As your baby gets older, there is a need to introduce solid foods. To most parents, the idea of introducing their baby to solid food is nervy and even scary but eating solid food is essential to enable your baby get adequate iron and other essential nutrients necessary for growth and development. Although some parents start introducing solid food to their babies when they are as early as four months, your baby will be ready to start eating solid food by the sixth month.
Before six months, your baby can get adequate iron from breast milk and infant formula but by around six months, you will need to supplement the formula with solid foods. Some of the tips that can help you effectively and safely introduce solid food to your baby include:
Notice the signs that your baby is ready
It is easier to introduce solid foods when your baby is eager and ready to try solid food. When working out on when to start introducing solids to your baby, you should let the baby’s individual development and behavior guide you. If you notice that your baby has interest in food by looking at what is on your plate, reaching out for your food or even opening mouth when you offer him or her food on a spoon, it is the right time to introduce solid foods.
Get the timing right
When and how you introduce solid food to your baby will determine how your baby will respond. Before introducing food, you should make sure that you and the baby are both happy and relaxed. You should also avoid introducing the food when the baby is hungry as at that time your baby will only want breastmilk or formula. It is also not ideal to introduce solid foods if the baby is full, tired or not interested.
Know the types of food to give your baby
In most occasions, all new foods are exciting to a baby and thus, there is no need to cook special food. You only need to make sure that the food is rich in iron and has the right texture. There is also no specific order that you should use to introduce new food to your baby. Some of the foods you can begin with include iron-fortified infant rice cereal, minced meat, fruits, dairy foods, and grains. You can also use organic baby food delivery to ensure that your baby gets all the nutrients necessary for development.
Start slow and simple
When starting, you should go for thinned-down foods. Also, introduce a new food at a time to let you know whether your baby is allergic to that food and avoid giving your baby much food. Start with small portions and increase based on your baby appetite.
Do not forget water
Once your baby starts eating solid food, you can also start to give him or her cooled, boiled water. However, the water should not replace breast milk or baby formula. You should also avoid liquids high in sugar and fat.
Help your child develop good eating habits
A baby meal time will always be messy and thus, you should not feed your baby when you are dressed for an occasion unless you have a protective garment. It is not wrong for the baby to play with the food. Instead, you should make meal time a play time with your baby. It also helps to feed your baby during meal times when other people are also eating.