INTRODUCING SOLID FOOD


Solid foodYou can start giving solid food to your baby only after he is 4 month old and not before that. Most experts and doctors recommend that you introduce your baby to his first tastes when he is between four and six months old. It is however important to introduce foods by six months because at about this time a baby's own iron stores may start to become depleted, so he begins to need extra nutrients and calories from food sources other than milk.

How Do You Know That Your Baby Is Ready?
Your baby will himself indicate that he is interested in foods and so watch out for his actions and signs that will clearly give a message that he is ready for other foods. Following are a few tips:

1. Watch out for any interest that he portrays while you are eating and if you place him on your lap when you eat.
2. Is he showing an interest in exploring things with his mouth?
3. Does he seem to be unsatisfied after his usual milk feed; yet resists being put on the breast again, or rejects more formula?

If you see any of these signs then you will know that your baby is ready to be introduced to other foods. Talk to your doctor about this and then you can start giving foods to your baby.

If however your baby doesn't seem to be interested to try out anything new and is quite happy with breastfeeding and cries or spits out the food that you try to feed him then you don't need to rush. Just give your baby some more time and then you can try over again.

When To Feed The Baby?
This topic will largely depend on how you will like to feed him and when. There is though no hard and fast rule that you must feed the baby in the morning or at night only. There is no evidence that feeding the baby at some particular time will help the baby in any way that will be beneficial to him. So you can feed him at any time, which is convenient to you. Therefore the best time will be a time, which fits in with your usual family mealtimes, or the time when you would normally have a snack. Make eating sociable from the start, so that your baby learns to look forward to meals as a time when he can join in with the rest of the family. Hold him on your lap at first, or sit him in his usual baby seat. This way it will be convenient to you and your baby will also schedule himself to the family mealtime.

How Much To Feed?
At first don't feed him too much. Just give him one or two spoonfuls. He may have problems at first getting food off the spoon therefore in the beginning give him food that will be as liquid as the milk feeds. Place tiny amounts of food in his mouth and at first it will be a bit difficult for him to swallow the food and he might spill out half the food. But very soon he will learn the trick and will start enjoying the food.

What Food To Give Your Baby?
You get very good and nutritious baby food in the market. You can also give steamed or boiled vegetables and fruits mixed with baby food made into a puree or just puree of boiled vegetables and fruits to your baby. Try out the following vegetable, boil it and make a puree.
Potato
Cauliflower
Carrot
Sweet potato
Green peas
Broccoli

You can give your child the following fruits

Mashed ripe banana
Mashed ripe avocado
Boiled apple
Mashed pear

Whether you are giving him vegetables or fruit always peel the skin and boil it in little water so that the vitamins are preserved. Don't add salt or pepper. Push the cooked food through a sieve or blend in a small blender. This is important because at first your baby wont be able to take solid food and so you have to keep the food more liquid. Mix the food with some of the cooking water or some breast or formula milk to get a smooth texture. As he gets used to 'solids' you can gradually make the puree less runny and then mash instead of blending the food.



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