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Saying Hello To Solid Foods!

December 4, 2023

Parenting is an experience that will throw surprises at you very frequently. Your baby will go through several changes - from smiles to giggles, from babbles to their first words, from crawling to walking - your children grow with each passing moment. There are so many milestones they cross every now and then. While it’s a pleasure to see them grow, it’s also important that you notice these changes and brace yourselves accordingly.

Sleep and nutrition are two of the most important things in a baby’s life. While babies can have their sleep patterns change and settle often, they rely on breastmilk or formula for their nutrition for quite some time. However, as they grow, their need for nutrition will increase. This is when you will slowly begin to introduce solid foods to your baby.

Saying Hello To Solid Food

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Every child is different and so is their need for nutrition. However, generally, babies are comfortable trying solid foods for the first time around the time when they are six months old. While you might discuss with your family to choose a date to introduce your baby to solid food, here are a few things you might want to take into consideration.

  1. Does your baby have a firm neck? Babies are born with necks that are not very firm and with time, you will notice that they are able to hold their heads steadily. This is a clear sign that your baby’s neck has firmed up. This is one of the first indicators that he or she is ready to taste some solid food.
  2. Get them sitting. If your baby is able to sit on a chair comfortably, it means that they are growing well and are all set to start some solids.
  3. Are they eager? Try taking a spoonful of food near your baby. If they lean in and open their mouths, it means that they are eager to taste solid foods and it would be a great time to start introducing them to solid foods soon.

Getting The Right Mix

While getting started on solid food is a great milestone to cross, as parents, it’s essential that you be realistic. Your baby’s digestive system is still not as robust as an adult’s. Additionally, they are used to breast milk or formula milk only. Hence, the transition will take time.

To ensure that your baby is getting all the nutrients he or she needs, make sure that you mix the food with breast milk or formula, or alternate between milk and solids to keep their tummies full.

It’s usually recommended to start off with cooked and mashed grains, maybe mixed with milk. Fruits and vegetables are great too, but please keep a few things in mind.

  1. Remove peels, husks and anything that can get stuck in their food tracks/
  2. Deseed any fruit or vegetable that has larger seeds.
  3. Make sure that the fruits and veggies are either mashed or cut into very small pieces.
  4. In case you are feeding them tougher fruits or vegetables, then it’s suggested that you cook them first and then mash/chop them.
  5. Check for their reactions - if they turn away or spit something out, do not force them to eat.
  6. Wait for a few days before introducing them to a new food.

What To Expect After Your Baby Starts Eating Solid Foods?

When your baby starts eating solid food, they might show an inclination or liking towards one particular type of food - say a fruit, vegetable, or a taste (sweet/salty). It’s great to let them eat that, but continue encouraging them to try other foods too.

Talking to them while feeding them new types of food will keep them engaged. It will push them to taste and swallow, enabling you to experiment with their solid foods more effortlessly.

Allow your children to feel the food with their hands. When they feel the textures and smells of food, they form a better connection with the food they are eating.

Solid foods will change the texture of their poop. It will be more solid and might be laced with the color of the food they have eaten and sometimes might also contain undigested food particles also. Food like beetroot might even turn their pee red, so please do not panic.

Introducing your baby to solid food can be a fun experience. Just keep the above points in mind and make this phase engaging and nutritious for your baby.

Want to consult the Best Pediatricians in India? Please find the links below.

  1. ‍Best Pediatricians in Bangalore
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  8. Best Pediatricians in Mumbai
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  12. Best Pediatricians in New Delhi
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