Food is important for babies after certain period. And the kind of food that is given to baby is equally important.Babies’ taste buds are way more receptive and sensitive than adults so they can have a better natural taste of food without any additional flavours like salt/sugar.
What do you think is better for your baby or kids?!
When we have wide variety of food available to choose from then why to go for packed food available in the stores.
And it is easy to make, plus its nutritious when homemade.
Nowadays, it’s said that ideal time for babies to start with solids is after four months, but more important indicator is when the babies start giving weaning signs like –
• Looking at your food whenever you are having your meal
• Wanting to grab things and put it in their mouth
• Wanting to eat your food
Traditionally babies are fed solids mostly after six months from their birth but nowadays it has started from four months. It depends from baby to baby as every baby is different and they have their own adaptation and reaction to food. If it doesn’t go well after four months, then you must wait for one more month or might be few weeks more to start again. The whole idea behind starting early i.e. after four months is to make them resistant to allergies.
The best food to start with for babies are veggies. As we all know vegetables are good source of vitamins, fibers and nutrients. You can either mash the boiled vegetables or grind it and then feed it to the baby.
When we grind it into a smooth paste then they can swallow it easily. When we mash it, they slowly learn to chew the food which helps in the long run. But just in case you are not sure please go for grinding the food into a smooth paste. While feeding try to count numbers so that they learn that once you put a spoon of mashed food inside their mouth, they must chew till you count 3/4. And again, next spoon.
While feeding, talk to them and make it a habit. Don’t show them iPads, phones or any kind of gadgets. If you think they are not eating properly according to you, then don’t feed them forcefully. They know very well when they are hungry and when they are full. So, adhere to their behavioural signs.
Continue with one veggie for minimum four days to see whether baby is allergic to that certain kind of veggie or not and it also helps to set a routine for them and gives them time to get hold of the taste of that particular food item.Slowly you can switch to few more veggies and make it into purée and feed them.
Then slowly move to dalia, khichdi, lentil soup.From six months onwards one meal a day is good.
The list of things that you can give to your baby according to their age:
After 4 months
• Broccoli puree
• Cauliflower purée
• Carrots puree
• Beans purée
• Peanut butter (without salt and sugar -organic one)
Note: The size of the veggie must be equal to the size of an ice cube. Not more than that.
After 6 months (in addition to above veggies you can start with)-
• Dalia (broken wheats porridge)
• Khichdi (rice and lentils porridge)
• Mixed veggies puree
• Egg yolk
• Light brown bread with little bit of butter (unsalted butter) on it.
Note: you just make into very tiny pieces and press it hard with your fingers and feed the baby.
• Avocado puree
• Fruits purée like apple, pear, banana, papaya
Note: Gradually increase the portions of a meal.
After 8-9months (in addition to above items you can start with)-
• Fruits purée like blueberry, strawberry, mangoes, grapes.
• Spinach puree
• Dates puree
After one year-
• Suji kheer
• Fish like salmon
• Green leafy veggies
• Cherry puree
• Rice crackers and corn crackers (a healthy substitute of biscuits)
• One whole Egg
• Almost everything you cook; you can start giving it to the toddler.
If the toddler likes bit spicy you can go for it.If not, you adjust taste according to the toddler.
Dos; Don’t s & Why?!
⁃ Starting with vegetables purée is advisable and healthy.
⁃ If you want to introduce sweet taste to your baby, please go for seasonal fruits. Reason-fruits has natural sugars with other nutritious value which is easily digestible by babies.
⁃ Please wash your hands before making baby s food and before feeding the baby
⁃ Please wash the vegetables, fruits other food items under running cold water before offering to babies.
⁃ While feeding the baby with spoon, use a plastic spoon so that it doesn’t hurt their gums.
⁃ While feeding with spoons put the food at the tip of spoon, bring it closer to their mouth and allow them to take it by themselves. This way they learn eating with spoon.
⁃ Don’t add any salt to baby’s food till one year. Babies get their salt intake from mother s milk and formula milk and so they don’t need any extra salt intake from outside. Reason-babies’ kidneys are still developing and adjusting to solid foods. Extra Salt intake puts pressure on baby s immature kidneys.
⁃ Don’t give honey to babies until they turn one year old. Reason-Honey is dangerous as it can cause botulism (caused by bacteria present in certain kind of preserved food which can be fatal).
⁃ Don’t add sugar to baby’s food till one year. Reason- sugar doesn’t have any nutritious value and it leads to unnecessary weight gain in babies and affects growing teeth.
⁃ Don’t mix biscuits with milk and give it to baby. Reason- It doesn’t do any good to your baby s health. It is made of flour, sugar/ salt which is not healthy at all.
⁃ Don’t give cow’s milk or buffalo’s milk to babies till one year. Reason- it’s heavy for them to digest and nowadays cows are being given injection for more production of milk which is not natural.
⁃ Don’t be in a hurry to start with solids. Reason- Every baby is different and so are their adaptation
⁃ Don’t give them Egg white till one year. Reason- it can lead to allergy and other skin rashes.
⁃ Don’t give citrus fruits like orange, lemon at early stage. Reason- It can lead to allergy and other rashes.
⁃ No store-bought juice for babies. Reason-It has high amount of sugar and other preservatives in it. No matter how much pure it is advertised.
⁃ Don’t give them aerated drinks, tea, coffee. Reason- unhealthy and affects baby s appetite and bowel movement.
Many of us think that the store bought cerelac or any kind of baby food is better than homemade food. But to clear the facts first look at the back side of the packet where they mention the ingredients & nutritional value of it. You will always find preservatives, koolhydraten, sugar and other unhealthy stuff. The store-bought cereals or cerelac is not at all good for babies and toddlers no matter what is advertised.
While I totally understand that for working moms it’s difficult to manage things but having said that it would not be nice to ignore good and healthy food for your baby and yourself. During travelling, sometimes having packed store-bought food is ok as you do not have any other alternative.
Healthy habits help in long run.
I also come across cerelac for 4-6-year-old. And I really don’t get it why?
These kind of things leads to wrong habit and unhealthy lifestyle.
You can always make little extra for next two days and store it in a glass jar inside the refrigerator.I mean it hardly takes minutes to make something healthy.
Minutes before feeding the baby you can preheat and bring back to normal temperature to feed the baby but avoid heating in microwave or oven and do it on a pan on stoves/gas. Serving baby food in a glass, steel bowl or silver bowl is healthier than plastic bowls.
So, choose carefully.
Happy feeding and happy growing to all fellow mammas.
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