Every moment with your baby’s life is a milestone. Starting solid food is one of them. Their reactions to new flavors and textures are heartwarming. To be able to captivate those reactions, you must know how to introduce the solids to your little one. This guide on do’s and don’ts of starting solid food for your little one will help you prepare for this big milestone.
Let’s dive in!
When to make the transition?
A baby’s stomach is sensitive and not strong enough to digest the food that adults eat. Pediatricians don’t suggest starting solid food before the baby reaches the age of six months. There are certain points to remember before you introduce your munchkin to solid foods.
- Feeding them anything other than breastmilk or formula, before the age of four months can upset their stomach
- Solid food can be introduced if:
- Your baby can hold their head up without any support for longer time period
- Your baby is curious about the food the you eat and reaches towards it
- Your baby doesn’t have a tongue-thrust reflex, i.e. they swallow the food rather than pushing it out of their mouth
- They weight at least 5.8 kgs or more
Do’s of Starting Solid Foods:
- Stick to one food for a while: It is a good choice to go at a slow pace while introducing solids to your baby. Try to stay on the same food item for at least 3-4 days. This will help you detect the effects of those foods easily.
- Playtime is good: Experts suggest that the more a kid plays with food, the more curious they’ll get. While smearing and poking their food, your baby’s interest piques. This also aids their sensory development.
- Keep breastfeeding: Although you want the baby to eat more solid food, you must breastfeed during the initial stages of transformation. Milk or formula acts as their primary source of nutrition.
- Introduce allergenics earlier: Experts say that the most effective age of introducing eggs and peanuts is from 4-6 months of age. Therefore start feeding your baby foods like peanuts, soy, seafood, egg and look out for allergic reactions.
Don’ts of starting solid foods:
- Don’t rush: While introducing solids is an essential part of growing up, rushing should be avoided. The recommended age is six months. This is also because your baby’s stomach needs time to develop, to be able to digest food other than milk or formula.
- Don’t force feed: Your baby might play around with their food, eat a bite or two and then stop. If your baby is not showing interest in what you are feeding them, don’t force them to eat. You can try again the next day.
- Avoid seasoning the food: You must not feed your baby salt and sugar until they reach the age of twelve months. Also refrain from using honey. Honey is heavy on their tiny tummies and can upset their stomach.
- Don’t stick to rice cereal: Many parents suggest bottle feeding rice cereal as the best way to introduce solids. It is not. Feeding rice cereal can cause choking hazards. There are also high levels of inorganic arsenic in rice cereals, which is harmful for the baby.
- Don’t leave the kid unattended: Leaving your kid alone with solid food can be really dangerous. You wouldn’t know if they are choking on it or putting it in their nose. Never leave your baby unsupervised while introducing them to solid food.
With these points in your mind, it will be easier for you to help your baby transition to solid foods. It is always good to go slow than to rush into the transition. Start with pureed food, then move to boiled/steamed big chunks, and then finally introduce bite sized uncooked fruits and vegetables.
If you have any tricks that can make the transition easy, share it with other moms in the comments below.