Finding balanced and nutritious first foods for baby
Waiting until between four and six months to introduce the first solid foods to the baby will help minimize the risk of him/her developing adverse reactions to different foods as well as developing allergies.
The transition from
to introducing Baby’s first food should be a gradual process. If you would like your baby to set the pace, you should consider child-led weaning, which is discussed here.
Good first food for most babies is something like an instant bland rice cereal mixed with baby’s milk. It can be followed by vegetables and fruit purees.
Once the first solid food has been accepted by your baby, and your baby seems okay with it, you can be more adventurous and keep on adding different veggies or fruits.
Best baby foods to introduce for starting off with
Baby’s first food can include purees of vegetables like ash gourd, pumpkin, potato, carrots and sweet potatoes, you can also give purees of fruits like apple, pear or banana.
Once your baby is happy eating from a spoon, you can try out other foods such as purees of lentils or split peas.
As a baby develops control over hand movements, which usually
happens around seven to eight months, it is time to start the finger
foods. Baby is usually ready for this when he/she tries to take a swipe
at what you are eating.
Baby first finger foods should not contain any hard matter like grains, pips or bones and must not be whole, like grapes for they are a choking hazard.
Also, remember not to leave babies alone while eating as sometimes they don’t chew, and try to swallow food whole.
Some baby’s first foods that can be held by hand are foods like sticks of cucumber, steamed carrot, a firm banana piece, a biscuit or even a stick of mild cheese.
Your baby might not like some finger foods, keep a note of what you have tried and what you would like to try…
Also, keep an eye out for food allergies.
Remember it's okay to allow your baby to play with his/her food, it's part of their developmental process.
By Poonam Bindra