Baby Foods to Start With: Starting Solids
Normally, health practitioners recommend starting solids for your baby between the ages of 4 to 6 months. You are visibly able to observe some growth signs in your baby during this period, which shows that your baby is ready for the solids intake.
These growth signs include that your baby would be able to sit up and hold his/her head upright properly. Your baby will now able to look around and observe the environment around. You start observing that your baby still keeps craving for more food even after being fed sufficient milk (either breast milk or formula milk).
Starting solids does not mean you have to stop breastfeeding or feeding formula feeding. Milk is good for the baby’s health and you are not supposed to completely stop giving it. Your baby needs little time to adjust to this change. However you will have to schedule the milk feeding time. Try different schedules as per baby’s needs and comfort.
Milk would still remain main source of baby calorie intake until she is 10 months old.
You can teach your baby about food and food manners. Make baby sit properly beside you while you are having your meals. Soon they get to used to eating acts and food textures.
When baby is around 9 months old he/she requires up to 22 to 30 ounces of formula milk per day or for every 4-5 hours he/she will require breast feeding. This requirement changes as baby becomes 12 months old. Now the baby needs around sixteen to twenty five ounces of formula feeding and breast feeding every five to six hours.
At the age of 5 months baby should be given food in puree form. You should start with little amount to start with as baby is yet not ready to intake and digest solids initially. Baby will slowly learn to eat and digest it. Following are the types of food that most of the babies enjoy during this phase and they are good for the baby’s health.
Baby needs more iron as the baby grows. So it is important that your baby has sufficient iron intake. And cereal is a very good source of iron. Cereals such as rice and wheat are full of iron. Therefore, cereals are really good as your baby’s first food.
Cereals are available in a fine variety in grocery stores. Cereals can be fed to your baby by mixing them with milk or water as per baby’s liking. Start will little amount. Then slowly, you can increase the amount and thicken the texture if your baby gets used to it and learns to swallow it well.
Vegetables and Fruits
It is good for the baby’s health if you give her pureed vegetables specially greens at this stage. As per health practitioners, let your baby taste everything before she/he is one year old, as they become very fussy after that and there are dangers of allergies too.
You can start with pureed strawberries or bananas and pureed broccoli and beans as they are soft and easier to digest. Try to avoid apples and carrots at this stage.
You can also give a taste of chicken, fish and beef or mutton. Just give them in pureed form. You can also try mixing meat and vegetables and puree them together. Especially, fish is supposed to be very healthy for baby. It has lots of nutritional and health benefits. Be careful while giving meat to baby.
However, meat should be well cooked and pureed properly otherwise it can be dangerous for your baby. If you are not confident then it is good idea to get pureed meat for babies from your nearby grocery store.
Read more about top 5 nutrients for your baby here.
Foods NOT to give
Try to avoid any chopped or ground food at this stage as the as your baby is too small to be able to swallow or digest it. You can try these at next stage.
Babies would not be able to eat any hard crackers or biscuits at this stage so try not to feed it to them. Try to avoid any food that can cause any chocking hazard for the baby such as Nuts, Popcorn, fruits with hard seeds inside, or vegetables or fruits with hard skins.
Health practitioners would also warn you regarding botulism in babies. And honey can cause it to your babies. So it’s better to avoid honey at this phase, as its too early for the baby.
Lemons or any citrus fruits can be a bit too strong for your baby. Babies can get allergic reactions or nappy rashes.
This is not the best time to replace breast milk and formula with cow’s milk. Cow’s milk is not full of iron as are breast and formula milk.
Health practitioners also suggest not to give sweets such as cakes or chocolates to babies until the baby is 2 years old as there is a possibility of getting diabetes at later stage.