Introducing solids to your baby is an amazing milestone. Feeding babies is not just about putting food in the mouth. It's about making them learn to enjoy their food. It is about the positive interaction between parents and children and about food being part of that positive relationship. It is healthy for your baby to breastfeed especially for the first six months of his life. It also gives his digestive and immune system the time they need to mature. Six months later, breast milk alone does not provide enough nutrients, especially iron. So you need to gradually introduce solid food. Before you begin, look for signs that your child is ready for solids. 

Here are some signs to get your baby ready for feeding: 

  • He can sit upright and hold his head. 
  • She is curious, she sees everything around her — especially what you eat! 
  • After a full day of milk (eight to 10 breastfeeding or formula of 32 ounces), she still feels hungry. 
  • Between 5 and 6 months, most of the babies are ready to start solids. Do not start solids before 4 months. 

How to introduce first foods to my baby

  • The important thing is to introduce a new food item, solid food at once every fourth or fifth day. Makes it easy to track any food allergy. You can start with a single ingredient fruits and vegetable purees and some whole grains like rice. 
  • Then move on to more ingredients, flavors, and textures. You can introduce breastfeeding between six and seven months of gluten, which is mainly found in wheat. 
  • Before giving cow's milk as the main drink, you should wait until your baby is one year old.

Mom feeding baby

Children's First Food Schedule:

As your little one understands the concept of eating and is excited during the time of meal (usually between 6 - 9 months), start her routine for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Though she is not hungry at times, she is accustomed to the idea of eating on a schedule. 

  • From 4 to 6 months, give her two meals, two to four tablespoons each. 
  • From 7 to 12 months, give her three meals, each the size of a baby's fist. 
  • Both frequency and size of meal should increase as the child gets older.

The best first foods for babies

It is important that these first foods are nutrient-rich. So pureed vegetables like carrots, zucchini, and sweet potatoes are good to consider.

Baby feeding chartEggs can be Great first foods for babies. 

You can also give your baby the food you eat at home, such as mashed potatoes and purees.

Age
Foods
4-6 months
single grain cereals (reinforced with iron) [1 tsp grain + 5 spoons of milk].
6 months
Pureed vegetables, fruits, and meats (purees, pureed chicken, etc.)
6-8 months
Finger foods with the same ingredient for (carrot slices, avocado slices, mashed potatoes)
9-12 months
Chopped, ground or soft foods (yogurt, cheese, mashed potatoes, and bananas)

Foods to avoid 

  • Testing for peanut allergy is recommended for children with eczema and /or egg allergy. 
  • There are certain foods and ingredients that your baby should not have until they are one: salt, sugar, honey, artificial sweeteners, some fish (have high mercury levels), low fat, and caffeine. 
  • Honey, if introduced early (less than 1 year) can cause a serious illness called botulism. 
  • Avoid choking foods for your baby in the first year- nuts, seeds, raisins, hard candy, grapes, hard raw vegetables, popcorn, peanut butter, and hot dogs.

Provide good quality healthy foods that are high in nutrients. 

Baby having food

Meal Management

  • Create a routine 
  • Understand that solids take time to start
  • Prepare for the mess.
  • Look for allergies. 

Happy Parenting!!!