Until your child is four months old, feeding them is a child’s play because the diet consists of breastmilk or formula. However, the need to switch to solids for the infant can be a daunting process because it increases the chances of contracting any food allergies or even, gain weight but rest assured, for when your child is 4-6months old, the digestive system is well prepared to take in compound food.
Additionally, the baby needs to be able to sit up straight and hold the head to prevent choking on food. If during your mealtime, they reach out for your food, it is a clear indication that they are ready to taste new foods.
Here’s how you can safely switch to a solid diet:
Starting with a cereal such as rice
The first solid food that your baby is introduced to must be cereal such as rice as it is high in iron, easy to digest and rarely allergic. Begin with 1-2 feedings a day and choose the correct time. Mix enough breast milk or formula with one or two teaspoonfuls of rice cereal to make a liquid-like mixture and give it to the baby using a spoon that is small and has a silicone tip.
Try not to pour the liquid into the bottle as your baby needs to get used to being fed by a spoon. Don’t force your baby to continue eating if he or she shows signs of disinterest. If they are completely uninterested, try again after 6-7 days. Once he is used to having baby cereal, you can make the formula thick or give them more servings, but continue breastfeeding or making milk diluted formula because they need those nutrients.
Watch out for food allergies
After seven days of feeding the child rice cereal, try feeding them different types of baby cereal such as oats, barley, and wheat. To understand food allergies, give them cereal for 3-4 days and then try out a new one. Notice if there are signs like wheezing, vomiting, rash, diarrhea, vomiting, excessive gas, difficulty in breathing, or stools consisting of blood. Consult your pediatrician immediately after identifying any of these symptoms and take the kid to your ER if things get worse.
After the baby gets accustomed to eating different cereals, switch to vegetables and fruits that have been pureed. Give the, one new vegetable or fruit at a time. They might spit it out, but don’t give up.
Munchies and others
From eight to ten months, your baby can try food with soft textures such as bananas and sweet potatoes that have been mashed. Since the digestive system has further strengthened, you can try pureed meats like chicken, beef or turkey to introduce an iron-rich diet. Now that your baby, they should be able to eat by himself. Try giving him or her munchies like tiny cubes of mozzarella, slices of fruit that is ripe, pasta, vegetables that have been cooked, and cereals that are dry, and that can dissolve inside your child’s mouth. To make sure that the baby doesn’t choke, cut everything in cubes in the size of the tip of their pinkie. Avoid putting salt or sugar in his food so that he learns to eat without extra seasonings.
By the time your child is twelve months old, the ideal intake should be three meals a day with snacks, including vegetables, fruits, hot or cold cereal, pasta, bread, and rice. Rest assured, your baby will be able to let you know when they are hungry or full.
Don’t use any baby food that was opened a few days ago and avoid feeding your baby right out of the jar. Pureed vegetables such as spinach, carrots, beets, or turnips should also be avoided since they contain a lot of nitrates. Stir warmed up purees and check the temperature before feeding. Avoid foods that could induce choking such as raisins, seeds, nuts, and crunchy peanut butter. Stay away from the most common allergic foods, especially honey. Keep these tips in mind when switching your baby’s diet to solids.