Congratulations mommies! Your precious little one has now successfully completed her first 6 months - a major milestone in her first year. Here, we have garnered everything you need to know about starting semi-solid meals along with a meal plan for 6-9 months old babies.
Breast milk is still a priority:
Mother’s milk provides the best nutrients that the baby requires, not only for growth and development but also for immunity against disease-causing harmful pathogens (virus, bacteria etc.). Therefore, breast milk still remains a priority for your baby, even after starting her on semi-solid meals.
The major do’s and don'ts:
You must be very careful while feeding semi-solid foods especially during the starting months.
- Start with easy-to-digest, semi-solid foods such as fruit and vegetable puree etc.
- Always stick to smaller quantity at regular interval. Your baby knows how much she can eat, so don’t force.
- Try new foods in an interval of 3 days, so that your baby adjusts to the food and you can check for signs of allergy in this time.
- Baby food must be properly cooked and in a puree form so that it is easy to digest.
- Feed only freshly cooked meals to your baby.
- Check the temperature i.e, if food is hot before you feed her.
- Feed her solid food only when she is sitting and not when she is lying on her back.
- Incorporate iron-rich foods such as ragi, oatmeal, cereals, beans, spinach, sweet potato etc. in her meals to prevent iron deficiency anemia.
- Do not feed your child with any food item she develops an allergic reaction to.
- Don’t boil the breast milk while cooking cereals or oatmeal for your baby, as it can cause significant loss of nutritional value.
- Don’t introduce spices, honey, cow’s milk, peanuts, eggs, salt and sugar etc.
Food items that you can include:
Your baby still requires nutrition from breast milk and you should continue breastfeeding at least till she reaches her 2nd year. Complementary foods help fulfill the increased nutritional needs. You can start with properly cooked semi-solid meals, keeping the doses to 1-2 teaspoons at first and gradually increasing the quantity as time passes. Her semi-solid meals can include:
- Boiled and pureed or mashed vegetables (beans, carrots, sweet potato, squash, green peas, potatoes, pumpkin etc.)
- Steamed and pureed fruits (apples, avocados, apricots, bananas, mango, papaya, peaches, plums, pears, prunes etc.)
- Boiled pulses such as kidney beans, chickpeas, yellow lentils, peas etc.
Common symptoms of food allergy:
- Stomach Pain
- Crabby, uncomfortable baby
If you notice any of these symptoms after feeding your baby, then stop giving her a particular food item. Consult your doctor for further consultations if the symptoms become worse.
Until the age of 6 months, breastmilk alone fulfills the nutritional needs of the baby. However, after 6 months, the trio of breastmilk, homemade foods and nutrient-dense complementary foods such as fortified cereal are necessary to help the baby in his/her optimal growth and development.
Disclaimer: All the information provided in the blog is for reference purposes only. Please do not consider this as a medical advice. Start Healthy Stay Healthy programme is for educational purposes only, in partnership with doctors. Always consult a doctor if you have any questions related to your own health or the health of your child.