29 Apr Solid food
Stress-Free Guide to Introducing Solids
Moving your little one onto solids is one of the biggest milestones in the first year and while some mamas can’t wait to start, others don’t know where to begin. Check out our tips for making the transition as smooth as possible and make sure you try to relax as they enjoy exciting new flavours and textures.
When you’re heading to the solid food stage, you’ll hear lots of advice on the right time to start and the types of foods to try. Family, friends and even the experts have different opinions but just remember there’s no “right” way to do it as such. However, before you get going, we always recommend doing a first aid course.
Here at Malaak, we usually encourage exclusive milk feeding until six months but a lot of parents will choose to begin earlier (from four months onwards). Milk should still remain the primary source of nutrition until six months and a large part of baby’s nutrition before 12 months.
These are the six signs our Lead Midwife Educator Cecile de Scally uses to check if a child is ready:
- Not before 17 weeks
- Double birthweight
- Head control
- Hand-mouth coordination
- Must be able to grab
- Lost the tongue thrust reflex
- Ability to say NO MORE
- Watches you eat, shows an interest in the food
The traditional approach to weaning involves pureeing foods and feeding them to your baby from a spoon, however, baby led weaning is becoming increasingly popular. Both are good options so it really depends what works for you, and there’s nothing to say that you can’t combine the two.
When it comes to purees, the texture should be very smooth at first, thinned out with a little liquid. As bub gets more confident you’ll be able to keep the consistency a little thicker. Baby cereal is most mamas first choice. Choose a wholegrain variety such as brown rice and mix it up with some breast milk, formula or water. It might look bland but don’t be tempted to add any fruit to sweeten it just yet as it’s important to introduce one food at a time. Veggies and fruits open up a whole new world of taste and not everything needs to be cooked and blended. Things like mashed avocado and banana are quick and easy options loaded with goodness.
Baby Takes the Lead
With baby led weaning your little one is in charge and, whilst it might sound daunting, it can also make things easier, with much less preparation. Purees get bypassed altogether and, instead, you offer handheld pieces of soft solid food for them to suck and savour in their own time. Yes, it can get messy but it’s nice for your baby to feel in control and some research suggests it makes for happier eaters as they get older.
- Introduce one new food every few days.
- Start small and build up the quantity.
- Keep a record of likes and dislikes.
- If it seems like they don’t like something keep trying it over consecutive days before taking it off the menu.
- Be patient – meal times are time-consuming but don’t rush and let your child go at their own pace.
- Introduce new foods early in the day so if there is a reaction you can respond easily.
- Keep an eye out for sensitivities and if a reaction is severe consult your doctor immediately.
- Fruit juices (unless prepared fresh), nuts and honey, cow’s milk and egg whites should be avoided during the first year.
For more information on Malaak’s Weaning Program please contact please email firstname.lastname@example.org.