Tips for Introducing Solids
Is it time for introducing solids to your baby's diet? How exciting! Here, we have prepared for you a list of some important considerations to bear in mind, when you start feeding solid foods to your baby:
- Give the baby one new food for the first 3-5 days. Do not mix this food. For example, if it is a cereal then it should be cereal only and not mixed with fruits or protein-based meals.
- Gradually, you can add those different meals and mix them up over time. This is meant to ensure that your baby is not allergic or intolerant to any specific food. If they are, then you must discontinue it and never include it in their meal again.
- Give them small amounts — a teaspoon at the start, leading up to a tablespoon for example.
- Dry infant rice cereal is a great starter meal. It can be easily combined later on with different fruits, vegetables, and proteins. These cereals should have an iron component that must be a part of their diet until they are 18 months.
- Avoid adding salt or sugar to homemade infant foods. For the same reason, avoid canned foods for babies too that may have copious amounts of salt and sugar. Fruits and vegetables (especially those found on or under the ground) must be washed nicely and peeled to avoid any food poisoning. Their seeds and pits must also be removed to avoid choking.
- Cow's milk doesn’t provide adequate nutrients to your baby and should not be included in their diet until they attain the age of 1.
- AAP recommends that infants younger than 1 year shouldn’t be given fruit juices. After year 1, older babies may only consume pasteurized and 100% fruit juices with no added sugar. The quantity should not be more than 4 ounces a day and can be diluted with water and provided to them in a sipping-cup during a meal.
- All the feeding should be with the help of a spoon (and not an infant feeder) as part of their learning process. The only liquids they should drink from a bottle are formula and water.
- Honey should not be given to children during year 1, as it causes infant botulism (food poisoning).
- A baby should not be put in bed whilst a bottle is propped into its mouth. This has been reportedly linked to an increased risk of ear infections. Propping can also lead to tooth decay in children and then, of course, there is the dreaded risk of choking as well.
- Encourage and assist your child to let go of bottle feeding before her first birthday.
- Do not expect or force your growing baby to eat everything on the plate. This is not a good eating habit as the child may not be hungry and being forced to eat. Closer to year 1 mark, their appetite is now getting smaller and pickier, as their growth rate relatively slows down.
- Just because you are eating hot dogs, nuts, seeds, big candies, popcorn, fruits and vegetables (that are raw and hard), grapes, or peanut butter, doesn’t mean that you have to feed this to the children too. They are not safe and can cause choking in young children (aged less than 3-4 years). Make it a habit to always observe your child whilst eating and encourage them to eat or drink when sitting down.
- Babies with healthy diets generally do not require lots of water to drink, unless the external weather is hot. More water will be required once the child starts eating solid foods.
- A lot of parents, inadvertently or knowingly, limit their baby’s food choices to what they like. This is not a wise choice as your child may be missing out on a variety of nutritious foods that he may get used to, later on in life.
- Unless your baby’s pediatrician advises otherwise, there is no need to reduce fat and cholesterol from their diet. These are necessary elements of their diet that help with the development of their nervous systems, and generally for their overall growth.
Baby Food Chart
Check out our baby food chart when introducing solids. It tells you the type of food, quantity and everything else as per your baby's age... Exactly what you and your baby needs!
Return to Homepage.