Wednesday 7 March 2018

Weaning Series Phase 3 : 10 Ways How to Introduce Solids to a Baby

Now that your baby has undergone the 2 phases of weaning, it is time to begin introducing tiny tit-bits of solid food. Not necessary that teeth needs to come for this phase because babies can partially chew with their gums and also melt the food in their mouth.

So, lets begin with "Weaning Series Phase 3 : 10 Ways to Introduce Solids to a Baby"

  1. While the main meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) will comprise of the semi-solid or soups or mashed vegetables, fruits, cereals, etc., solids in their diet is more of like recreation. Occasional bits of roti, unmashed rice with a teaspoon of dal , small piece of potato or tomato, cooked carrot, tiny orange or peeled apple chunk, etc. is what should be given.
  2. The guardian must ensure that food must be such that it can be dissolved inside the mouth without teeth and gulped. For instance, apple no matter how small will not dissolve in baby's saliva. But a softened apple after boiling/steaming can melt and disintegrate into the mouth and it won't choke the baby.
  3. Semolina or suji, rice, wheat flour is a good choice as the grains are tiny and it can be prepared in both sweet and salty way, with or without vegetables.
  4. Corn flakes and oats can be given as breakfast. While oats after cooking turns slimy and apt for babies as it is, cornflakes can be powdered and mixed with formula milk.
  5. Keep the size of solids small and offer one at a time. Babies may gag and even vomit. It is natural as their gag reflexes are activating. So do not stop from offering solids later in the day.
  6. Make the baby sit upright. Semi-solids and mashed items can still be swallowed in an inclined position, but do not try it when feeding solids.
  7. As snacks, simple biscuits/cookies can be given. Do not feed chocolate, strawberry, coconut or any other flavourful biscuits (unless homemade) because it a well known fact that confectionaries, biscuits, beverages, etc. use artificial flavors and colors. And, as long as you are able to avoid these items from a baby's diet, please do.
  8. Do not be tempted to feed restaurant food just because your baby can eat solids. I cannot emphasize more but say that home-cooked food is best and whatever you feed is what they will crave for. Habits is what you create in a baby. Baby was not born to throw tantrums for chips and burgers. However, do not also be a complete no-no. This will impact psychologically. Create a balance on accepting and resisting their temptation. Learn to set boundaries, and both mom and dad should be strict about it. No use if mum is adamant on no-chips and daddy secretly offers later. This will just give an impression that mum is "bad".
  9. I have always listened to her cries and smiles during meal time. I never offer another spoon when she shows resistance towards food and trying to tell that she is full. At times, she isn't full but crying because she isn't hungry or the food isn't of her liking. In all cases, I do not force feed. Force feeding also impacts psychologically and gives an impression that mealtime is worse, mum scolds and stuffs me with food. Babies are moody just like are adults. After two spoons if my baby rejects food, I stop and offer the same food after 2-3 hours. In most cases she eats it all this time and forgets that she didn't like the taste before.
  10. Same goes for offering food which baby detests the first time. My girl hated rice. Rice in any form, whole or mashed, with vegetables or pulses, disguised in mashed potatoes, she just knows there is rice and rejects the dish completely. I stopped rice altogether and gave her other forms of carbohydrates instead. After a month I again cooked rice and fed her, surprisingly she ate it all. So, babies do not have fixed likes and dislikes, and therefore keep offering home-cooked pulses, cereals, vegetables and fruits from time to time.
With this I end my series on weaning and how to introduce solids to babies. Hopefully the posts have been informative and helpful in understanding how or what to feed babies.


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