Parents should be aware of the fact that breast feeding ensures best growth and development of the baby for the first 6 months. It also protects the baby from diarrhea and respiratory infections. First foods should be introduced to your baby only after his 6 months. Training your baby to eat his first foods may seem a tough task in the beginning but still, it is not astrophysics. Training your baby in accepting his first foods is a funny and thrilling experience. Read on to learn more about your baby‘s first foods.
Prepare your own baby food
Preparing the baby food at home not only saves money but also maintains freshness. It is safe for your baby to eat. Always label the foods you have prepared. Include the details of the contents as pureed foods may be similar and difficult to identify. Labeling ensures healthy and balanced nutrition to your baby.
Recommended age for introducing solid foods
Your baby should be at least 6 months old to accept solid foods. Young babies find it difficult to swallow as they have poorly developed throat and tongue muscles. Early feeding may also result in obesity. If your baby is offered the food before six months, he may push it out with his tongue.
This reflex starts disappearing when the baby is 6 months old. Infants that are fed with solid foods before the recommended age are likely to develop celiac disease and diabetes.
Best way to offer foods
To begin with, offer solid foods an hour or so after breast feeding or formula feeding. Your baby relishes mashed foods and finger foods. Start feeding your baby 2 to 3 times a day. With the gradual increase in consuming solid food, the baby drinks less milk.
Choose one ingredient at a time in preparing the food. Avoid feeding cereals or solids in bottles. Mix the cereals with breast milk to get the required consistency. Your baby may refuse to eat the food in the beginning but don’t panic, continue to feed him the foods in smaller portions.
Don’t force him to gulp the food as this may end up in mess. Use sterilized equipment in feeding your baby. Use rubber spoons as this may not harm the delicate gums of your baby. Stick to a particular time of the day in serving your baby.
Fruits and veggies
Once your baby has started accepting cereals, move on to offer him fresh skinless fruits and cooked veggies that are finely sliced. Provide sips of water in a cup after the food so that it is easily digested. Juices if at all offered must be home made. When the baby is 9 months old, you can start offering him unsalted cottage cheese, yogurt, well-cooked meat and egg in smaller amounts.
Make him comfortable
Some babies love to eat sitting on mother’s lap while others enjoy the food sitting in a chair. Accompany your child in eating as you are the role model. Never offer him the foods such as popcorn, peanuts, hard veggies or candies that cause choking.
Avoid sodium rich meals. Wait until your baby is a year old to offer him the citrus fruits so as to minimize the risk of allergies. The eating habits you have trained at this early stage will last longer. Your baby is less likely to become a picky eater later on.