There are many delicious recipes you can share with your family, but when is introducing solid food to your baby okay?
Breast milk is the best nutrition you can give to your newborn. However, there will come a time when it is no longer sufficient nor will you be able to produce enough to sustain their growing bodies.
As exciting as feeding our babies solid foods is, there’s more that parents should know. Read more to find out what, when, and how to introduce solid food to your baby!
Knowing When Your Baby Is Ready
Although the timing essentially depends on your baby’s development, health professionals don’t recommend introducing them to solid foods earlier than four months.
Signs That Your Baby Is Ready
- They are able to sit with little to no support
- They can control their head properly
- They open their mouth for food when it is offered
During your baby’s first six months of life, it is recommended that you exclusively breastfeed. Their only source of nourishment will be your breast milk. The composition of human milk provides immunity factors and several health benefits that reach adulthood.
By the time they reach six months, they’re ready to eat solid foods. Continue to feed them breast milk along with solid foods in order to get optimal health benefits and nutrition!
Baby Solid Food Guide
Solid food does not necessarily include everything that adults can eat. There are still restrictions that you have to take note of. Some solid foods are best introduced first compared to others, while some may be harmful to their bodies.
Listed below are some examples of age-appropriate solid foods you can feed your baby:
Food To Avoid
- Raw or runny eggs
- Dairy with reduced-fat
- Hard foods such as whole nuts
- Processed foods with high levels of fat, salt, and sugar such as biscuits, fried food, cakes, and chips
- Other milk types such as soy, goat, and sheep’s milk
- Pasteurised full-fat cow’s milk
- Fruit juice
How To Feed Your Baby Solid Food
1. Make Meals Manageable
Eating solid food is one of the biggest milestones for a baby. Take it slow and steady with them. Having one misstep can lead to adverse effects that can last a lifetime of negative attitude with food.
Here are some ways you can make meals manageable:
- Start with small amounts of food
- Talk to them while feeding them
- Don’t force them to eat if they turn away from the food
- Use single-ingredient foods with no sugar or salt
- Feed new solid foods every three to five days
- Don’t serve food from the bottle
- Incorporate utensils slowly
- Always supervise your baby while eating
- Sit down while feeding
2. Practice Hygiene At All Times
Babies are still developing their immune system even when they eat solid foods. When infected by bad bacteria and germs, they’re more susceptible to sickness. Stay clean inside and outside your homes especially when feeding your baby.
You can practice hygiene by doing the following:
- Avoid feeding your baby directly from the container.
- Wash your hands before feeding them
- Sanitise their spoons and plates before and after use
3. Keep Nutrients In Mind
Not every solid food have the necessary components for proper nutrition. Make sure that their meals have important nutrients such as iron and zinc. These can be found in pureed meats and iron-fortified foods baby cereals.
Here are some ways you can retain nutrients in their food:
- Use cooking methods like steaming and baking instead of boiling
- Remove fat, bones, and skin from the meat, fish, and other poultry before cooking
- Avoid feeding rice cereal exclusively
- Nurse your baby before feeding with solid foods
4. Consult Your Pediatrician For Food Allergies
Before feeding your baby with solid food, consult your paediatrician for food allergies. Babies are at risk of developing allergies, especially when introduced to allergenic foods such as eggs, peanut butter, wheat, fish, and cow’s milk.
If your family has a history of food allergies, you should reach out to your doctors first. If you’ve fed your baby a particular food and they developed an allergic reaction, don’t offer it again until you’ve consulted with your paediatrician.
Below are the signs of allergic reactions in babies:
In A Nutshell…
Eating solid foods is another exciting milestone for our babies that we are excited about! It’s a sign that they’re developing well into healthy childhood.
However, do take note of the restrictions for their own safety. Introducing solid food can be quite the challenge. Babies are still prone to illnesses and food-related accidents such as choking as they are still learning.
What was your baby’s first solid food? Share it in the comments below!