If you are a new mom whose baby is all set to try out food for the first time, then this place is just for you.
When your baby turns six months, you introduce them to solid food. However, as it’s their developmental stage, you must look for food items packed with essential nutrients and vitamins.
The more nutritious food choice you make for your baby, the better for their growth. That’s why mom’s become quite cautious at this stage.
So, what should be your baby’s first food? If you are thinking so, then read through:
Signs that Your Baby is Ready For their First Food
Before adding any solid food to your baby’s diet, you must check whether your baby is ready to consume them or not. Here are the signs that indicate the same:
- Your baby is six months or older.
They look curious and interested in the things you eat.
The baby has good control over their head, trunk, and sitting posture
They try to chew on toys or their hands
They lose their tongue thrust reflex, and the food spills out from their mouth.
They still feel hungry after breastfeeding.
If these signs match your baby’s behaviour, most probably, it’s time to feed them solid food. However, we recommend consulting your paediatrician before including anything new in your baby’s diet.
Best First Foods for Baby
Just as nutrition affects fertility in females, it also plays a crucial role in a baby’s development. So, you must ensure that you introduce the best first foods to your baby.
In principle, natural foods are best for your baby. Avoid packaged food which contains artificial flavours & colors and preservatives
Once your paediatrician confirms that your baby is ready to have their first food, you can try out the below items:
Note: If your paediatrician gives you a diet plan for your baby with all do’s and don’ts. Simply follow the same.
This is the first phase when your baby will be trying solid food along with breast milk. As it’s their first time, we recommend going slow and keeping it simple.
However, you must choose food items that are rich in protein, iron, zinc, Omega 3 fatty acids, calcium, and vitamins. You could also give them food with some carbohydrates for energy.
Here are the food items that you can introduce:
In the case of fruits like bananas and apples, you can grind or mash them before feeding your baby.
For rice and oatmeal, you can cook them until they are semi-solid. You can also add in some breast milk for extra nutrition.
As for vegetables, boil and mash them well before feeding them to your baby. You can add a pinch of salt to potatoes for added taste.
With increasing age, your baby’s stomach grows too. So, you can gradually increase the food amount by the time they reach the 6-8 month age.
Paediatricians may also allow you to add some complex proteins like meat, tofu, and egg yolk. You can also give them more coarse food items than pureed or mashed ones. It’ll help them to learn to chew and get accustomed to regular food.
Some food items for 6-8-month-old babies are:
While feeding them meat, make sure it’s soft, pureed, and gummable. The meat should be fully cooked. You can add water or cook the meat in their own juices.
It’s recommended not to serve rare or medium-rare meat to your baby. Also, avoid options like bacon, hot dogs, or lunch meats.
By the time your baby turns ten months old, they develop four teeth in the front. It’s also the phase where they get eager to eat regular solid food.
Although your baby might develop teeth, they still aren’t appropriate for proper chewing. So, cut the food into small bit sizes (if not mashed) and keep them soft.
At times, your baby may spit food or deny eating. It’s recommended not to force-feed them in such cases.
You can add the below items to your baby’s diet:
You can feed them half a cup of solid food 3-4 times a day. However, avoid giving them whole fruit or large pieces of meat.
Once your baby turns 12 months old, it can chew properly. Now you can feed them the same food as you and your family eat. You can also introduce new food items with different flavours and textures.
You should also look for any food item that can cause an allergic reaction in your baby. Your baby could develop allergic reactions to a food item if any close family member has the same.
Here’s what you can add to your 12-month-olds diet:
What to Avoid When Introducing Solid Foods to Baby
When your baby is young (about six months), they don’t need sugar or high salt content in its food. You can sprinkle very little salt for taste, but too much of it can have a bad effect on your baby’s kidney.
Another food item that’s a big no-no for babies younger than 12 months is honey. Honey can cause Infant botulism, an Illness that occurs due to Clostridium botulinum (bacteria). This bacteria can contaminate several foods, including honey. So, don’t give honey to your little ones.
You should also avoid whole nuts, popcorn, and hard food items, as they could cause choking.
3 Day Wait Rule for Introducing Solid Food
The 3-day wait rule is where you wait for 3 to 5 days before introducing a new food item to your baby. Suppose you fed your baby some porridge, and next, you want them to taste banana.
After making them eat porridge, you must wait for 3 to 5 days to see how they react to the food. If everything is fine, you can feed them the banana. The 3-day wait rule should be followed for 12 months.
So, this is the complete guide on what should be your baby’s first food.