Having a baby and nurturing one is a constant learning process. If you are a first time mom, as the baby grows each day, your day will end with a “What I learnt about my baby today” story to talk about.
I am sure most of the mommies reading this would smile and sigh in agreement with my statement. And when it comes to food, these little angels can be real tough nuts to crack! As mothers, we definitely endure the tantrums thrown by them without complaints, all because of the love for our child.
It is indeed a tough and tricky situation to gradually introduce an exclusively breastfed baby to regular foods to complement along with the breastfeeding. For working mothers, like in my case, the inclination towards introducing new foods to the baby starts pretty early on.
The key to the right approach is to start with the lightest, easily digestible homemade baby foods which are preferably sweet and salty with the right measure to start with. Of course these days we also have ready-to-eat baby foods by leading brands to indulge.
However it is best advised to consult with a paediatrician before jumping in to experiment. This works well on the baby’s sensitive tummy and caters to its slowly growing taste for food.
Over the years, there are some tried and tested recipes for babies which have been passed on from one generation to another benefitting new mothers. Speaking of recipes, there are ten recipes which have stood the test of time and worked advantageously for most mothers.
1. Lentils water:
The stock of the humble lentils when pressure cooked becomes an excellent baby food to start with for a four-month-old. To a small bowl of it, just add a little sugar and salt to taste and you are good to go.
Mashed bananas are a great treat for the baby to indulge and good source of iron too.
3. Steamed apple:
Pressure cook an apple and mash it. This vitamin-rich food is definitely worth a try.
Steamed rice, mashed with ghee (clarified butter) and salt works well for a six-month-old baby.
Literally a super food for any baby, easily available anywhere and hassle-free. This is one food you can swear by when on the road with your little one. Thumbs up to the people who invented it!
The ever-green easy to prepare Indian pancakes simply don’t fail. To start with, indulge your baby with the simplest oil-free version before progressing with the ones with exclusivity.
7. Parched rice:
Commonly recognised by its Indian name, “Poha”, this is a good food with mild seasoning for babies to nibble away with their tiny teeth.
8. Indian bread:
An exhaustive list of choices like parathas, chapathis, naans, rotis and more for providing your baby with a chewy tasty indulgence.
Healthy homemade ones should be preferred.
10. Steamed vegetables:
Steamed or pureed vegetables like carrots, spinach, broccoli, etc are all good choices.
Well as such there are loads of alternatives for babies as they grow older by a year or more. The Indian geographical advantage adds to the appeal of choices available for baby foods. Adding further to this is the positive effect of globalisation, wherein you are getting exotic vegetables and fruits to try out.
It is common for parents in particular to stress over the quantity of food their babies eat. Hence, it is important to remember a popular wisdom about a baby’s tummy; when a baby is born its tummy is the size of a cherry, at one week it’s a lemon, a walnut at three weeks and at a month, a peach! We need to focus more on the nutritional value of the food and opt for multiple smaller meals than expecting the baby to have a full course meal in one shot.
Experiment with the various food choices for your baby, enjoy it and treasure the journey of indulgence. And don’t forget to record those precious moments on tape. Happy parenting as always!