Most doctors would recommend mothers breastfeed their infants. Breastfeeding has proved to be healthy for infants, as it protects babies against sickness, diseases, and infections. Simultaneously, mothers can also take advantage of numerous health benefits from breastfeeding. Moms who breastfeed have lower risks of breast and ovarian cancer and won’t have to worry about high blood pressure.
Not to mention, breastfeeding also allows families to save on feeding costs for the baby. However, when they reach the age of 6 months and it’s finally time to introduce your child to solid foods, it’s vital to do your research beforehand. You must know how to properly feed your baby as they become more familiar with solid foods. Use this article as a guide to your infant’s nutrition.
Determine Whether Your Baby’s Ready To Transition To Solid Food
Every child may take a different time to transition to eating solid food. Therefore, it is up to you to determine when your child is ready for solid food based on their developmental rate.
Suppose you see your baby becoming more independent while sitting up and improving their grasp control. In that case, these situations might be the right time to ease slowly into feeding them solids. However, before you do so, visit your family doctor and ask for their advice to be sure.
Introducing Them To Solid Foods
The key to transitioning your baby to solid foods is to do it gradually, little by little. You should first introduce your child to one single-ingredient food at a time. Not only is this best for their digestive system, but it also allows you to be extra careful with foods they might have allergies to. It’s advisable to continuously feed them the same food for at least one week before introducing another. Be patient in doing this; you won’t believe how soon your child will eat and enjoy new foods.
Start with safer solid foods, but gradually introduce foods that may cause allergies too. However, it’s safer to do this when they’re already one year old. By feeding them these, you’ll know whether they can tolerate or are allergic to these potentially allergenic foods. Some allergenic foods are eggs, nuts, fish, milk, and wheat. When your baby has allergic reactions to these foods, visit the doctor immediately to mediate this medical issue. Finally, list the foods that are unsafe for them.
Find enough time to train your baby to eat solid foods. Take time to experiment and study the mood of your baby. Have breastmilk or formula milk bottle on standby just in case your baby won’t like the solid food you’ve prepared. Feed your baby in their high chair, so they’ll start getting used to sitting independently. Fortunately, there are many baby foods to try at Serenity Kids and other reputable baby food markets you can find.
Some babies start with grain-free puffs or single-grain baby cereals. The key here is to allow your baby to taste the food before feeding them more. It will enable you to discover whether they like the taste or not. Since this is just the introductory phase, ensure to take time to try and try and see which baby foods they like.
What Foods To Feed Your Baby
As parents, you should know what safe foods to feed your baby at their designated ages. Use this guide as a reference:
- Six Months Old
It should be their first time trying out solid baby foods if your baby is six months old. It’s ideal to go slow in introducing their baby foods. Some foods to start with are fruits, vegetables, and cereals. Make sure you prepare them in soft and minced portions, one at a time. Don’t mix everything altogether. You can combine their cereals with breastmilk or formula milk to have a soft consistency.
- Seven to Nine Months Old
When your baby reaches seven months to nine months old, they can now be introduced to more solid foods. Choose foods that can quickly melt in their mouth. You can feed baby puffs, cereals, and soft crackers at this point. Even soft meat is already acceptable as long as they’re thinly minced and shredded. Also, feed soft fruits sliced in tiny portions.
- Nine Months Up
Finally, when your baby reaches nine months old, chances are their tastebuds are already accustomed to more diverse flavors. Their teeth have grown stronger, and they can already eat spoonful sizes of foods. You can feed them at this age with mixed food dishes containing veggies and meat. Feed them fish too. However, ensure their sizes are small enough to chew and consume easily.
What Foods To Avoid
Similarly, it’s also crucial to know what foods to avoid feeding your baby. As mentioned, you can introduce your baby to foods that can cause allergies, allowing you to discover and learn more about what foods to avoid. It would be best to seek advice from your doctor about how you can feed allergenic foods to your infant.
Keep an eye out for symptoms and allergic reactions such as diarrhea, rashes, and bloating. Stop feeding your baby with foods that have aggravated such symptoms. If your baby suffers from vomiting and other severe symptoms, seek medical attention immediately.
Likewise, some foods to avoid are high-sugar eats, high-sodium foods, honey, cow or soy milk, and foods that can cause them to choke.
How To Prepare Food For Infants
For the first few months, your child will prefer smooth, mashed, or pureed foods. Introducing new textures to your child can take some time. It’s crucial never to rush the process and take it one step at a time. Expect your child to feel moody and cranky and still prefer to drink breastmilk or formula milk.
Since babies are prone to choking, it’s also crucial to avoid foods such as nuts, carrots, popcorn, and berries, among others. Always go for foods that are small in portions, soft, and easy to chew for them. Soak cereals and crackers in milk to soften their consistency. Your baby should be encouraged to eat slowly. Always watch what they eat and monitor them during feeding time.
There are many parenting tips that help your kids establish lifelong healthy habits. Infants fed positively during infancy are likely to reap the benefits throughout their lives. With this infant feeding guide, you’ll know what to do and what foods to avoid when feeding your baby. You don’t have to feel worried and overwhelmed when it’s time to feed your baby with solid food. Fortunately, there are many safe infant solid foods that they can try. The key is to make these foods in small portions or sizes. Hopefully, this guide can help you when your baby can finally eat solid foods.