Complimentary Food For My Baby - An Expert Shares Tips
Created by Puja Sharma Vasisht Updated on Oct 11, 2018
Your baby is growing now and so are his/her nutritional needs. How does it feel to see your tiny tot growing so fast, each day? I know, the feeling is beyond imagination! Now, at this growing stage, did you know, breastmilk alone cannot suffice for your little one’s dietary requirements? It needs to be complemented with other foods too. But, I know, your baby is only used to just one type of food, that is milk. The transition from breastmilk to other foods may not be very easy in the beginning. But don’t worry, I am here to guide you through this. Here are few tips which may help you in feeding your baby his/her very first solids.
Introducing Semi-Solids to Your 7-month-old Baby
Breastmilk alone will not provide all the necessary nutrients for your baby. You need to gradually introduce semi-solids and solids to your baby. Since your baby is used to milk only, it is recommended that you start with liquids, initially. By liquids, I mean well-strained fresh fruit juices (which gives an abundance of Vitamin C) like apple, pomegranate, grapes and more. Before feeding your baby, please ensure the juice is not sour.
Another liquid which you may give initially is vegetable soups (for iron and various vitamin needs). The soup should be well-cooked, pureed and strained. It can be made with vegetables like spinach, beetroots, carrots, pumpkin and tomatoes. You may also start with dal water and then gradually introduce mashed dal.
How Much Should You Feed Your Baby?
Now, you may wonder, how much juice, soup or dal should you feed your baby? Well, in the beginning, amounts have to be few spoons only. Introduce only one food at a time, by replacing one of your feeds with solids. Give it for three to four days and only then introduce another food. This would help your baby in accepting and getting familiar with the taste of that particular food.
You will soon notice - your baby is doubling his/her birthweight and simultaneously her/his needs are increasing. Now, you may start with starchy foods; from clear liquids, it is now soft semi-solids. It can be rice kheer, suji kheer or phirni.
To assure that your baby is getting enough nutrients (required at this stage), you may also introduce fortified baby foods. These may have better acceptability as the reconstituted baby food has the required consistency and nutrients suitable for your baby. Also, one feed of these fortified baby foods contains all the necessary food groups or nutrients, and hence ensure complete nutrition for your little one. Trust me, a bowl of fortified food is a bowl of assurance for your baby.
Introducing Solids to Your 7-month-old Baby
By seven months, you can start with starchy vegetables like boiled and mashed potato with butter, fruits like banana mashed with milk, fruits and vegetable (cooked) puree and half-boiled egg yolk. Keep the seasoning mild. In fact, you may add one teaspoon of ghee or butter preferably made at home to your baby’s bowl of food now.
It is also the right time to start with water, especially after each feed. You can give some lukewarm (amount can be 120-250 ml per day) daily to your baby. At this point in time, the number of feeds can increase to three per day, besides milk feeds.
However, if your baby rejects a food initially do not be disheartened. Do not give that food for few days. You may reintroduce that particular food after a gap of two weeks.
You should also keep in mind that even your baby may have his/her likes and dislikes for a food like an adult; so, do not force-feed your baby. If your baby is not liking a particular food, leave it. You should gradually try to introduce a variety in your baby’s diet according to his/her age. Also, please consult your paediatrician before introducing any new foods to your baby’s diet.
I hope this blog was helpful to you. If you want to know anything else or have a suggestion to make, do share your thoughts in the comments section below.
Disclaimer : "SHSH programme is for educational purposes only, in partnership with doctors.
Consult a doctor for queries about your or your child's health."