When to Start Solid Foods
Your baby may be showing interest in the food that you’re eating. American Academy of Pediatrics recommends breastfeeding exclusively from new born to 6 months old, and start to be introduced foods other than milk when baby is about 6 months old. Every child is different, how do we know if my baby is ready to start solid foods?
Here’s the tips you can look for the signs that your child is developmentally ready:
- Your baby can sit upright with little or no support.
- Your baby can crawl with tummy off the ground
- Your baby has good head control
- Your baby opens his or her mouth and leans towards food that you offer
- Your baby uses jaw to mash food
How to Introduce Solid Foods?
Let your child try one food at a time at first at least 3-5 days before offering new food. This helps to monitor if your child has any allergy reaction with that food. Starts with rice porridge, follow by fruits and vegetables and lastly, chicken, eggs, cheese and etc.
Other that allergy reaction to foods, other main concern to be aware of are potential choking hazards. It is important to feed your child with the right texture for his or her development. Starts with mashed, pureed and very smooth watery texture that do not require to chew. It takes time for child to adjust to new food texture, they may cough, gag and spit up. As baby’s oral skills develop, thicker and lumpier foods can be introduced.
Prevent Choking Hazards
You can help to prevent your child from choking by having your child to:
- Sit up while eating (No lying)
- Sit in a high chair and safe place
- Offer food in ways that are appropriate for your child’s development
- Cutting foods in smaller pieces or mashing foods
How Much and How Often to Feed?
From 6 months – 12 months old, breast milk or infant formula is still the main source of nutrients for your child. Solid foods will gradually begin to make up a bigger portion of their diet. It can be difficult to know how much to feed, baby’s belly is small and cannot hold too much food. Here’s tips to keep in mind:
Give 1 to 2. Tablespoons of food, and watch for signs that your baby is still hungry or full.
Gradually increase the portion and become a bigger part of baby’s diet.
Offer something to eat or drink every 2 to 3 hours or 5-6 times a day. About 3 meals and 2-3 snacks every day.