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

  1. jjmon2012
    September 20, 2017 / 9:10 pm

    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

  2. Maryann D.
    September 20, 2017 / 9:35 pm

    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

  3. 1AlwaysNYC 1
    September 23, 2017 / 11:36 pm

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

Leave a Reply