Your baby has hit the 6-month mark. Congrats! One of the biggest milestones in this age is starting solids. Don't know where to begin? Learn more about your baby's weaning schedule here.
In this article, you'll read:
- Signs your baby is ready for solids
- Milk intake - should it change when baby starts to eat?
- Does your family's medical history play a role in your child's diet?
In the earliest stages of your child’s life, nutrition is undoubtedly one of your key concerns. In the first 6 months, milk is the primary source of nutrition. However, things get a bit more complicated when the process of starting a baby on solids starts or healthy weaning.
When to start solid foods for the baby? What foods to introduce first? When to wean off milk?
These are just some of the many questions that parents ask themselves. We’re here to answer these questions and provide you with the complete guide to healthy weaning for babies!
When To Start Solid Food For Babies?
Before we get into what a baby’s first foods should be, it’s important to understand when to start solid food for babies. When should you start baby's weaning schedule?
While a healthy weaning process typically starts between 4 and 6 months old, every child’s journey is different. Instead of comparing your baby with others, look out for these signs that indicate that the time has probably come for starting a baby on solids:
- Baby shows interest in foods
- Baby is able to sit up properly and hold head up when leaning against the highchair
- Baby reaches hands out to grasp objects
- Baby can use the tongue to move food to the back of the mouth to swallow with less pushing out of tongue during feeding
- Baby puts objects in the mouth and chews on them
- Baby doesn’t seem satisfied after milk feeds and wants more
Baby's weaning schedule
When parents are sure of when to start solid food for babies, then comes the next big question. When to wean off milk? It’s important for parents to note that for toddlers and children, milk remains an important source of nutrition.
When starting a baby on solids, food is largely exploratory, and the baby’s first foods should not replace their milk intake!
Do continue to offer your baby either breastmilk or formula when starting baby on solids. Until the baby is about 9 months old, the order of feeding should be a milk feed followed by solids. The order can be reversed after which.
Not all snacks are created equal
When starting baby on solids, be careful when it comes to snacks. While it may be a positive sign to see your baby chewing as it shows progress with healthy weaning, it’s important to pick the right snacks.
Snacks aren’t always healthy and many of them do not meet the requirements of the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) sugar levels. Exposure to sugar in baby’s first foods is also not a good thing for it can prevent them from appreciating natural whole food that may taste bland in comparison.
Moreover, toddlers often consume blank calories in the form of biscuits instead of healthy and nutritional snacks.
The solution? Preparing your own snacks gives you full control over what goes into them. Preparing baby solid food is actually easier than you think. All it requires is a bit of planning.
We’ll give you a cheat sheet for this. But before that, read the next section to get a glimpse of starting baby on solids, what foods to introduce first.
Starting Baby On Solids
Puree baby weaning foods and mix them with either breast or formula milk. Offer your baby his or her usual milk feed then move on to baby weaning food. You can start by spoon-feeding to let your baby try a small amount of solid food.
In the early stages, start by giving your baby 1 to 2 teaspoons of solids. Patience is indeed a virtue so do give your baby sufficient time to finish the food.
Do not force him or her and remember that it can take up to 8 to 10 tries before your baby accepts a particular type of baby weaning food.
Slowly increase the amount to 1 to 2 tablespoons of solids, 2 to 3 times a day. As your baby gets used to healthy weaning, you can gradually increase the portion size, eventually making it a full meal that can replace one milk feed. When your baby is around 10 to 12 months old, you can then confidently offer him or her 3 meals of solids a day.
Checking for allergies and food intolerance
As your child begins to explore solid foods, it is also recommended to be on the lookout for some food allergies. Experts recommend introducing highly allergenic foods like eggs and peanuts early on in your baby's weaning schedule to determine if they have allergies or intolerance to a certain food group.
Several studies show that a mom's prenatal diet may have an effect on your child's predisposition to allergies. Moreover, you can also take note of certain diseases that run in the family, and work towards feeding your child food that will give in additional protection against the disease.
Making Baby’s First First Foods is Easy Peasy!
As we mentioned earlier, it is important for children to have the right nutrition at an early age. Furthermore, instilling the right eating habits in the early years ensures that children grow up to make the right food choices.
Don’t feel overwhelmed by the thought of making your own baby weaning food. It’s really easy. Here are some simple tips:
- Plan the week’s meals ahead of time
- Make a grocery list and look for deals when purchasing
- Make your fruit and vegetable purees in batches and freeze them for later use
- Look for simple baby weaning foods recipes, do some trial and error and create your own recipes!
So what exactly should a baby’s first foods be? We’ll talk about this in 3 stages:
A Visual Guide to Baby’s First Foods
There you go, mums! All you need to know about baby weaning food and a starting baby on solids. Remember, if the baby rejects the food at first, keep trying and be patient.
Before you know it, you’ll find that starting baby on solids is easy and a lot of fun. Enjoy trying out new combinations and flavours, making your own baby weaning food, and feeling the satisfaction of baby enjoying the food that you have prepared!
For more information on how you can choose a healthy lifestyle for your baby and the whole family, visit https://babypass.health/
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