When to Introduce Soild Foods to Infants?

Posted on: April 19, 2010

Introduction To Solid Food
Food is the vital thing, which helps children to develop to a healthy human being. First twelve months are the most vital stages and parents should take care of their food carefully.

The current recommendations indicate that breast milk or formula should be baby’s main source of nutrition until at least 6 months of age! Here’s when — and how — to make the transition from breast milk or formula to solid foods.

Can your baby hold his or her head in a steady, upright position?

Can your baby sit with support?

Is your baby interested in what you’re eating?

If you answer no to any of these questions, you may want to postpone solids for a while.
 Before feeding solid foods, the baby should also be able to:
Swallow and digest solid foods, sit with support and have neck and head control, and close their lips over a spoon.

The age of six months usually coincides with the neuro-muscular development necessary to eat solid foods. Introduce single-ingredient foods one at a time at weekly intervals. Avoid sweetened foods because they can promote tooth decay and may cause a preference for sweets.

The sequence of new foods is not critical, but rice cereal mixed with breastmilk or formula is a good first choice. Add vegetables, fruits and meats to the infant’s diet one at a time. Serving mixed foods is not recommended in the beginning.

Some parents begin offering their babies solid foods by using their (clean and washed) finger as a spoon. They say that this helps their babies take to solid foods because the “new” spoon and the “new” food all at once seem to confuse baby.

To make baby food, boil the vegetables and fruits until tender. Cool. Blend until there are no lumps. If it is too thick, add breast milk, baby formula or a little boiled water.

Begin making your own fruit combinations once baby has had several fruits without any reaction. After 8 months old – you may wish to try offering raw ripe fruits like bananas, ripen papayas, mashed apples.

Veggie combinations are also great to offer in soft cooked way. They can also be had as cooked finger foods in tiny chunks and bits. Soft cooked veggies make for great beginner.

Do not offer fruit desserts that contain unnecessary sugar. They provide unneeded calories and may cause a preference for sweets as the child gets older. Introduce juices when your baby learns to drink from a cup, around six to nine months.

Dilute adult juices half and half with water or strain them before giving to a baby. Avoid sweet drinks; they can promote tooth decay.

Tips For New Fussy Eaters
      Wait five days between new foods

      Feed the baby when he or she is hungry, but do not overfeed.

      Never force your child to finish bottles or food.

      Watch for cues from your baby.

      Offer new food when your baby is in a good mood, not too tired and not too hungry. Serve         solids after the baby has had a little breast milk or formula.

      Hold the baby on your lap or use a high chair if the baby can sit

      Never use a bottle or other feeding device for semisolid food.

      Make meal times a happy times

      Never switch on the TV while having food, it can take away the interest in food

      Avoid carrots, beets, turnips, or collard greens. In many places these vegetables contain large amounts of nitrates, which can cause anemia in infants. The vegetables used in prepared baby foods do not contain these nitrates.

      Children between four and six months of age should be fed solid foods once or twice a day.

      The ideal timing for one of the feedings is thirty to sixty minutes before bedtime. This will produce the maximum drowsiness for an excellent night’s sleep.

Start with foods that contain iron, which babies need for many different aspects of their development. It’s common to start with a single grain, iron-fortified infant cereal such as rice or barley. Meat, poultry, cooked egg yolk and well cooked legumes (beans, lentils, chick peas) are also good sources of iron.


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