Parenting is considered as one of the biggest responsibilities in the world. It nourishes the art of living and helps in the sustainable growth of the child. ‘When to start feeding babies with solid food?’ might be a common question revolving around the mind of thousands of people who are about to conceive a baby child. Feeding process at the right time enhances the physical as well as the mental growth of the child.
At the starting point, children are merely feeding with breast or formula milk. This is because of their immature and undeveloped immune systems and other parts of the body, which are not capable of processing solid food inside the body. But as the child grows, there is the requirement of solid foods with essential nutrients to improvise the neural, digestive and immune system of the baby. In India, after around 6 months of birth, the parents start feeding their babies with solid eatables. It is advised to first observe the food reactions in the baby before continuing a specific type of eatable. According to several studies, feeding solid foods before 4 months should be strictly avoided. Instructions are showing behavior similar to a pendulum as when to start feeding babies?
Pediatrician and neonatologist suggest the time of 4 to 6 months after birth as the right time to start feeding babies with solid foods. Before starting feeding babies with solid food, observe the below-mentioned signs in your baby.
1. Is your baby able to keep his head steady or under control?
2. Whether your baby is able to sit with the help of some support?
3. Is your baby trying to eat things such as toys, his hands, clothes, etc?
4. Is he taking interest in what people around him are eating?
If the answers to these questions are affirmative, you can start adding supplements to your babies diet. But, there are some key points you should keep in mind before and while feeding your babies.
1. Start Simple
Keep the diet simple with no sugar and salt in it. Wait for 2 to 3 days before giving a new food to your baby. Observe the reactions on the baby’s body to identify which food is suitable or which is not. Reactions like diarrhea, vomiting, loose stool or rashes indicate the allergy from the food items.
2. Vital Nutrients
The two most important nutrients in the latter half of the first year of your baby are zinc and iron. These nutrients play an important role in the development of your babies growth. Pureed meats, single grains, iron-fortified cereal are some examples of the food items which are rich in iron and zinc.
3. Vegetables and Fruit
COntinue gradually introducing food items with no sugar and salt into your babies diet. Try to offer new food after 2 to 3 days, it will help his immune system to get used to the new ingredients the baby is eating.
4. Offer finely chopped food
By the age of 8 to 10 months, start feeding chopped food to your baby such as soft fruits, vegetables, pasta, cheese, well-cooked meat. By the age of 1 year, start feeding your baby 3 times a day with properly mashed or chopped versions of what you are eating.
When to start feeding babies is an important question to think upon. Strategy planning should be done carefully to improvise the baby’s overall growth. Consult the pediatrician in case of any severe complications.