How to ensure baby’s well-fed
Common every day local foods such as these are a wonderful source of key nutrients for baby.
Red meat (beef, lamb, mutton)
Ikan bilis (anchovies)
Dark leafy green vegetables such as spinach, kangkung, bittergourd, fern shoots Whole grains
Dairy products (milk, cheese, yogurt)
VITAMIN A Eggs Dairy products
Deep orange and yellow fruit and vegetables such as carrots, pumpkin, mangoes, papaya, etc
VITAMIN D Eggs
Dairy products Sardines
Cod fish Salmon
Red meat, poultry and fish Beans
LIMIT ONE FOOD AT A TIME IN THE BEGINNING
When you’re starting to wean baby, start with a new food one at a time. This will help ease baby to get used to tasting something new, but more importantly, it allows you to detect potential foods that your baby may be allergic to. For example, start off with
START WITH SMALL SERVINGS
In the beginning, just start with a small serving. Start with two to three teaspoons.
As baby gets used to being fed, gradually increase the serving to three to four tablespoons per meal. Don’t get too fixated on forcing baby to finish a standard portion as that’s not a truly realistic expectation.
Regular visits to your doctor to check on your baby’s growth progression is a good indicator on whether baby is getting sufficient nourishment.
The texture of the foods you prepare should be appropriate for the baby at the stage of their physical ability to eat. Start off with smoother purees and strained juices. By about eight months onwards, baby can manage finely chopped foods, ultimately moving to coarser textures. Always note the individual ability and likes of your child. It’s not unusual for some babies to take to texture easier than others.
KEEP IT NATURAL
When cooking baby’s food, there’s no need to add additional salt or soya sauce as it can potentially lead to excess sodium. It’s perfectly fine for baby food to taste bland. Keep it natural. But don’t hold back on using a touch of natural aromatics such as onion, garlic, herbs and spices to add interesting flavourful taste to baby’s meals. The more you expose baby to various flavours, the more they will learn how to expand their tastebuds.
Interact and give your undivided attention to
COOK AND STORE
It makes perfect sense for busy parents to cook more and freeze foods for baby’s weaning. Storing food won’t make it lose its nutrients or cause baby to have indigestion. That’s just an unfounded belief. Store purees of food in ice cube trays so that you can thaw out the portion you need. This is particularly helpful, especially in the early days of weaning when baby will not be eating much. Once you cook the food, allow it to cool and then store it straight away in the freezer.
ALLOW BABY TO SELF FEED WHEN THE TIME COMES
As baby grows into the appropriate age where they have the ability to self feed, by all means go ahead and let them. This is good to enhance their motor skills. Plus, it helps them make the connection with the eating process. Don’t worry about baby making a bit of a mess. It’s natural as they learn to self-feed. I used to spread out newspapers on the floor beneath my daughter’s high chair.
FOOD SAFETY AWARENESS
When handling food, also practise good hygiene to avoid contamination, which can be a potential food poisoning hazard for baby. Avoid contact of cooked food with raw meat or eggs, which harbour bacteria before they are cooked thoroughly.
Another thing to remember is not to keep any leftover of food baby was eating. Keep in mind that saliva on the spoon already has bacteria on it that can rapidly cause food to go bad in due time.
Also, never leave cooked baby food at room temperature for more than two hours as bacteria will start to multiply by then. Always be diligent and store excess food in the refrigerator.