Feeding your baby for the first time can be messy. Your baby needs more than breastmilk now. So, all you wonder is how to make this easy for yourself and your little one. Here is all you need to know about complementary feeding for the complete growth of your baby:
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), babies should be introduced to solid foods after they can sit up and hold their heads upright on their own. This is usually around the age of 6-months. Other signs that indicate your baby is ready to solid foods is the ability to thrust his tongue in and out and when the baby begins to reach out for other people’s food.
Introducing solid foods before the baby is ready can increase the chances of developing food allergies.
When it comes to complementary foods for babies, mothers need to be careful of the age they introduce solid foods, the amount of solid food fed and the texture of this food.
The best way to start complementary feeding is to eliminate one breastfeeding session. As you reduce the frequency of breast feeding, introduce complementary food to ensure their nutritional needs are met. Between the age of 6 months and 8 months, you can feed your baby 2-3 times a day. As your baby grows older, this frequency can be increased.
Baby cereal, mashed khichdi and rice cereal are ideal complementary feeding recipes for infants. Always introduce only one new solid food at a time. This gives the baby a chance to develop taste for this food and also makes potential allergies easier to identify. Once your baby is comfortable with cereals, you can add boiled and mashed fruits and vegetables to their porridge.
Many babies reject new types of solid food. It can take a while for them to acquire the taste for it. Do not attempt to force-feed your baby. You can try feeding your baby the new food 10-15 times over a period of a few days but if your baby still refuses to eat it, find a substitute. It is important to respect your baby’s choices so that they develop a good relationship with food.
Feeding a baby can be overwhelming so be sure to keep plenty of wipes and napkins handy. Stay relaxed to make meal times enjoyable.