By Rekha Menon,
Everyone advises exclusive breastfeeding for 6 months after which you can watch out for signs that show your baby is ready for solids. A very common sign is once your baby is able to sit unaided with her head steady, she is most likely to be able to grab finger foods and help herself . Always wait and watch how your baby reacts to a new food/ingredient introduced . He can progress gradually.
- Boiled rice mashed with milk and sugar or just daal-water is the most common first food.
- Fruits and veggies like apple, carrot, sweet potato ,potato steamed and pureed form.
Avoid foods containing gluten!
7- 9 months :
- Progress from pureed form to coarsely chopped or mashed form.
- Introduce finger foods like toasted bread, crackers, soft fruits, pasta. Try serving veggies in interesting forms.
- Egg yolk can be introduced in the 7th month and if there is no issue in digestion, you can progress to the egg white by the 8th month.
- For non veggies, a few tsps of chicken soup is the best to start with. Gradually include small pieces of well cooked meat, fish in interesting forms and tastes.
By one year, your baby can have any normal food that you make but with less salt, sugar and spices. Few sips of water is also essential for your baby has had his meal.
Few things we as mommies need to remember:
* never to force a particular food
* be patient
* lookout for any signs of a food allergy
* make your mealtime interesting .
Most important, continue breastfeeding atleast till your baby turns ONE!!
Bonus tip: As a working mom its quite difficult to experiment and try new dishes often . Here are a few recipes you can try,
* You can make purees of any fruits/veggies and pour into ice trays and freeze, defrost and use by mixing different flavours .
* Here is a simple one pot meal that I cooked regularly for my toddler after he turned one.
Rice, yellow moong daal, 2 cloves garlic,few pieces of chopped tomato, any 2 veggies ( everyday I tried 2 different veggies), pinch of turmeric and salt. Cook it all together in the rice cooker or pressure cooker. Just before serving, season with a little cumin seeds in ghee.
A cup of yoghurt to complete the meal. Burrrpp !!