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Things To Know When Introducing Solids To Baby

Switch baby's diet from milk to solids carefully.

Parenting And Family
| Contributor Content| UPDATED: October 6, 2017, 10:10 AM IST
Things To Know When Introducing Solids To Baby Image: Getty Images
A baby transitioning from only milk to solids is a very exciting time and some information beforehand can ensure that this journey remains stress-free and fun for both mother and child.

How to know if your child is ready for solids?

1. Your little baby should be at least 180 days or 6 months old before you start solids.
2. The child can hold the tripod (sit upright) for at least 3-4 seconds or can sit with support on your lap.
3. Your baby shows interest in food that you are eating.
4. If you place a spoon in your baby’s mouth, the baby can move the tongue back to let the spoon slide in.

Things to Avoid

1. Do not feed the baby when he is in a lying position as it poses a chocking risk.
2. Porridge/dals/khichdi should not be watered down. They should be mashed to achieve a smooth consistency.
3. Do not add any water or milk to any food. This masks the original taste of the food, also may create a hindrance when transitioning to family food.
4. No animal milk or honey should be introduced before 1 year of age.
5. Avoid junk, oily, sweet food. Always prefer home cooked food at least till the food preferences are being set.
6. Don’t make 2-3 meals for the baby. Stick to what is being cooked and feed the same. If you provide an alternate, then the baby will know that if he rejects one food, another is always available.
7. Avoid packed biscuits, processed foods or baby cereals as they contain preservatives and unnecessary sugar. Prefer homemade snacks and see a healthy baby.

Points to Remember

• Baby should always be fed in an upright position
• Till 1 year – maximum nutrition should come from either mother’s feed or formula. Solids are only an introduction to color, texture, and taste.
o At 6 months – baby needs one meal only. This will be maximum 4-5 spoons. Proceed if the baby seems interested. If not, doesn’t force feed.

o Keep increasing meals every month. For e.g.- at 7 months – one meal + one snack
o At 8 months – 2 meals + one snack and at 9 months 3 meals + 2 snacks
• Water intake must not exceed 40 ml a day.
• Always introduce veggies first and fruits later. Also sweetening of foods with jaggery, dates or palm sugar is not recommended as a child may prefer sweet food only and it may be a challenge to change the habit later.
• Babies don’t need teeth to chew so do not wait. They have baby teeth under their gums and hence can chew on soft-steamed food. You can give steamed carrots, broccoli, apple, pears, beetroots, beans, peas by 8-9 months.
• Nuts and seeds should be tested for allergies one by one. Do not offer dry fruit powder directly before testing.
• Eggs, chicken, and fish can be given by 7-8 months.
First Published: October 6, 2017, 10:10 AM IST
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