In this article you will read about:
Introducing solid feeds to your baby
Introducing solid feeds is an important milestone for your baby. And how you do it makes a difference—not just for intake but also in helping your baby establish healthy eating habits.
First, it's important to remember that transitioning from exclusively breastfeeding to solid foods is not just a dietary change but a development milestone. This means you should introduce solids based on your child's age, cues, and readiness rather than their weight or desire for more food. They will be ready for this change as they gain the skills necessary to start eating solid foods, like sitting up, exploring food with their hands, and chewing.
Second, you should prepare for this transition by researching what types of meals and snacks are suitable for your child's age and nutritional needs.
When introducing solids, you should start with one ingredient at a time for a few days to see if the baby accepts it easily or has an allergic reaction. Then slowly combine them as your baby becomes used to each of them.
Different colors, textures, and tastes help babies to explore and develop a healthy relationship with food. Salt and sugar should not be added to baby food until their first birthday. After that, aim to limit the amounts.
It's recommended to wait 3-5 days between each new food. If your baby has an allergic reaction, you can more easily identify which food caused the reaction.
When starting with semi-solid foods instead of purees, you can let your baby explore flavors and help them enhance their jaw movement—a key milestone in the development of speaking and eating skills!
Remember, if your baby rejects the new food first, don't give up immediately. It takes about 12 continuous tries for a child to learn to like something new – so keep trying! Use attractive colors and textures to entice them and make mealtime fun with finger foods or even homemade play dough that looks like food.
Finally, it is important that you remain patient during this process regardless of how fast or slow your baby takes in adjusting their diet—this is an exciting new stage of growth!