Introduction of solid food


Being a mother of a new born baby is a full time job. Mummies are on their toes to fulfill all the requirements of their babies, whether it is breastfeeding, maintaining proper hygiene of babies and their surroundings. The day to day activities like making the baby sleep and waking up at night, moms are full day busy with their little one. The list does not end here, till six months of age baby exclusively feed on mother’s milk but after that their needs increases and you need to put your focus on introduction of solid food.

Introduction of solid food to the baby is again a tedious task. Mother’s mind have lots of questions regarding it like what to feed the baby, baby will be liking it or not, does the food will cause allergy, what are the points to be kept in mind while preparing food for their little one so on and so forth. This article will solve all your queries regarding introduction of solid foods to your baby.

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Nutritional Requirements

A six months old baby is increasing in size, their physical activity is increasing, now the child can roll, he recognizes his mother and laugh at any cues. So the brain is also developing. Around this point of time the teething also starts. So it is obvious that their nutritional requirement also increases. So in continuation of breast feeding additional food is required for growth and development. 

Here is the list of nutrients required for six months old baby:

1) Calcium: It is essential for bone and teeth development. Foods that are rich source of calcium are finger millet (Ragi), banana, milk, sweet potatoes, Eggs (only egg yolks should be given after 10 months), spinach, beans etc.

2) Iron: Iron is essential to carry oxygenated blood to all developing parts of the body. Spinach, finger millet (ragi), jaggery, whole wheat grains are good source of iron.

3) Fat: Fat is essential for brain development. Desi cow ghee, milk, nuts (for one year and above) are the good source of fats for babies.

4) Zinc: It is very essential for cell repair and growth. Apple, legumes, whole grains etc. contains zinc.

5) Carbohydrate: It is the primary source of energy. It provides fuel and energy for all metabolic day to day activities. Whole grains, rice, potatoes, milk, corn, legumes and all plant based protein foods also contains carbohydrates.

6) Proteins: Proteins are the building blocks of our cells. It is a must to include protein in your baby’s diet. Some of the rich source of proteins are legumes, egg, yogurt and cheese.

7) Vitamins: Deficiency of vitamins can lead to disease or imbalance in growth and development of children. So proper intake of vitamins through diet is essential for babies. Vitamin D is very essential for babies growth. So sunbath should be given to your little one. Green leafy vegetables are good source of vitamins.

8) Minerals: Minerals like sodium and potassium directly influences growth of the baby.

Tips to start Solid Food

A six month old is actually on breastfeed but introduction of solid food is essential for above said reasons. But there are some rules to be followed while introducing solid food to your baby. These rules are explained below in ten actionable points.

Rules to start solid food in ten actionable points:

1) If you are starting new food to the baby then it should be introduced either during breakfast or lunch for only one time a day.

2) You should introduce only one food at a time and observe the baby by continuing the same food for at least three days. If the baby is happy and shows no sign of allergy then you can continue with that food. Again introduce any new food variety, use the three days wait rule to check out for any allergy and move on to next food.

3) Give little amount (10-20 ml) of semisolid food initially. Do not force the baby to eat more. Start slowly, with just one or two spoon and proceed to give more if the baby is liking it.

4) Do not give lump in food or any finger food to baby when he/she is small as it sometimes cause gagging or even chocking.

5) Use a calm and quite place for feeding every single day to establish a routine.

6) Avoid distraction feeding. Feeding time should be enjoyable. Do not distract the baby by music, television or mobile. Let them feel the taste of food given.

7) Prepare and store baby food in sterilized containers or glass bowls.

8) Give only home made food to baby till one year as baby’s digestive system is immature.

9) Do not use any product with preservatives as it is not good for the little babies to take strain on their digestive system. If you are a working mother and really find it difficult to prepare food for your little one then there are options to buy online. You can go for “Bygrandma” products, which are safe and free from any preservatives and there are varieties of home made porridge which is good for your baby. You can also make ragi, oat, wheat porridge at home.

10) Avoid giving salt/sugar in your baby’s food till one year of age as it puts extra strain on kidneys of baby.

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