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When to introduce solids

It is recommended that you introduce solid foods around 6 months of age. Around 6 months is when babies need additional nutrition including kilojoules (energy), iron and zinc. Signs your baby is ready for solids include: biting movements; no longer sticking tongue out when food is put in their mouth; still showing hungry signs after a breast or formula feed; reaching out, opening mouth and or putting their hands in their mouth when you eat. Babies will also need to be able to sit up with limited support. Formula or breast milk will however remain the most important food for your baby until they reach 12 months of age.

How to introduce solids

Start by giving 1 – 2 teaspoons two times per day. The amount of solid food accepted by your baby will vary greatly. The first few times you introduce solids, the consistency should be ‘soup like’. The consistency of the food can get thicker and lumpier as tolerated. The amount of food will also increase to a few tablespoons per feed.

Your baby will most likely spit out the food at first until they figure out how to swallow the new texture. Some babies grasp the introduction of solids right away and for others it will take a few weeks.

Solid foods can be introduced in any order, so long as the iron rich foods like infant cereals or pureed meat and poultry dishes are included in these first foods, along with breast milk and formula milk. To prevent botulism, do not feed honey to babies aged under 12 months.

You can mix a small amount of rice cereal with breast milk or formula to a thick consistency. Gradually thicken the texture over time. You may have heard that by adding rice cereal to a baby’s bottle, your baby will sleep longer at night. Research has proven this theory to be false.

Once your baby has tried infant rice cereal or another iron containing food, try a range of cooked and pureed or mashed fruits and vegetables and dairy products such as full fat yoghurt, and cheese.

There is no need to add salt or sugar to your baby’s food. Neither is needed by your baby and baby’s taste buds are very sensitive. Let them enjoy the new flavours they are experiencing.

Do not despair if they spit food out or throw food away as that’s all totally normal. Your baby might not be hungry or they are unsure of the new taste or texture. Keep trying! A food previously rejected is often eaten with delight after the fifth or fiftieth messy offering.
Extra tips to introducing solids

Make extras when preparing fruits and vegetables. Freeze the extra servings of fruits and vegetables in ice cube trays. Once the cubes are frozen, store them in ziplock bags. This is an economical way of always having something fresh and home cooked to offer your baby. This will also mean you don’t need to cook at each meal and that you’ll have easy on-the-go meals ready for your baby.

No child can be forced to eat. Babies are excellent at knowing when they have had enough. Therefore, watch your baby’s facial expression and body language when feeding. Your baby will tell you when they have had enough.

Children’s appetites change, mostly in response to how much they’re growing. This means that some days they will eat a lot, and other days not so much.

At 6 monthsmaggior parte dei bambini sono grandi abbastanza per sedersi comodamente in un seggiolone per i pasti. Una volta nel seggiolone il bambino sarà libero di esplorare i loro pasti. Si consiglia vivamente che si sta mangiando anche i pasti e spuntini con il vostro bambino.

Bavaglini, stuoie di plastica, pavimenti in vinile, rondelle viso, e asciugamani di carta sono tutti grandi cose da avere a portata di mano per i prossimi due anni! Mangiare dovrebbe essere esplorativo, disordinato e senza stress possibile.

Cosa bere

Le uniche bevande vostre esigenze del bambino sono materno o una formula di latte. Evitare che offre il succo, cordiale o bibite, come queste bevande possono danneggiare i denti in crescita e causare un bambino di guadagnare troppo peso. Da circa 6 mesi, piccole quantità di acqua bollita raffreddata può essere somministrato in aggiunta al latte materno o artificiale.