Your baby is approaching her sixth month and you’re getting excited. Anxious too. Starting solids is an exciting milestone for both parents and babies. It’s the beginning of their journey to the wonderful world of culinary! Armed with tips from other parents and knowledge from your research in Google, you’re determined to give your baby the best and healthiest start to her food experience. But how do you know if your baby is ready for it and where do you start?
In a nutshell, look for cues such as steady head control, ability to keep and swallow solid food as well as sitting upright unsupported. Her appetite may also increase, where she seems hungry even after milk feeds and becomes more curious about what you’re eating.
There are several approaches to weaning, with the most common being giving pureed and mashed food from 6-12 months before graduating to porridge. If you’re adventurous and want to raise a child who is aware of her food choices, likes and dislikes, and enjoys feeding herself from early on, you may want to look into another method of starting solids known as Baby-Led Weaning. This approach allows baby the independence and confidence to feed herself with a variety of solid foods in bite-size form. My first child was raised with the traditional weaning method while my second child took the baby-led weaning approach. I’m glad to report that if I were to have a third baby, I will choose baby-led weaning without a doubt too. Click here to find out more.
Mums at Happikiddo share the several dos and don’ts of starting solids:
- Be patient and wait until the sixth month before introducing the grown-up foods as your baby’s system may not be able to digest it if you start much earlier. You may also miss a crucial window of interest if you wait too long.
- Even if your baby doesn’t like a certain food at her first taste, keep trying. It may take six to 10 attempts before she accepts the taste of pureed spinach. Don’t give up!
- Skip the boring rice cereal. Start with avocado, banana, or pureed sweet potato. Allow your baby to explore the food by letting her see, touch and smell it first. You may want to mix it with some breastmilk or formula milk. Let your baby see, handle, and smell the food first.
- There’s no need to delay meat for too long. Give varieties. Add spices. Combine meat or egg yolk with some cereal or pureed veggies – babies love it!
- Eat together as a family from the first bite. Your baby will soon understand that being on a table means it’s time to eat, which also translates that everyone sits and enjoys food together. No more running after your toddler with a bowl and spoon trying to feed him.
- Never add rice cereal to your baby’s bottle as this can make it easier for babies to gag or choke.
- Avoid fresh milk, honey and runny eggs before baby’s first birthday. Baby’s digestive system is not ready to process the properties in honey before that. Cow’s milk does not provide sufficient nutrition that baby needs during the early stage too. Keep on breastfeeding as long as you can.
- There’s no need to wait three to five days between foods, unless your family has a history of food allergies. Giving mixtures of foods and introducing them quickly creates a more adventurous, happy eater. If your baby seems to be tolerating the foods well, go for it!
- Don’t worry about offering fruit or vegetables first for fear of rejecting the latter. It doesn’t matter. Baby’s tastebuds are underdeveloped then and will be keen to try anything.
In addition to the conventional way of preparing baby food – wok for steaming and fork as masher – here are several gadgets that will make your life easier:
Little Bean Multi-Function Food Processor
Get your baby’s food ready in a safe, fast and healthy way. It can heat up food, defrost, steam, chop and blend. Also includes three storage cups with measurements.
Philips Avent Combined Steamer & Blender
This multi-functional processor allows you to steam fruit, vegetables, fish or meat. Simply lift and flip the jar over to blend it, with no transfer of food required! For steaming, just flip the jar over too. It includes a spatula, a measuring cup and a recipe booklet.
Beaba Babycook Original
This is the baby food processor that works well and looks good! In the market for over 20 years, it steam-cooks, blends, defrosts, and reheats. Nutrients in food are preserved. It comes with a spatula, a mixing lid and a recipe booklet.
Beaba Babycook Duo
It’s a full course meal for baby with the Babycook Duo range. You can steam-cook a savoury food in a jug, and blend a dessert in another. Or prepare a meal for two children at one go. Its large capacity jugs allow you to cook and freeze in advance, saving time and effort. The set includes a spatula, two mixing & smoothie filter lids, as well as a recipe booklet.
Touch and feel the products by visiting any of our stores today or click here to order online.