Just like the sight of those two pink lines on the pregnancy toolkit excites us, so does the very thought of feeding our little baby, their first solid meal. Introducing solids to your baby is nothing short of a milestone and a certain sort of celebration in the family. In fact, in many south-east Asian cultures, the six-month solid introducing stage is celebrated with much pomp and show.
While there are scientific reasons as to why the baby needs to be introduced to solids at six months of age, if you feel your little one is still not ready, wait for the right time and do not rush into things.
Some of the scientific reasons are as below:
- Your little one is growing by the day, and hence breastmilk is not sufficient enough and hence might still feel hungry after breastfeeds.
- Your baby can still upright and his neck is more stable now.
- This is also a good time because by now the hand-eye coordination is a little steady dexterity has also started developing. Finger foods actually go a long way in developing that much synchronization of hand and fingers with eyes.
WHAT ALL TO INTRODUCE?
1. RICE CEREAL
For babies, as young as 6 months you need not give rice as it is. Rice is mostly introduced in a cereal form to infants. These days there are healthy and organic rice cereals easily available in the market. Make sure when you mix breastmilk with the cereal, it should be a bit runny. This will ensure that there is absolutely no problem in swallowing it.
2. STEAMED AND MASHED VEGGIES
Vegetables can also be introduced, but care should be taken while feeding them. It should be ensured that they are very soft, mashed and in a runny cum liquid form. Make sure that there are no lumps which might result in choking also. Take carrots, beans and potatoes and put it under cold running water to wash them thoroughly. Now pressure cook it until you feel they are soft enough to be fed. You can add salt or void it completely as per your desire.
3. DAL KA PAANI
Lentils or as its popularly called in India are an excellent source of proteins. Apart from this, they are also loaded with an ample amount of vitamins and minerals. Most new moms prefer to give Moong Dal Paani( soup ) as this lentil is very light and can be easily digested. Wash the dal properly under running water for a good five-seven minute. Now add this in the pressure cooker soaked along with water. Add a tiny bit of salt and turmeric. You can completely avoid salt if you want to. After roughly five whistles, separate the dal from the water and mash it with the help of a masher. Now add this mashed dal to the separated water. Add a dollop of ghee and serve it to the little one.
4. MASHED BANANA OR APPLE PUREE
Fruits in a mashed and pureed form are one of the first foods which are introduced as solids at six months of age. Both banana and apple are excellent sources of vitamins and other essential nutrients. In fact, one full banana or apple can pass off as one complete meal for your little one.
TOOLS FOR MAKING MEAL-TIME FUN
1. BABY HIGH-CHAIR
Investing in a baby chair is one of the best things which you can do as parents when you decide to introduce solids to your baby. It not only aids during meal times but also comes super handy when you have to move around your house for doing daily chores and you want the little one to be engaged and strapped at one place for some time. Along with the various other benefits if safety harness and a footrest, it ensures a dedicated place for your little one’s meal times.
2. FEEDING BOWL AND SPOON
Just like everything, the cutlery set of your little one should also be exclusive. These days baby cutlery come in a wide variety and a range of colors and beautiful motifs. While some families prefer plastic bowls and spoons, others find steel a better option. These days there is also bamboo as well as wooden cutlery.