Introducing Your Baby To Solid Food While Balancing the Milk Feeds
When the baby turns six months old, he is ready for weaning. The mum should start giving him soft solid foods, juices, and purees. It is, however, important to also include milk feeds such as formula and breastmilk in their diets during the introduction. This helps the baby to transition smoothly into solid foods.
HOW TO CHANGE THE FEEDS
As you go about the process of introducing the baby to solid foods, remember that their systems are not used to that kind of food. They can only take tiny amounts of the food as most of their nutrition will still come from breast milk or formula milk.
As most babies start weaning fully at six months, you can start introducing them to the solid food at four months. At first, they may refuse to eat, but when they eventually come around, they will only take a small amount at a time. Remember to cajole them softly without pushing too hard, or the results will be devastating.
You can start feeding them only once a day, then twice and so on. Do not make them part of a major meal. At the eighth and ninth months, however, you can incorporate the solid foods into their daily meals and feed them as breakfast, lunch, and supper. You can then start giving them solids as the primary meals at the tenth months and transform entirely by the first birthday.
Nutrition wise, it is essential that the baby’s foods contain iron. It is crucial for the baby’s growth and development such as the formation of bones and transportation of oxygen. Some foods that may contain iron include legumes, cereals and meat (beef, poultry, and fish).
Your baby’s first foods should also be very smooth, preferably with no lumps. Purees are perfect and can easily be made in a blender. The important food groups to include in your baby’s diet include:
- Meat; beef, poultry, fish – If possible, make a nice puree of these at first. As the baby grows, you can start offering them small pieces of chicken, fish, minced meat, flaked flesh, etc. Do not add salt, and watch out for processed food that may have too much salt.
- Vegetables – Ideal veggies to feed your baby include pumpkins, potatoes, broccoli, carrots, and sweet potatoes. You could start by introducing them as fine purees, then blend them to a coarser texture and then feed him cooked veggies.
- Grains and cereals – Introduce the baby to fortified infant cereals such as rice cereal then make them well-cooked and very soft before the wholegrain cereals. Beware of additives such as honey and chocolate.
- Milk and products – You should breastfeed your baby until they are at least a year old. Cow milk does not have as much iron as breast milk, and your baby may be at risk to suffer from iron deficiency.
In conclusion, not all babies are the same. Some may wean a little later, some earlier. Be careful not to rush your baby into solid foods when they are not ready. You can also get them a toy or companion like the peek a boo singing elephant