While the act of feeding a baby only milk for the first six months of their life is nice and convenient, there comes a point where they have to get onto solid foods. And, way before you get them into shrimp, it may be very intimidating to build up to a proper meal because their little stomachs need to get used to certain things. So with this in mind, what can you do to start your baby with solid foods, in terms of their diet, as well as some practical points?
Establish a mealtime routine
Because a baby needs a sense of focus in which to eat, we have to start a proper routine, where you wash their hands, and you calm them down to eat their food. It’s important to make a point of helping your baby become conscious of eating, and recognizing when they are full. It’s also important to be careful not to overfeed them. They have to recognize when they are full, and not overeat because they could very well become constipated, and while there’s medication like Coloxyl drops that can help relieve constipation, the routine is crucial.
Helping them with the right foods
It’s important to choose the best solid foods for them according to their age. For example; give them cereals fortified with iron and a variety of vegetables, fruits and meat. It is important to offer baby finger foods, so they can pick up the food themselves. There are various types of baby finger foods that they can use, but it’s important to make a conscious effort in terms of the shape, something they can pick up. So think about something like an avocado wedge, or a little pile of stir fried potatoes.
Get the nutrients in
It’s a very different experience for a baby going from formula or breast milk to a solid piece of food, they have to get their head around the texture, this can mean a lot of trial and error. However its up to you to ensure the baby gets adequate nutrients. You can do this by introducing they take a good balance of nutrient dense foods, and if you’ve been using breast milk previously, you can have this as part of the mealtime. Getting a baby used to certain foods like porridge can be aided by the use of breast milk. Simply add breast milk in before serving (not cooking) and mix it up. It’s also a great way for the baby to slowly acclimatize to new textures. With something like milk, they are already used to it, so it is not that much of a stretch.
Getting onto solid food is a long process, but while we need our children to get into healthy eating patterns it can feel like we’re not giving them enough food at this point. That means that you have to do it gradually. Remember, we need to give them the vital nutrients but they also need to be able to enjoy eating the food. With something like baby finger foods, this can help them engage with the food in a fun way.