Feeding tips for new parents

Solid food should only be introduced when your baby shows signs of readiness like opening his mouth for the spoon, sitting upright with support, mastering head and neck control, and taking interest in what you’re eating (when he or she is about four or six months of age). When you think your little one is ready, keep the following points in mind.

  • Start with one spoon and gradually increase the amount according to the baby’s wish  .
  • Baby serving sizes are tiny. For a six-month-old, a tablespoon or two can be a serving and for a one-year-old, it is more like ¼ cup
  • Avoid force-feeding
  • Try to make your baby enjoy different foods through repeated exposure; the younger they are, the easier it is  Your baby’s sense of taste starts developing early in pregnancy. He or she tastes what you taste and research has shown that the foods you consume during this time helps shape what your baby will enjoy eating years later. Finally, remember that the right nutrition in the first years of life is a base for later adulthood immunity and reduces the risk of obesity and diabetes mellitus.

Best food to introduce:

Iron-fortified cereal (rice, oatmeal and barley) at four to six months: Iron is critical for brain development and a baby’s natural supply of iron will be depleted by six months of age.

Sweet potatoes and carrotx at four to six months :  They’re one of the most nutritious foods for your baby because they’re rich in beta-carotene, which the body converts to vitamin A – and that’s important for good vision, healthy skin, normal growth and protection from infections.

 Avocados at six months and older: Avocados are a great first fruit to offer your baby, because they’re loaded with monounsaturated fats and have a mild taste and smooth consistency.

Meat at seven to ten months: Meat (like chicken, lamb or beef) is an excellent source of protein, as well as iron, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B6 and zinc. Just make sure it’s puréed to a smooth texture.

Blueberries: Are good for your baby’s eyes, brain, and even urinary tract

Yoghurt: Plain whole-milk yoghurt is another protein-rich option for your baby; plus, it contains calcium and beneficial live and active cultures.

Worse foods to introduce:

Honey: Honey is linked to infant botulism, an illness that can be fatal. The tummies of babies under the age of one simply can’t deactivate the botulism spores that might be in honey, so avoid this until your little one has passed her first birthday.

Cow’s milk: Babies can’t easily digest cow’s milk, which is one reason why experts recommend waiting until the one-year mark before offering it.

Whole nuts and peanuts: You can introduce small amounts of creamy peanut but avoid nuts in whole form until age four to prevent choking.

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