Watching your baby grow up is the best feeling ever. From lifting their chin up while lying on their tummy, turning over to the side and lifting their body up to crawl or drag themselves - every little milestone makes your heart warm up. To accomplish these milestones, your baby needs nutritious food. But is that nutritious food tasty? Read on to find out.
Is your baby exposed to flavours before six months?
You must exclusively breastfeed your baby for the first six months to ensure that your baby gets all the nutrients they need. One might wonder - won’t babies get bored with the taste of breast milk? Studies have shown that babies are exposed to different spices and flavours when they are breastfed because of the kind of food the mother eats.
For example, if a mother ate a curry that had a lot of garlic in it, the baby would be able to taste a bit of garlic in the breast milk. Also, the spicy food you eat during your pregnancy affects the amniotic fluid (fetus food). Thus, your baby was probably exposed to spices even before they were born. This way, your baby’s taste buds are getting a variety of flavours even before you introduce solids.
So when you introduce breastfed babies to spicy foods, they wouldn’t mind it. You just have to be careful and keep track of the kind of spices you offer them.
Getting started with solids and spices
Once your baby completes 6 months, you may start introducing solid foods to your baby, provided your doctor approves of this. When introducing your baby to solid foods, your doctor may recommend trying bland foods at first. As Indians, we are used to eating flavourful, spicy foods. So it is only natural for us to want to start feeding our babies delicious Indian food.
What we need to keep in mind that babies have a super sensitive and delicate tummy. Hence, you should start with bland food and then add a bit of spice once they get used to it. Follow the 3-day rule when introducing the bland solid foods to your baby. The 3-day rule is when you introduce a new food one day and then wait 3 days before introducing another food. Note down the foods that they don’t have any allergic reaction to. You can then mix two previously tested foods together and offer it. You could even start adding sugar or salt for some taste.
Introducing flavoursome foods
If you started introducing bland baby food at 6 months, it is best to wait till the 7th month before you start adding spices. You should follow the same 3-day rule with spices as well - add only one new spice every 3 days and keep an eye out for allergies. Let’s say you have already introduced your baby to carrots and know for sure that they are not allergic to it. You can then add a pinch of jeera powder to the pureed carrots and see if your baby likes it.
In a similar way, you can introduce other spices to your baby and keep a track of anything they are allergic to. You can then start mixing it up the way you did with solid foods. By the time they are 9-12 months old, you should be able to give them the kind of foods you eat - paranthas, curries, dosas and flavoured rice.