Just when your little one is four or five months of age, it is just the time to start thinking about introducing solid food to him. But there are so many rules for what to offer and when to do it have changed. That is why you cannot rely on your own parents or friends with older kids for guidance. Of course, they might give you some great advices, but here are some discovered myths in the past few years, just so you could separate truth from the fiction.
If your child is reaching for your food, it is the time to start feeding him with solids
Babies who are about three months might look longingly at their parents’ meals and even reach for something off the table. But that is only one of many signs your little one is ready. Your child should be showing honest interest in food, but also be able to sit up on his own, being able to keep his head up and have the coordination to chew and swallow. Child’s age is also very important factor. It is recommended to introduce solids around the age of six months, but still, alongside breastmilk or formula.
One and only food is correct to give first
Two main reasons requires you to start your baby on solids: to develop little one’s oral motor skills in preparation for exclusively eating solid food and to boost his iron intake. The type of food is just irrelevant, until it contains iron. If you will make sure it does, there is truly no reason to worry what if you are giving proper foods.
Thin purées should be the beginning
There is honestly no need to serve your child only a mush if you are at the beginning of solids. At the age of 6 months, babies have the ability to “munch” food, even if they do not have teeth. Yeah, you can offer purées for sure, but you should also let your child practice eating on his own. Offering soft finger foods will encourage your child to self-feed, which will definitely help with oral motor development. It simply allows little ones’ to be in control of how much and at what pace they eat, which will also help with self-regulation of food intake later on in his life. Certainly, be sure to avoid choking hazards such as hard and stringy vegetables and fruits. Anything that might easily lead him to choking. Even with soft finger foods, your baby will gag a lot, so you do not need to worry if you hear a strange noise while he is trying to eat. Babies have a great natural gag reflex that helps them move food that has travelled too far to the back of their mouths to the front again so they would not choke.
Dull is not necessary good
You can calm down and start doing some plates for your little one with flavor in it, because flavor is actually a good thing. It is even important that babies would be introduced to a wide variety of flavors and textures by about nine months of age, because it increases the chances they will accept a wide variety of foods afterwards. So make sure you are adding a dash of cinnamon to your child’s cereal or some cumin to carrots. Just stay away from sugar and salt, they are not that good.
And no matter what you will decide to do, be sure not to stress if your child does not take the food you are expecting him to take right away. Just stop for a bit and come back to it little later. The last thing you want is a huge power struggle. Baby will eat, just when he is ready.