Introducing Solids

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Capture1Babies at 3-6 months of age need feeding every 3 to 4 hours. Every day, every moment is precious for proper growth and development. The parents need to be careful that the baby gets an adequate supply of food and all necessary nutrients. It is also essential to ensure that the food and nutrition is given to the baby in the right quantity. A baby is completely dependent for his or her food and nutritional needs; one must be careful and supply the right food at the right time. Until 3 months a baby should only be consuming their mother’s milk. Between 3 to 6 months is when certain solid foods may be introduced to a baby. The transition is not easy and one needs to be patient and persistent. Good eating habits start as young as this age!

  • Solid foods must be given in a completely mashed and soft form. These include certain cereals and grains, fruits and vegetables. 
  • It is not advisable to give any dairy or protein rich food yet! 
  • Whilst mother’s milk is still the major food source, adding certain solids will provide the needed nutrients for wholesome growth and development.
  • Avocados, apples, bananas and pears are good fruits to start with. These are easy to mash and do not have a very strong taste or flavor that the child might reject. 
  • Sweet potatoes and green beans in a cooked mashed form are also a rich source of nutrients. 
  • Rice, barley and oats that are properly cooked and mashed are a good solid food to introduce to a child at 3- 6 months. 

Even two to three teaspoons, maybe twice or thrice a day, between mother’s milk feeds are good enough at this stage. Don’t expect the baby to finish a bowl! It is a new experience so be patient for your baby to take to this change. It is important to consult your doctor before introducing solid foods to understand any potential food related allergies.

There is no fixed age for each child to begin solids, so asking your health care professional if you are unsure is the best idea.  A mother’s milk generally keeps a baby satisfied so don’t be upset if your baby is not showing too much enthusiasm for the solids. Your baby may be reluctant at first but sooner or later will take to new tastes and flavors. 

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