Introducing solid foods to baby
HOWdo you go about introducing solid food?
It’s a good idea to start introducing solid food between breast or bottle feeds.
About 20 minutes after your morning milk feed is a great time because you and your baby are both relaxed and happy.
Remember when you introduce solid foods that it shouldn’t be as a first meal; instead it’s about first tastes. Start with one teaspoon once a day.
Your baby may not eat all of it at first as they adjust. Let them take their time and have their stomach get used to the food. Slowly, over the following weeks, increase to two and then tree teaspoons.
Things will go slowly and messily to begin with as your baby learns how to eat.
You should get used to the idea of having a messy dining experience for a while. Have bibs and wet cloths ready!
What foods should you introduce?
Parents often also ask about what foods to introduce.
It’s a good idea to start with iron-rich food such as baby rice cereal mixed with boiled water, formula or breast milk.
Make sure over the early weeks to provide a variety of cooked and pureed food to help your baby develop a taste for a wide range of food including meat, poultry and vegetables.
Then move onto cooked or pureed fruits such as apple, ripe banana or avocado.
It may take eight or 10 attempts to have your baby try a new food, so don’t give up.
If they refuse a certain food, take a break for a bit and reintroduce it a couple of weeks later.
Are there any foods I should avoid?
Foods to avoid include honey and cow’s milk, as your baby won’t be able to handle them until they’re older.
Honey can cause a rare but fatal disease, while your baby’s kidneys are not ready for cow’s milk yet.
Also avoid adding salt, sugar, margarine or butter. Let them enjoy the natural taste of food.
If you have questions about your child’s transition to solid foods or any other concern with your baby or toddler’s development, come and visit aWide Bay Hospital and Health Service child health centre at (Margaret Rose Centre, 312 Bourbong St, Bundaberg/ The Village 34 Torquay Rd, Hervey Bay / Bauer-Wiles Building 167 Neptune St, Maryborough).
Alternatively, call your local WBHHS child health team on: Bundaberg – 4150 2700 Fraser Coast – 4122 8733 Childers – 4192 1133 Gin Gin – 4157 2222 Gayndah – 4161 3571 Mundubbera – 4165 5222 Monto – 4166 9300 Biggenden – 41276400 Eidsvold – 41657100 Even if you just want to have a chat and are seeking a bit of reassurance, the WBHHS child health team is here to help.
NEXTWEEK: What to do when your toddler has trouble making friends. References: www.health.qld.gov.au /smalltalk