Once your child completes 6 months, it is time to start them on solid food. Usually, it is difficult for children to adjust to solid food after 6 months of milk. So we start them with foods as close to the consistency of milk, as possible. There are a number of recipes that mothers follow for their children and their first meals. Some of these have been handed over for generations and some are easily available on the internet.
Healthy recipes for 6 months to 1 year
It is advisable for mothers to give their children healthy foods. The food should be in puree form, making it easier for the child to swallow. As much as possible, avoid adding salt and sugar to the foods and let the children get the real taste of the fruits and vegetables.
Peel the skin of the kiwi and cut them into small pieces. Blend them in the mixer. You could either sieve the mixture to remove the seeds or serve it as is. The seeds are small enough and will not be a choking hazard.
Some points to note: Kiwis are rich in Fiber, Vitamin A and Vitamin C. This can be given to babies at 8 months. Remember to select a kiwi that has a clear skin and is firm to touch. The kiwi fruit is acidic and may cause diaper rash. If your child is allergic to such foods, please avoid them.
Ragi Porridge (Finger Millet)
Mix a tablespoon of Ragi (finger millet) powder with 1/2 cup of water (as per the consistency needed). Make sure there are no lumps while mixing. Heat on a medium flame till the ragi is well cooked. A teaspoon of jaggery syrup can be added for sweetness.
Some points to note: The ragi powder could be either homemade or store bought. The water should be boiled and cooled beforehand. Ragi is rich in iron and calcium and is one of the richest sources of protein for babies. This can be given to babies from 6 months onwards.
Soak 1 cup of rice and 1/2 cup of moong dal (petite yellow lentils) for about half an hour. Heat 1 teaspoon of ghee (clarified butter) in a pressure cooker and add 1 teaspoon of jeera (cumin) to it. When it splutters, add 1/4 inch grated ginger and 1 sprig of curry leaves (sweet neem). Saute them nicely for about a minute. Add the rice and dal along with 5 cups of water. Cook it for 4 to 5 whistles on a medium flame. Cool it and remove the curry leaves before serving.
Some points to note: The water used for cooking should be boiled and cooled beforehand. This can be given to babies from 6 months onwards.
Take half an avocado and scoop out the contents. It can be mashed with a fork or in a blender.
Some points to note: The avocado should be dark green and firm to touch. This is an ideal first food and can be given at the age of 5 months itself. Avocados are rich in unsaturated fats. This is beneficial for the growth and development of the brain and the central nervous system.
Wash, peel and chop 1 beetroot into small pieces before steaming it. Puree the steamed beetroot. In another vessel, heat a teaspoon of ghee and add the pureed beetroot. Saute it till the raw smell disappears. Add a teaspoon of jaggery syrup to the mixture and a pinch of cardamom powder and continue to saute the mixture. Once the ghee starts separating from the mixture, remove it from the flame. Cool before serving.
Some points to note: Beetroots should have unblemished skin and should be firm. If there is dirt on the skin, it means the beetroot is fresh. Beetroots are good sources of calcium, manganese and potassium folate. They have anti-inflammatory properties that are good for relieving congestions in cold. Beetroot is good for babies with reflux or GERD. This dish can be served to babies over 8 months.
Chicken puree with veggies
Cook 1 boneless thigh piece along with 1 cup of cut vegetables such as carrot, potato, green beans, and spinach. After cooking it for 2 to 3 whistles, put them in a blender to make a smooth puree. This can be seasoned with a pinch of jeera powder, before serving.
Some points to note: Chicken is the richest source of protein and iron. The thigh and leg pieces are ideal for babies. This dish can be served for babies after they complete 7 months.
These are a few recipes that can be tried out for your little babies. Have fun with them and remember to be patient while introducing solid food to your 6-month-old child!