The joy of having your little one is often dotted with little worries here and there. These worries usually arise from many concerns like how warm to dress them, how to bathe them, and at times how and what to feed them on.
As your baby grows, you should introduce bits of foods that will aid breastmilk in giving her/him the required nutrients to grow. Introducing these foods is known as weaning and requires you to pay attention to what food to introduce at what stage.
Weaning has to be gradual to allow your baby’s stomach to adjust. Introducing flavoured foods might make them reject those foods with less flavour. As thus, it is advisable to begin with vegetables before fruits since babies who begin with fruits often reject vegetables.
When introducing finger foods (those your baby can pick up and eat rather than being spoon-fed), ensure full supervision to avoid choking. Due to the vulnerability of babies, ensure proper hygiene during preparation, cooking and feeding of baby food.
To begin with, you start by giving your baby steamed unsalted and unsweetened vegetable in little bits at the age of 4-6 months. At 7 months, your baby should be able to eat full-fat dairy products, like yoghurt, red meat, chicken and finger foods like peeled apples.
After the 9th month, your baby’s stomach can handle most foods and you should start introducing 3-4 meals a day. These meals should contain starch like rice and potatoes, fruits and vegetables, fish, eggs and meat. At this stage they can consume pure juice diluted with water. However, your baby is still too young to digest processed foods and canned snacks.
It is, however, prudent to note that after birth your baby should feed entirely on breastmilk, or baby formula where breastmilk is not efficient for at least up to six months.
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Here are some of the foods you give your baby before they hit 1:
These are important as they are packed with important nutrients that your baby will need to grow. A teaspoon of peeled then mashed apple is a good way to introduce your baby to the world of fruits. Others can be mangoes and pawpaw.
Beans, lentils, peas and soybeans are a rich source folate, potassium, iron and magnesium, all necessary for your child’s growth. You should introduce them in small quantities and allow your baby’s stomach to adjust.
Properly washed and steamed vegetables offer your baby a variety of nutrients necessary for growth. Boiled carrots butternut squash, broccoli and potatoes all make a good start.
Apart from giving solid content (from the boiled food) to your baby, well prepared soups ensure that your baby is well hydrated. Ensure that the boiled food is okay for their age to avoid allergic reactions.
Green leafy products
Spinach, collard greens and kales all give your baby iron and mineral salts. Boiling them and mashing to a paste allows your baby to get the best out of them.
Boiled then cooled water
Your baby needs to hydrate as he/she grows. This will help them digest the newly introduced solid foods as well as help them flush toxins out of their system.
A very rich source of protein, eggs when introduced properly play an important role in your baby’s diet. You should however introduce them carefully and be on the lookout for allergies.
Just like fresh fruits, juices are nutrient packed and boost your baby’s immunity. You should however stick to natural freshly squeezed ones since processed and packages juices do not have natural sugars.