I would today like to address a very important topic that almost all the new mothers worry about – Child’s Food! Though it seems simple as the doctors tell you to start giving EVERYTHING to the child to eat once he is 6+ months, it is equally confusing to understand as to what EXACTLY COMES UNDER EVERYTHING!
Let me try to make things simple one by one.
FOOD AT WHAT AGE!
This is a very confusing and equally annoying question as to what age should the child be starting up with FOOD! (Anything other than mother’s milk or Formula Milk). Everyone has a different take on this one. Medically, it is told that the child should be started up with food (Solids or semi solids) only after the baby completes 6 months and before that the baby should be only on mother’s milk.
But I have met a lot of women too who started giving water / honey / tea or a few semi solid things to the baby before 6 months. So, I guess its all about your personal choice and the way your baby takes it.
Though, in my case, I chose the former one, going the medically said way i.e. starting solids / semi solids once my baby completed his 6 months and was pretty satisfied with the way he adjusted with the change.
WHAT TO START WITH?
Well, one should be starting with something that is bit lighter and easier to digest for the child. Lets take a look at few examples that I started off with for my son –
* Start Water – Start giving water to your child. Use boiled water preferably filtered one. This will prevent dehydration.
* Milk and Biscuit – Toned milk mixed with equal amount of water (Use boiled water, preferably filtered) and half biscuit blended in it (Parle G, Sunfeast glucose, Marie Choice etc. are few lighter ones that may be used). This can be given twice a day as it curbs increasing baby hunger and also providing him nutrition.
* Lentil Soup – Yellow moong daal, boiled with a pinch of salt & haldi (turmeric). Add enough water that lets the daal to be of a thinner consistency so that only the boiled daal water can be given. You can add two three drops of desi ghee also. Daal is a good source of protein.
Avoid Chana daal and Urad as they are gaseous in nature.
* Vegetable Soup – Similar to the method above, replace the daal with vegetables such as Carrot, Beans, Bottle Guard (Ghiya / Lauki), Pumpkin, etc. The vegetables are a good source of vitamins and minerals.
* Fruits (Shakes / Solid) – Because the child has no teeth but needs to develop his taste buds for every taste too, the best way to give fruits is by preparing shakes. Few shakes are Banana Shake, Cheeku Shake, Mango Shake. Oranges and Pomegranate can be given as they are. Just peel the outer skin of the orange wedge and give one bulb at a time pressing it in the mouth of the baby making it easier for him to eat / swallow. As for Pomegranate, I used to press the bulb in his mouth leaving the seed in my hand.
NOTE – “Make sure you always have clean hands while feeding food to the baby coz however clean you want it to be, the fact is IT IS A MESSY PROCESS!” 🙂
* Curd / Lassi – These are good in digestion and also provide nutrition. You can give plain curd or in the form of Raita.
* Cerelac – An instant food of infants that all mothers are aware about. Personally, I do not suggest a very regular use of cerelac or other convenience foods as I believe in giving freshly prepared food to my baby. But it can be kept as a handy food for times when the mothers are extremely busy or just don’t have much time for cooking up from scratch.
I gave the above mentioned stuff for almost two three months till my baby turned 8 – 9 months and simultaneously I kept increasing the quantity of biscuit in milk, thickness in moong daal soup, mashed veggies in vegetable soup, mashed fruits like banana, papaya, cheeku, melon, mango etc.
[Apple was never that my boy liked eating Raw or Boiled – discarded in every way. Share your success story about Apples with me, if you have]
MOVING TO SOLIDS!
Generally, the baby stomachs get accustomed well to the changes in their food in two three months. Once, you feel that your baby is growing up well and is ready for a new taste, start few solids.
Some of them that I started with were Mashed Potatoes, Mashed Vegetables, Boiled Rice, Mashed Daal in soup, Roti in milk with few drops of ghee and sugar, Bread, Khichdi, Kheer, Daliya etc.
Paneer can also be given to kids but in less quantity as it is quite heavy for their liver to digest.
Do keep experimenting with new flavors, keeping the spices as low as possible, using salt and haldi, heeng, badi elaichi or even zeera (Cumin) at times. These are what I used.
The information provided above is depending on my personal experience as a mother and what I tried for my baby. These were somethings that I thought are harmless to be shared with new mothers and would only help them out in clearing out their doubts to a certain extent. Rest, we all are best decision makers for our children and have an expert eye about their likes and dislikes. The above provided list is not exhaustive, it can be taken as a BEGINNERS GUIDE for those stepping in this arena.
I hope this information is helpful for you. Do not forget to leave your valuable comments on this post to help me understand your requirements and expectations for improving on my future posts.