Around four to six months, your baby should be ready for solid food and slowly start transitioning to eating solids. While it might sound like a daunting task, we assure you that it will be a fun (and sometimes messy) experience!
Here are some top tips to get your child ready for solid food!
1. Keep it simple
When you first start to feed your child solid food, start first with single-ingredient food that don’t have any sugar or salt. You can start feeding them sweet potatoes, squash, or mashed fruits such as bananas.
Before introducing a new food, wait around 3-5 days to see if your child has any negative reactions, such as rashes, diarrhoea, or vomiting. Once you’ve done it for a while, you can then move on to introducing food that has different tastes and more ingredients.
2. Focus on important nutrients
It’s not enough to simply give your child different types of mashed food. You also need to provide them with all the vitamins and nutrients that their growing body needs.
Iron and Zinc are two of the most important minerals that your baby needs. These can be found in meat (make sure to puree it first), cereal, beans, and lentils. You should also continue breastfeeding or giving formula milk along with feeding them solid food. That way, you can ensure that your baby gets all of the nutrients that their body needs.
3. Know what your baby wants
Not all babies are the same. It means that the food that other babies like might not be the same as the food that your little one likes. If your baby doesn’t like mashed potatoes, then you should feed her other types of food that they might like better. Never force your baby to eat food that they clearly don’t like.
Forcing your baby to eat food that they don’t like might make them dislike the food once they grow older, and that’s a bigger problem. If your child doesn’t like peas, try feeding them other types of vegetables for a while, then you can try introducing them to peas once again.
4. Give a mix of vegetables and fruits
The key to getting your baby to eat vegetables and fruits would simply be to give your baby vegetables and fruits! If your baby gets used to eating a lot of veggies and fruits while they’re small, they’ll develop a taste for it.
Try to avoid giving processed food such as biscuits, crackers, or chocolates. Try giving them fresh carrots or fruit slices instead! It might be more trouble preparing fresh vegetables and fruits, but your child will be much healthier and you’ll have less trouble getting them to eat their vegetables in the future!
5. Mix it up!
Once your child gets used to solid food, you should try mixing it up! You can serve fresh fruits for breakfast, then some vegetables and pureed meat for lunch, and veggies and milk for dinner.
Getting your child used to different tastes and textures is also important. You can try slicing carrots into small bite-sized pieces and serve it as a midday snack for your baby. You can do the same thing with fruits such as apples or pears. Oh, and babies just love to suck on citrus fruits such as lemons and oranges! Mixing it up helps them develop a taste for different types of food and makes feeding them much easier!
6. Don’t stop breastfeeding!
Even if you’re introducing your child to solid food, supplementing it with breast milk is recommended by doctors. Breast milk is a wonder food! It contains all the vitamins and nutrients that your baby needs, and it also strengthens their immune system.
Breastfeeding is also an option for very picky eaters, as you can supplement their nutrition with breast milk so that they don’t go hungry and they get all the nutrients that they need.
Sources: Scary Mommy, Mayo Clinic