So the time has come to introduce my almost 6 month old baby to the word of solids. After months of having the convenience of milk “on tap”, there’s no denying that solid introduction does require more time and planning on mum and dad’s part. However, enjoy this exciting milestone with your bub, as I intend to, and have fun introducing him/her into the world of food. The good news is you definitely do not need to be a master chef to prepare your baby healthy and nutritious meals that require very little effort. Here’s my top ten tips to ease yourself into the world of solids.
- Between 4 to 6 months old it is recommended to start your baby on solids. No later than 6 months as this is when baby’s iron levels begin to drop.
- No need to buy expensive kitchen appliances, all you require is a steamer insert and saucepan, and something to puree or mash the food (a potato masher, ricer or blender, stick blender or food processor will do the trick).
- Steam food (don’t boil) to retain flavour, nutrients and colour.
- Prepare additional meals to freeze individual portions – a great time saver and means you will always have nutritious, homemade food ready to go.
- Freeze portions in small glass storage containers – easy to defrost and warm straight from the freezer and avoids chemicals such as BPA and phthalates found in many plastics.
- To defrost and warm a portion of food either place in the fridge the night before or in your steamer over simmering water in your saucepan. Avoid microwaving.
- Avoid fruit for first 6-8 weeks. Your baby has been used to drinking sweet milk for months, adjust baby’s palate to vegetables and protein (after 4-5 weeks) first to avoid fussy eating later on.
- Introduce one food every 3 days, if bowel movements remain normal continue with next food. If bowel movements change wait 4-6 weeks until trying that food again.
- Begin baby led weaning from 7 months by offering chunks of cooked vegetables as finger food at the end of the meal.
- Remember breast milk or formula remains a baby’s main source of nutrition for their first year.
Have fun and enjoy this wonderful time with your baby’s as they explore their new world of tastes and textures!