It is recommended that from around six months of age you can introduce solid foods to your baby. Your baby’s main source of nourishment and nutrition is still from mother’s milk or formula or a mixture of the two. This next stage is about introducing your baby to the world of new tastes and textures so that they become comfortable with trying new things as much as it is about nutrition.
How to start
Start slowly and stay relaxed. It is likely that your baby may not take instantly to the new and strange tastes and textures that are presented to them. Perseverance is key but do not push your child to eat anything they are not happy to– just wait for another day and try again.
All foods at this stage should be mashed or blended and free from lumps which may pose a choking hazard. Be careful to always be present when your child had access to any food or drink just in case.
Ideal foods to start with are baby rice mixed with a little breast or formula milk, mashed banana, avocado, cooked yams or beans are all great starter foods.
As your baby grows you can introduce finger foods such as soft pieces of cut up pasta or carrot or sliced vegetables. Crackers and
Always cut grapes in half and be aware that they can be a choking hazard.
Soon you can introduce much of what the family is eating mashed or blended so that your baby can enjoy a wider range of nutrition. It is important to avoid added salt, pre-bought meals which tend to be high in salt, sugar and unhealthy fats, and to avoid processed foods. If you cook yourself and go easy on the salt and spices there is no reason your rising one year old cannot be joining in with much of what the family eats.
Make the introduction to new foods fun and do not worry if your child fusses or rejects to start with, just stay relaxed and positive and reintroduce after a couple of days or try a different food. It I important that there is no pressure on your baby so that experimenting with new food is a positive experience.