For a 6-month-old baby, it is the right time to introduce them to the world of solid foods. However, as recommended by various paediatricians, your baby still needs the breast milk. Thus, the diet plan for a 6-month-old should be a concoction of solid foods and breast milk.
In this regard, it is important to mention that some babies may be allergic to certain food items (especially those with a family history of food allergies). Thus, it is essential to follow the Three Day Rule. As per this rule:
On day 1:
Feed the baby just one tablespoon of the food (once a day) and see if there are any reactions like wheezing, allergies, coughing, dysentery, fever, to name a few.
On day 2:
Increase the quantity to two tablespoons of the food (twice a day).
On day 3:
Make it three tablespoons of the food (twice a day). If there are any complications or reactions, discontinue the food immediately and consult the attending paediatrician at the earliest.
While we understand your excitement and enthusiasm, introduce one food at the time.
Foods to be included
-Vegetables such as pumpkin, potato, carrots, sweet potato, green peas, are healthy options for a 6-month-old baby. The vegetables once boiled can be either be mashed or served in puree form.
-Fruits such as papaya, apples, plums, avocados, bananas, apricots, prunes, mango, peaches, to name a few, are laden with the vital nutrients (such as vitamins, minerals, omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants), necessary for the overall growth and development of the baby.
-However, as stated earlier, make sure it is one fruit at a time. The fruits can be in puree or mashed form. All you need to do is boil the selected fruit following by blending or mashing it.
-While you continue to breastfeed the baby, you can slowly introduce the formula milk. It is also the right time to include water in the diet. However, take care to boil the water thoroughly before feeding the baby (twice to thrice daily). You can use a feeding bottle or a bowl and spoon.
-When it comes to cereals, nothing can be more healthy or nutritious than oats, rice or barley.
-You can cook the rice, mash it, and then add formula or breast milk to it. Your bowl of nutrition is ready to be served.
-For oats or barley, you can boil them and then add formula or breast milk and a fruit of your choice. For better digestion, you can puree the mixture.
-Alternately, you can also cook the rice and few vegetables together in a pressure cooker and then mash the mixture to a fine paste.
-For meat or fish, it is better to consult the paediatrician before including them in your baby's diet. Avoid fish which are high in mercury content (can interfere with the development of the nervous system and the brain).
-It is best to serve the meat in puree form. You can also stew it (add few vegetables of your choice).
An ideal diet plan for a 6-month-old baby
-Breast milk is the first thing the baby should have in the morning.
-For breakfast, you can feed the baby a puree (can be fruits or vegetables).
-For lunch, rice or any other mentioned cereals (mixed with vegetables and then mashed) is the best option.
-For evening snacks (once the baby wakes up), you can choose between fruits or vegetables in puree or mashed form. (This is however optional. You can instead just breastfeed the baby)
-For dinner, you can opt for a rice puree or a vegetable puree.
-In between, keep breastfeeding the baby as and when required.