Mommy Katie: 7 Useful Tips For Introducing Solid Foods To Your Baby

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

7 Useful Tips For Introducing Solid Foods To Your Baby

Once your baby reaches six months, be prepared to go through another exciting phase: feeding your baby solid foods.

According to nutritional advisors, when your baby can hold his head up, opens his mouth when food comes his way, and can swallow small amounts of soft food, then it’s time to expand your child’s diet to solid foods.

Starting Your Child on Solid Foods


Introducing solid foods to your child is an important stage in the whole baby development process. However, it can sometimes be one of the most daunting or challenging processes you and your child will have to go through.

To help you have a fruitful, less stressful, and more enjoyable time introducing solid foods to your baby, here are some tips that you can follow:

1.     Don’t rush the whole process


If you’re new to motherhood, getting your child to eat solid foods means more than simply preparing a bowl of pureed vegetables or fruits and feeding your child until he finishes everything. For the first six months, you have been solely breastfeeding or bottle-feeding your baby; as such, he doesn’t know any other type of food yet. Take things one step at a time.

If it’s your first time to feed your baby something solid, you can help him become more receptive by giving him a little breast milk or formula first then switching to small or half spoonfuls of food. After a while, breastfeed or bottle-feed your baby again. Follow this technique until your baby becomes more interested in solid foods. This strategy will also help prevent your baby from getting frustrated when he becomes really hungry.

In case your child cries or turns away when you bring a spoonful of food near his mouth, stop feeding him. Breastfeed or bottle-feed him exclusively for some time first before trying again.

You need to make sure your child perceives mealtimes as something fun and you won’t get to do this if you keep feeding your baby when it is clear he doesn’t want to eat at all.

2.     Introduce only one type of food at a time


Single-grain cereals are usually introduced to babies first. However, there is nothing wrong with giving him other types of foods first. If you choose to go with baby cereals, make sure you get ones that are made for babies and iron-fortified.

Once your child learns to eat and appreciate one food, gradually give him other foods. However, give him only one new food at a time. You can start by giving him mashed potatoes or bananas, then move on to pureed carrots and other fruits and vegetables. You can introduce meat, fish, eggs, and legumes and fresh veggies (carrot sticks, celery, etc.) as well.

Keep in mind that meats and vegetables contain more nutrients per serving than fruits and cereals so it will also be great if they develop a liking for these foods early on.

3.     Allow your child to set the pace of his meals


Regardless of the type of food you give your baby, let him decide how quickly and how much food he can eat. This is something that is easier to do if your baby is eating finger foods.

If you are spoon-feeding your child, be on the lookout for cues that he wants more before pushing the spoon into his mouth. If he leans forward and opens his mouth when you put up the spoon, this means he’s ready for the next bite.

4.     Include your baby during family meals


Once your baby can sit safely in a high chair, feed him during family mealtimes. You can still give him mashed potatoes, avocadoes, and other typical baby foods. However, you can start giving your child other baby-safe finger foods as well such as steamed fish and veggies and fresh fruits. But make sure you give your child foods that are easy to swallow and are not too salty, since babies’ kidneys will have problems processing excessive salt.

5.     Be a role model


Even if your child is just several months old, he will always look up to you and will soon follow and mimic things you do. As such, if you’re still in the initial stages of introducing solid foods to your child, you will encourage him to try them more when he sees you tasting and enjoying these dishes.

Don’t forget to smile and show that you appreciate every bite your child takes, even if he doesn’t swallow everything you put in his mouth.

6.     Make your baby’s food interesting


Introducing solid foods to your baby means helping him explore and learn new things, too. As such, make sure your baby tries different textures and flavors. You don’t have to keep giving your child mashed or pureed veggies and fruits.

He can handle some natural spices and crunchy foods so include these in his meals every now and then.

7.     Expect some mess


Lastly, teaching your child to eat solid foods will be messy. The earlier you learn to accept this, the better it will be for you and your child. The important thing is that your child gets to try and eat new and more nutritious foods, so a few drops or splashes on the floor and table shouldn’t be a huge problem. You can easily clean up afterward anyway.

There is nothing easy about introducing solid foods to babies. But by following the right techniques and tips, mealtimes with your baby can be fun (even if they still get messy).



3 comments:

jjmon2012 said...

that is a lot of good information for new mothers. Its hard to day because sometimes you have doctors do this and family/friends saying do this

Maryann D. said...

This is all super advice. I always Introduced only one type of food at a time. My son was so allergic and sensitive so I had to be careful.
twinkle at optonline dot net

1AlwaysNYC 1 said...

I remember, as a new mother, I didn't know what to do when. This is very helpful.