As your baby grows up, you can’t expect them to drink milk for the rest of their lives. Instead, you must slowly introduce them to solid foods at a certain age so they can eventually eat regular food. However, when it comes to babies, you can’t just shove any food into their mouths; you need to wait for the right time and prepare a meal appropriate for their age.
When To Start Solid Foods
While you might be excited to introduce your baby to food as early as possible, you need to wait for the right time you can give it to them. This will help them enjoy the food you’re offering while preventing possible health complications, especially if their gut isn’t ready yet to welcome new foods.
Ideally, you should wait until your baby’s at least four to six months old. Apart from the age range, you should also see if they display signs of readiness for solids. This includes being able to sit up unassisted, holding their head steadily, putting things in their mouth, and showing interest in food. If your baby has shown all signs of readiness and is within the appropriate age range, you should prepare to introduce solids to your baby.
What To Introduce
Before you get too eager to start, you must note that you need to carefully pick what kind of food you should first introduce to your child. While giving them sweets would surely be a crowd favorite, going for a healthier option would always be the best choice. This way, you can allow your child to get plenty of nutrition and let the taste of nutritious food be a flavor they know well and can learn to enjoy.
When choosing their first food, you should prioritize giving them healthy options to improve their well-being. However, if you’re in a hurry, you can provide them with food pouches from Serenity Kids or other similar brands, and they should be able to help provide you with a quick and easy nutritious meal. But if you have plenty of time on your hands, giving them fresh fruits and vegetables is a great choice.
For your baby’s first meal, you can look for any vegetables and steam them until extremely soft. You can also mix a few tablespoons of milk (breast or formula) and puree them in a blender. This way, you’re giving your baby a soft texture that’s easy for them to swallow but with a flavorful taste.
Take Necessary Precautions
Introducing plenty of food to your baby can be exciting, especially if they’re showing great interest in it. However, you need to be careful with pacing food introductions as you need to watch out for any possible allergic reactions.
If you introduce your baby to new food every mealtime, it might be difficult for you to track down what triggers their allergy. To help you understand your baby’s health, you should feed your baby the same food every mealtime for at least three days so you can carefully observe if they have any specific allergic reactions to food.
Essentials To Prepare
As soon as you notice the signs of your baby’s readiness to eat food, you should begin shopping for their essentials immediately. This way, you can provide your baby with everything they need to allow for a comfortable eating experience. Below are some essentials that you need to prepare:
1. High Chair
A high chair is essential as it helps to keep your baby in place and allows them to be comfortable. It also keeps them away from distractions so they can focus on eating. And with a high chair, they’ll have a clean surface to eat on while also putting them at a comfortable height for you to feed them. This allows your baby to eat at the table during mealtimes and allows them to truly feel part of the family.
A bib keeps stains away from your baby’s clothes. It also helps to catch any food and prevent them from falling on the floor. With a bib, you’ll have an easier time cleaning up, which is beneficial for you.
3. Feeding Essentials
Of course, your baby needs proper tools to eat their meals with. Ideally, you should purchase a baby bowl with strong suction to prevent your baby from tossing it out of their chair. Moreover, you should also buy a spoon appropriate for their small mouth and is soft and comfortable enough to touch.
4. Food Cleaning Items
If you’re exclusively breastfeeding, you might not have enough cleaning materials to wash your baby’s utensils. With that, you need to purchase the right cleaning items, such as dishwashing soap and a brush. Regular dishwashing liquids might be too strong for their bodies, which might cause some health concerns, so make sure to buy ones that use baby-safe ingredients to ensure the safety of your baby’s health.
How To Introduce Your Baby To New Food
The first time you introduce baby food to your little one, ensure that you don’t shove everything into their mouth, so they’ll eat as much as you want them to. Two to three teaspoons of their meal should be enough for their tiny mouths and appetite. Depending on some babies, some might eat more, while some might eat less. However, you mustn’t put pressure on yourself and your baby, as there’s no rush when it comes to feeding your baby with solids.
Before feeding your baby, make sure they haven’t had any milk beforehand. The hungrier they are, the more chances of them eating their meals. While it might look enjoyable to see them finish their bowl, you should let them eat at their own pace and never force them to eat. Force-feeding might result in trauma and can associate feeding with negative emotions.
Getting started on your bay’s first solid food can really be exciting. But before you prepare your most delicious recipes for them, you first need to be careful with the kind of food you’ll be introducing to them. Ideally, you should offer healthy and nutritious meals, such as fruit and vegetables, or try food pouches if you have a busy schedule. As you feed your baby, ensure that you make their mealtimes fun and enjoyable, so they’ll be more motivated to eat.