Is there a “right” time to start?
Many a mom puzzles over when to start their little one on solids. Advice is confusing as some old timers will say “when baby keeps on waking at night” – the baby may be only 3 weeks old and yes, he may want more food but at that stage all his stomach can handle is milk, not solids! Let’s face it – that little stomach is not yet ready for a bowl of spaghetti!
The trend of today’s advice seems to centre around the 4 to 6 month mark. Some also advocate that baby is ready once he has doubled his birth weight. As each baby is different, personally I think it is best to ask your paediatrician’s advice as to whether your baby is ready for solids or not.
So that having been said, let’s get down to what are considered to be the 5 best foods to start baby on.
Apples, peeled and mashed is one of the best fruits to start with. Try baby with a couple of teaspoonfuls and get ready to photograph the expressions!!! If he likes the apple then try introducing pears, mango, and other fruits over the next few weeks. Try only one fruit at a time for a day or two so that you will know if any fruit causes a rash or other more serious allergy.
2: Fruit Juices
I’m not a great advocate of fruit juice for babies UNLESS you squeeze the juice yourself. The boxed and bottled versions are just too full of preservatives, artificial colouring and other chemical additives that could cause problems. But freshly squeezed juice is a great way to start your little one’s day!
Ah, where would we be if I didn’t mention vegetables in all their glory!! From mashed potoatoes to boiled and mashed carrots, veggies are full of goodness. Make sure they are well washed to remove any nasties! It is advisable to use the commercial baby food varieties of the green leafy veggies as the fresh ones contain nitrates which can cause anaemia in young infants (nobody told me this when my sons were young!) whereas the commercial varieties have had the nitrates removed!
This is a great way of getting a complete meal into your baby! Clear veggie soups are basically just water with lots of nutrients and “solid” content from the vegetables and so this is a win-win situation as you are then keeping baby well hydrated and nourished simultaneously!
the last of the best 5 solids to offer your baby, probably at the 6 month to 9 month mark is
5: Eggs, Meat & Chicken
Final food for thought!
Once you start your baby on solids, it is also time to introduce WATER! Not only is this important for hydration, but also water helps detoxify baby’s body and keeps the digestive system healthy.
Remember to introduce solids one food at a time and in small quantities, once a day – your baby’s main source of food at this stage is still milk. This is just a period where you are introducing new tastes and textures to your baby and should not be his main source of nourishment just yet!