Get recommended tips from the experts on ways to prepare for and feed your child solids.
WORDS JOANNA ONG
Method of preparation
Meave Graham, paediatric registered dietitian, Child Nutrition Singapore recommends that vegetables should be well-cooked and then mashed or pureed (pushed through a sieve or use a blender). Fruits can be mashed or pureed and thinned with water or baby's usual milk to achieve the required consistency. It will be necessary to cook harder fruits first e.g. apple, pear. Prolonged use of purees is not recommended. Aim to move to lumpier foods by eight to 10 months.
As a guideline of the timeline, parents can also start with thin purees at six months
and from there advance to thick purees, meltable hard solids, soft cubes, single textured soft mechanical,
mixed textured soft mechanical and finally hard mechanical foods,
Dr Rajeev Ramachandran, consultant, Division of General Ambulatory Paediatrics and Adolescent Medicine,
National University Hospital suggests.
By 12 months most babies can eat most foods (diced and soft) that are prepared for family meals.
Dr Christelle Tan, specialist in Paediatric Medicine, Raffles Specialist @ Raffles Holland Village also gives some pointers:
Method of feeding
According to Dr Tan, there are two methods of feeding your child – spoon feeding and baby-led weaning. Each method has its pros and cons and parents can try a mix of methods to see how it fits their child. Spoon feeding allows a controlled variety of food to be given and the volume of feeds to be monitored easily. This is usually done with pureed foods. However, this may require a considerable amount of time.
Baby-led weaning involves presenting small soft finger foods to babies and encouraging them to explore the food before feeding themselves. This allows babies to play with their food and stimulates their fine motor skills in picking up the food pieces and oral motor skills by allowing sucking, licking and biting. However, it can be messy and require effort to clean up thereafter and the amount consumed is difficult to quantify as there may be quite a bit of wastage.