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Starting solids – A beginner’s guide


The initial few months of your little one’s journey are as exciting to you as it is to him. With every milestone, there is joy coupled with your child’s development. Particularly for first time parents, every little step the child takes towards growth fills them with amazement and excitement. One such little development in your baby is the time he or she starts solid food.

A new born in his initial months will only depend on milk for his growth and nourishment. Whether it is your feed or the formula, your child will not need anything else to satisfy his hunger. However, as the baby reaches six month milestone, you will start noticing signs that tell you your baby is ready for more than just milk. You will probably even see him eyeing your meals but that does not mean, you can give him what you eat. What your baby now needs is a semi solid diet that will enhance his nourishment.

What should you start with?

Unlike what the name suggests, baby solids aren’t really solids. The first food you should give your little one should be semi liquid. Eating is a skill your baby will learn gradually so for now, let him swallow more nutrition than milk can provide.

The first feed

Baby rice cereal is the safest first food for a little one. It is easily digestible and does not usually trigger any allergic reaction. To make this feed, mix about a teaspoon of baby rice cereal with recommended quantity of breast milk, formula milk or boiled water. Remember that your little one’s tiny tummy needs only tiny portions of solids as he will still continue to derive most of the needed nutrition from breast milk or formula milk.

Instead of the ready made baby rice cereal, you can also make your own baby food with cooked rice. Just make sure to cook it till it is all mashed up and then mix it in with breast milk, formula milk or water. At six months, your baby can also eat mashed or pureed fruits like banana, pears and apple as well as veggies like carrot, pumpkin, potatoes and cauliflower. Lentils are also good for the baby.

The basic thing to bear in mind when deciding what to give your little baby is to make sure that you introduce easily digestible foods first then move on to diluted fruit juices and vegetable soups. Also, make sure you check with the baby’s doctor to be sure that you are doing the right thing.

Home made foods are safest for your child and also the healthiest. You can try different combinations too and give your baby a taste of different foods and textures. This will also help you understand your baby’s tastes and preferences. When you make baby food at home, you can also be sure that there is nothing unnatural that is going inside it.

Should you buy baby food?

There are various types of baby food available in the market. You can use packaged baby food but keep the following things in your mind –

  • Read the label and check the seal. Manufacturing dates, dates of expiry and best before dates are crucial.
  • Start understanding food labels. Check if the contents have food colouring, additives and artificial flavours. You may want to avoid such foods.
  • Do not buy any food, the can of which is bloated or cracked. The food may get contaminated.

Always use trusted brands and buy food from well stocked departmental stores.

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