For new parents it’s hard too know when to start feeding solids to a baby, and what to give them. We have a guide below which explains when you should give your baby food and what type of food to give them and some tasty recipes. Homemade baby foods can help you provide low-cost, nutritious foods for your baby. Commercial baby foods are convenient and safe, but they often contain more water, starch, and sugar than homemade food.
Starting a baby on solid food
The following is a guide to when to start using baby food in your baby’s diet
4-6 months Cereals
7 months Vegetables
8 months Fruits
10 months Meats
10 months Egg Yolks
10-12 months Cheese & ogurt
Most babies do not need solid foods until they are about 4 to 6 months of age. Before that age most babies have not learned to swallow solid foods. Baby’s first foods need to be soft. Some pediatricians recommend iron-fortified infant rice cereal mixed with breast milk or formula as a first solid food because rice is less likely than other grains to cause allergic reactions. Foods can be softened or mashed to the correct consistency. Sometimes just mashing with a fork is sufficient. If you are using foods fixed for a family meal, take out baby’s portion before adding seasonings (like salt etc.) and spices. Begin with single foods in case allergies are present. Later try combinations of fruits, vegetables, or vegetables and meats.
Baby food safety is even more important than adult food safety, because they are more vulnerable to germs and harmful bacteria. You should always wash your hands and utensils, blenders etc before starting to prepare baby food. Never let cooked food come into contact with raw food and always wash cutting boards and surface incontact with the food. Refrigerate , freeze or use the baby food as soon as it is ready. Never refreeze thawed foods and discard all unfinished meals.
Don’t use nuts, raisins, popcorn, raw vegetables, unpeeled fruits, or peanut butter for children under the age of 2. Always check the labels on any processed food that you use, check for any unwanted additives – sodium, salt etc.
Storing Baby Food
For convenience make batchs of food at a time and freeze or refrigerate them. Use cooked vegetables or fruit within three days. Raw fruit and meats should be used the next day.
Most health and child care professionals recommend against using a microwave oven to warm baby food. Microwaves can heat a food unevenly and form hot spots, always stir the food well before feeding your baby.
Simple Baby Recipes
Fruit & yogurt
(10 months and older)
1/4 cup plain yogurt
1/4 cup cooked, unsweetened fruit
Combine, mashing lumps of fruit, if necessary.