As the baby starts growing older, his food requirements change accordingly. For the healthy growth and development of your baby, it’s essential to introduce solid foods that complement his usual diet which till now had been breast-milk or formula. Most children are ready to eat solid foods including baby cereal, and the like when they are 7-8 months old. During this time, the baby can conveniently use his tongue to eat food. Also, he develops a certain level of dexterity that allows him to push the food for swallowing. However, not every baby begins to acquire these traits at the same time.
The question now arises – how to make sure that your baby is ready to eat solid food?
When your baby’s appetite demands more than just breast milk and you feel that he has become physically capable of consuming food using a spoon, you must consider offering your baby some solid foods. Also, check if your baby can hold his head firmly or sit using some support. If he shows the positive signs here, solid food can be offered. However, it is always great to have an expert opinion if you are going forward with it. An expert will tell you if your baby’s digestive system is strong enough or not to digest solid foods.
Once you are sure that your baby can eat solid foods, it is important to know about the foods that he can eat and the foods he can’t.
Foods to Include
∙ Single-ingredient cereals: Single-ingredient cereals are enriched with iron and help replenish your baby’s iron inadequacy. Prepare a cereal mix and offer him using a spoon. Choose the best quality oats cereal for your baby from trusted baby and toddler food brands like Slurrp Farm.
If your baby spills his food in the beginning, don’t worry. His motor muscles are doing their job perfectly. With constant practice, he will be able to control them fully and eat without spilling much.
∙ Pureed Veggies and fruits: You can offer your little one pureed vegetables or fruits like banana and sweet potato etc. You can also give him chicken puree.
These foods are less textured and can be easily digested by your baby.
∙ Finger foods: You can introduce self-feeding to your baby from a very early age. Offer him fruits and vegetables that are soft enough. Mashed potatoes and avocado serve as great finger food for your baby. Finely chopped finger foods are also good for your baby at this stage.
You can make various shapes as well, so it becomes easy for your baby to pick the food and eat.
Foods not to include
∙ Milk: Do not offer your baby milk other than breast milk as it may further enhance the iron deficiency in his body if introduced in the very early stages of childhood.
∙ Nuts and Popcorns: These food items can cause your child to choke. Hence, they are not recommended by the experts.
Also, avoid salt or sugar. You can offer combination foods to your baby as well once he gets fully acquainted with the individual foods and does not show any harsh reactions.
Make his feeding enjoyable by constantly indulging with him either verbally or physically. Also, encourage him to use utensils.
It is very important to know that your baby won’t eat anything well, if the food is given to him forcefully. That’s why if your baby pushes away food, do not be FORCEFUL. Instead, give it another try after some time.