So no packaged foods for my baby. I have even managed to travel to Goa, Bangalore and Bhubaneshwar the last few months with him. And each time I stayed at a place where I could either cook or request the chef to make a meal for my baby exactly the way I want it. So first rule – stay away from packaged meals as much as possible. What they learn now will stay with them for life.
As I mentioned in my first article on nutrition for babies: 3 to 6 months, by the time your baby is 6 months, he or she is very inquisitive about what you are eating. This is your signal to start. The thumb rule is, start with the simplest foods to digest and move gradually from fruits, vegetable, grains and then lentils – in that order please.
As suggested in my previous article, at 6 months, start with fruit purees, introducing one fruit at a time for at least three days before you introduce another fruit. Once you have introduced all seasonal fruits, you can begin to mix it up. You can also increase the servings per days from one to two and then three. By the time you are done with this process of gradual introduction, you will be nearing your baby’s 7th month. You may now begin introducing vegetable purees while continuing with the fruit purees since your baby is already accustomed to the latter. You can also mix breast milk or formula milk to your purees – fruits or vegetable. Please refrain from adding any chillies, salt, honey and dairy till they are about 1 year old. The same rule still applies – introduce one vegetable at a time for three days before you introduce another. This way you will learn if your child is allergic to anything. This simple, gradual introduction will save your baby from upset stomach or even colic.
By now you are giving him/ her different fruits and are slowing introducing different vegetable purees in his diet. The variety in his/her meals is increasing. Again once you have introduced all seasonal vegetables, you can now mix it up. You can cook them together and give one kind of vegetable at one time and another at another time of the day.
Don’t forget, you are still feeding him breast milk or formula while you introduce him/ her to other foods. Stay patient with the process and try and refrain from introducing your baby with too many food items too fast.
I know it is exciting to see your precious one experimenting but please progress slowly. Once you are done introducing all fruits and vegetables, you can now introduce grains. Start with white rice. It’s the simplest to digest. And slowly introduce Ragi, Maize, Barley, Wheat etc. In my kitchen, I have boxes of powdered form of all these grains, made specially made at home with the help of my blender. Remember the thumb rule – introduce one grain at a time for three days before you introduce another. Your baby is now ready for lentils. Follow the same rule as mentioned above. By the time your baby is approaching his/her 9th month, he/ she is consuming different kinds of fruits, vegetable, grains and lentils. He or she is slowly getting ready to eat almost everything you eat- minus the salt, sugar and chillies.
Moms I hope you found this article useful.
There is one thing I can tell you and I am sure you will resonate; being a mom is hardest job on this planet but also the most rewarding. The more energy and time you will put in your child, the more he or she will blossom. Please do remember to take care of yourself. You can only provide for another if you are well in all ways – physically, emotionally and spiritually.
Make sure you get enough support from your partner, parents and in-laws. Don’t shy away from asking from help. Till next time, stay well … stay happy. Sending my love to all the little ones.
About Author: Preeti Rao is a certified international Health and Wellness coach, author and speaker. A new mom herself, Preeti’s hold a Masters in Integrative Health from US and is the former Reebok Fitness Brand Ambassador. Her expertise lies in exercise physiology, nutrition, stress management, corporate wellness programs, integrated and complimentary medicine & healthy aging among other things.
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