My daughter is turning six months next month and I'm eager to start her on solids but I have no idea how to begin. How would I know what's safe for her and which foods I should be choosing for her? I've also heard that babies can sometimes be picky. How do I avoid that?
Usually, around this time, your baby will show signs of readiness to try new food tastes and textures outside of milk. Having said that, parents must be mindful that babies have natural likes and dislikes to food. Parents should always adopt a flexible approach, ready to try and abandon attempts at offering a variety of new foods to their babies. At the first sign of liking new foods, parents should move on to let their baby try something different.
To ensure a balanced diet and meet nutritional needs, parents can consider starting their baby off with baby rice cereal mixed with expressed breast milk or baby’s formula. Slowly progress to adding soft mashed pasta, porridge or pasta. To reap the benefits of vegetables, add mashed or finely chopped cooked vegetables like carrot, potato, sweet potato, pumpkin, broccoli or spinach, to the mix. Finely minced and soft cooked meat, bean curd or mashed fish are great sources of protein. Finally, soft ripe fruits such as banana, apple, papaya, avocado, and pears make healthy desserts to end any meal.
Exposing your baby early on to a wide range of fresh and natural food is the best way to avoid them from being picky eaters. This “programming” is most effective from four to 18 months when babies are willing to accept most foods. Research shows that repeated exposure to new foods is key to familiarising your baby to this wide range of new foods. Don’t be surprised if you have to try, sometimes even more than 10 times over before your baby is willing to try something new. Finally, parents must note that they themselves have to play their part as role models, as they have an inordinate amount of influence over their baby. When feeding your baby, it is important to act positively and avoid any negative body language such as disgust or disinterest.
Questioned answered by:
Wong Boh Boi
Senior ParentCraft Educator