Sunday , November 19 2017
Blog » Moms Club » Weaning: Introducing Food to 6 Month Old Baby

Weaning: Introducing Food to 6 Month Old Baby

Mothers wait for so many months and finally the little one arrives. This special period is full of joy and excitement which the mother cannot express in words. Weaning is the introduction of semisolid and solid food (breast feeding continues) and this is a period when the baby is ready to explore the world of food. This period is exciting as well as difficult for the mother as they have many questions in their mind about when to start weaning, what is the best food for their baby and the never-ending list.

Mothers always express their love and care to the little ones through food. Feeding their little ones strengthens the bond between the mother and the baby. In India, many communities celebrate this occasion as ‘annaprashan’. This period is very important and it is necessary to supply all vitamins and minerals through diet because maximum growth and development takes place during this period. The body weight increases to 2 times at 5 months and the brain size also increases during this period.

When a mother prepares food for her little one she doesn’t only add the food ingredients but she also adds a lot of love, blessings and care, along with this she should also maintain HYGIENE AND SAFETY levels.

Here are important guidelines which will help the mothers and decrease their worries:

  1. The most important point to keep in mind is ‘HYGIENE’. Babies are very sensitive and more prone to infections that is why special care should be taken. The baby is completely dependent on the mother and it is important for the mother to maintain the hygiene. Mommies are always excited to prepare food for their little ones but during this they should not forget to wash their hands with soap or hand wash before preparing.
  2. Your little one always has lovely and colorful bottles, bowls and spoons in which they eat their yummy meals prepared by their mommies and it is very important to keep these things sparkling clean. Bottles, bowls, spoons should be washed with hot water and wiped dry with the help of a napkin. The napkin should not be used for any other purpose. This method is called ‘sterilization’.
  3. Long pretty nails is what every woman needs but I am sure you will cut them short when you come to know this fact that long nails are a source of germs and bacteria for your little baby.
  4. It would be best if those pretty jewelries like rings remain in the cupboard while preparing meals for your little ones. Rings and chains can be a source of bacteria and germs and it is best not to wear while preparing meals.
  5. All the mommies always want to give the best food to their babies and this best will come if mommies give their babies freshly prepared foods. Foods that are freshly prepared have more bright colors, they have a fresh taste and most important one they are free from bacteria.

When to Start?

  • It is the most confusing question for all the mothers. When to start? What should be given? What should be avoided?
  • It is best to exclusively breast feed for first six months. If the breast milk is less or the baby is on formula milk then four months is the right time.
  • The ideal time to start semisolid food is when baby is ready to sit up, swallow and eat and taste other food.
  • The baby’s stomach is ready to digest food and the baby has good appetite and accepts food readily and there is more activity in the child

Signs of Hunger

  • Smacking or licking lips or crying.
  • Opening and closing mouth
  • Sucking on lips, tongue, hands, fingers, toes, toys, or clothing
  • Trying to position for nursing, either by lying back or pulling on your clothes.
  • Hitting you on the arm or chest repeatedly
  • Moving head frantically from side to side

What To Give?

  • Fruits – Diluted apple juice, non-acidic juices like pear, peach, thin puree of these fruits can be made  after stewing the fruits.
  • Cereals – Rice water, dal water, puree of rice and dal.
  • Vegetables – Non gas forming vegetables like carrots, sweet potatoes, well boiled green peas, French beans in a thin puree.

What not to give?

wheat, oats, barley, nuts as it may lead to choking, cow’s milk, citrus fruits like orange, sweet lime etc., eggs, chicken, fish, jaggery , honey, sugar, salt, biscuits, breads, cheese, butter.

How much to give?

Start with 2 teaspoons per meal (start with one meal only) along with 800 ml of  breast milk. If your child is comfortable with it and seems to enjoy the new taste then it can be increased gradually from 1 to 3 meals.

When your little one is 4-5 months old it is best to give clear liquids and once when baby is 6 months old you can start with thin pureed foods. So your 6 months baby will have clear liquids plus pureed foods.

Sample Menu Planning (6 Months)

TIMINGS

       RECIPE      INGREDIENTS         AMOUNT      QUANTITY

8 A.M.

Breast milk/ formula milk

150-200 ml/ 10 tablespoons

10 A.M.

    Apple juice

Apple

+

Water

½ cup peeled and grated

+

½ cup/ 50 ml water.

40ml juice/2 table spoons

Non-acidic, easy to digest.

12 P.M.

Breast milk/ formula milk

150-200 ml/ 10 tablespoons

2 P.M.

Dal water

Moong dal

+

Water

2 tablespoons

+

For cooking

50 ml/ 3 tablespoons

Good source of protein.

4 P.M.

Ragi kanji

Ragi

+

Water

1 tablespoon

+

3/4th cup/ 75 ml water

50 ml/ 3 tablespoons

Good source of iron and calcium.

      6 P.M.    Breast milk/        formula milk

150-200 ml/ 10 tablespoons

8 P.M.

Rice kanji

Rice

              +

Water

1 tablespoon

+

3/4th cup/ 75 ml water

50 ml/ 3 tablespoons

Good source of

Re-hydration during diarrhea.

    10 P.M.

Breast milk/ formula milk

150-200 ml

 

Sample Meal Planning (7 Months) 

TIMINGS

      RECIPE    INGREDIENTS        AMOUNT     QUANTITY
       8 A.M.   Breast milk/       formula milk   150-200 ml/10      tablespoons
      10 A.M.    pear juice

Pear

+

water

  ¾  cup peeled        and grated +   ¾ cup/ 75 ml         water

 75ml juice/ 5 table spoons

 Non-acidic, easy to  digest.
       12 P.M.   Breast milk/      formula milk    150-200 ml/10      tablespoons
        2 P.M.   Dal water

Masoor dal

+

water

  3 tablespoons

+

    For cooking

75 ml water/5 tablespoons

   Good source of             protein.
       4 P.M.    Rice kanji

Rice

+

water

   2 tablespoon

+

    1 cup/100 ml

75 ml water/5 tablespoons

  Good source of     re-hydration      during diarrhea.
       6 P.M.   Breast milk/      formula milk   150-200 ml/10    tablespoons
       8 P.M    Sago  kanji

Sago

+

water

    2 tablespoon

+

  1 cup/ 100 ml

75 ml water/

5 tablespoons

       10 P.M.    Breast milk/      formula milk    150-200 ml/10       tablespoons

 

Sample Meal Planning (8 Months)

     TIMINGS      RECIPE    INGREDIENTS        AMOUNT     QUANTITY
       8 A.M.    Breast milk/    formula milk    150-200 ml/10    tablespoons
       10 A.M.   Thin Stewed    apple

Apple

+

water

   ½ cup peeled    and grated +   1 cup/ 100 ml

50ml/ 3 tablespoons

   Fiber in apple      (pectin) helps to    maintain the  bowel regularity.
      12 P.M.    Breast milk/    formula milk

150-200 ml/10 tablespoons

      2 P.M.   Dal water

Moong dal

+

Water

   3 tablespoons

+

     For cooking

100 ml/ 6 tablespoons

  Good source of    protein.
      4 P.M.   Thin Stewed    pear

Pear

+

water

 ½ cup peeled and  grated +  1 cup/ 100 ml

 50ml/ 3         tablespoons

  Fiber in apple      (pectin) helps to  maintain the  bowel regularity.
      6 P.M.   Breast milk/    formula milk    150-200 ml/10    tablespoons
      8 P.M    Rice kanji

Rice

+

Water

   2 tablespoon

+

   1 cup/ 100 ml

100 ml/ 6 tablespoons

  Good source of  re-hydration   during diarrhea.
     10 P.M.    Breast milk/    formula milk    150-200 ml/ 10    tablespoons

METHOD OF PREPARATION

KANJI-RICE/RAGI/SAGO

Kanji is a mother’s all-time favourite recipe. It is simple and quick to prepare and a healthy option. It is the best food when the baby has diarrhoea (loose motions) as it prevents dehydration and maintains electrolyte balance.

  1. Soak the rice overnight.
  2. It  should be dried in sun or roasted on a pan/tawa and grind it into powdered form
  3. Now in a pan add this powder and water. (as mentioned above for each age group)
  4. Cook well and strain.

APPLE/PEAR JUICE

An apple a day keeps the doctor away. But this is one fruit babies have trouble digesting in its raw from till they are 6 months old. So, apple/ pear juice is a wonderful way of introducing apples/pears to your baby’s diet.

  1. Boil water (as mentioned above for each age group) in a pan. Add  it to the apples and keep aside for 10 minutes.
  2. Strain it to obtain the juice. Serve lukewarm.

DAL WATER (MOONG/MASOOR)

This is a nourishing food and an ideal one to start with as its texture is similar to that  of breast milk. The water has been strained as babies cannot digest whole cereals and pulse before the age of 6 months. It is best to give it unstrained after your little one is  6 months old.

  1. Soak the dal in water and pressure cook it in ½ cup of water for 2 whistles.
  2. Add an additional 1/2 cup of water to the cooked dal and liquidize it in a blender.
  3. Strain the cooked dal and serve.

STEWED APPLE/PEAR

As the baby  is now 6 months old, stewed apple or pear can be give but the consistency should be very thin. This is another very interesting way of adding fruits to your baby’s diet.

  1. Peel and grate the apple/pear
  2. In a pan add the grated apple/pear and add water.
  3. Cook till the fruit is completely cooked.
  4. Strain it and serve.

Contributed by –

Founder & Dietitian at Balance Nutrition

Khyati has developed over 500 health recipes that are tasty and yet extremely healthy for overweight individuals. She is the author of ‘Getting rid of Obesity’, an MBD Publication. Khyati is on the panel of ECA ‘Early Childhood Association’ and has lectured on Nutrition and Diet at institutes offering training courses for Dietitians. Khyati has successfully helped in numerous PCOS cases where infertility was a major issue and helped many women with severe PCOS became mothers. Being a mother herself she is especially passionate about Child Nutrition and Childcare.


This article was previously published on OoWomaniya.

Disclaimer: The statements, opinions and data contained in these publications are solely those of the individual authors and contributors and not of Credihealth and the editor(s).