Deciding on what foods to start your baby on can be quite a task. The process of introducing your baby to solid foods is known as weaning.
Weaning is an exciting milestone to achieve for the baby as it introduces it to a whole new world of flavours and textures.
As your baby grows, it’s important to know what food to start your baby on. Your baby’s body requires food with more nutritional value to supplement its growth.
It is also recommended to consult your pediatrician or nutritionist for advice on foods that are suitable for your baby.
Below is a guide on what foods to feed your baby as you start the weaning process.
Babies from 6-8 months
At this age, most of your baby’s nutritional requirements are met through breastfeeding and formula. As you introduce solid foods, feed your baby one spoon a day and don’t introduce another type of food before 2 to 3 days have passed.
Due to your baby’s delicate digestive system, it’s advisable to feed it all foods in puree form.
Your baby can have fruits such as apples, bananas, and peaches. It can also have carbohydrates such as sweet potatoes, baby rice, and butternut squash.
Babies from 8-10 months
Your baby can now sit upright on its own and feeding has now become much easier. Your baby’s social integration has also improved and he is able to smile when happy and cry when sad.
Including the foods that you introduced the baby at 6 months, you can now incorporate legumes such as beans, green grams, and peas. Vegetables like broccoli, amaranth (terere), and carrots. Carbohydrates such as potatoes, and arrowroot. Fruits like pawpaw, avocado, melon, and bananas.
At this age, your baby can have some meaty proteins such as chicken and fish but be wary of allergic reactions.
Babies from 10-12 months
At this age, your baby’s motor skills have now developed, and it can now reach out for food and feed itself.Finger foods can be introduced but your baby shouldn't be left unsupervised. Examples of finger foods are like steamed broccoli, dry cereal, cheese, pasta and soft fruits served in slices.
You can also feed the baby vegetables such as spinach, kale, eggplant, and beetroot. Your baby can now have most fruits including passion fruits, kiwi, tree tomato and oranges.
When preparing vegetables avoid overcooking since extreme heat destroys all the nutrients. For example, spinach and kale should only be steamed.
At 12 months you can play around with spices like cinnamon, coriander, nutmeg, garlic, ginger and turmeric to add flavour to baby’s food.
Precautions to take on Foods to start baby on
Consult your pediatrician on the various nutritional foods that are a healthy option for your baby. It's also important to get basic training on first aid, to avoid accidents like choking.
Cow milk, nuts and, honey should be avoided before 12 months to avoid allergic reactions. Processed foods and juices are also not advisable to feed your baby because of excessive sugar and chemicals.
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