A comprehensive question and answer guide for feeding your baby
A baby grows up in the blink of an eye! And his nutritional needs also keep changing rapidly, to support his growth and development. So, when the dietary transition from breast milk to solid foods happens at around 6 months, you, as a mother, need to be prepared. During this phase, it is natural to worry about what your child needs to eat, how you should present the food, and what you can do to make him eat properly.
So, this article answers all those common questions that arise around feeding a growing baby. However, you need to remember that every child is unique, and hence, your feeding style needs to be flexible. Also, feel free to consult a doctor or dietician for in-depth meal plans. So, let’s get started:
Q. What can you feed a 6-8-month-old baby?
Six months is the ideal age to start introducing solid foods to your baby. Ripe bananas, sweet potatoes, ground rice, and wheat porridge are most suitable. Make sure the foods are well-mashed and easy to digest.
Q. What can you feed an 8-10-month-old baby?
When your baby reaches 8 months of age, you can expand his diet to include chapattis softened with milk, green leafy vegetables, upma and curd rice. You can also start mixing 2-3 different fruits and vegetables and different cereals.
Q. What consistency of food can your baby eat?
Between the ages of 6 and 8 months, babies will need thin purees and well-mashed foods. After the age of 8 months, you can change this to a semi-solid consistency.
Q. How much to feed your baby?
How much you will feed your little one should ideally depend on his or her hunger and satiety cues. However, in general, when you start introducing solid foods, you can feed your baby 1 tablespoon at a time. This can be gradually increased to 2-3 tablespoons, and then to ½ cup, by the time your baby reaches the age of 10 months.
Q. How many times a day should you feed your baby?
The frequency of feeds will usually depend on your baby’s age. Initially, you can start with 1-2 feeds per day. This can be gradually increased to 3-4 times a day, when your baby becomes 8-10 months old. Remember that small and frequent meals are always better than a few large meals. Your baby’s stomach is small and hence cannot accommodate or digest a lot of food at once.
Q. What is the best way to introduce new foods to your baby?
Always introduce one food at a time. Your baby may reject a certain food 7-8 times before deciding whether he likes it or not. And this is natural. Do not force-feed new flavours. Just keep trying every few days, till he gets familiarised with the taste, smell and texture.
Q. How can you make feeding a happy experience for babies?
Mealtimes don’t have to be a struggle, even with fussy eaters. To make the experience happy and relaxed, use small spoons and cups to feed your baby. You can also offer your baby water in between meals. Eating with your baby can also set a good example and encourage him to eat healthier. He will also learn to pick up foods with his tiny fingers and feed himself.
Q. Should you breastfeed while introducing solid foods?
Solid foods should be considered a complement and not a replacement for breastfeeding. One of the breastfeeding tips for new mothers is to breastfeed the baby before introducing a new food. This will ensure that your baby is not very hungry and will be more receptive to new foods.
Q. Are there any foods that should be avoided?
Avoid feeding your baby processed foods with sugar, salt and spices in them. Also, do not give your infant caffeinated drinks like tea, coffee, or colas.
Transitioning from breastfeeding to solids can be an adventure for both the mother and the child. Hence, take it slow and steady, and consult a paediatrician if things are not going as planned.