Whether you are breastfeeding or not, you should introduce solid foods at about six months. You will start with cereals, fruits and vegetables in the hope that your baby will enjoy discovering these new foods!
The first solid food for babies is rice or barley, followed by oat, soya or wheat cereals. Mixed cereals can be introduced when all the individual cereals have been tried first, making it easier to see if certain foods are problematic for your child.
Cereals are high in iron and vitamin B complex.
Fruits and vegetables
Even if it is said that it’s easier to love vegetables if they are introduced before fruits, some still recommend starting with fruits first. Every specialist has his opinion on the matter and will preach accordingly There are no advantages to either one expect that the more variety of fruits and vegetables offered to your child, the more essential nutrients he will receive. It is better to introduce each fruit and vegetable purees separately before starting to mix them together to identify any foods that can cause problems to your child.
High in vitamins and minerals, fruits and vegetables prevent constipation and regulate the baby’s bowel movement.
- Coloured vegetables like carrots are sweeter than green ones, so it is recommended to introduce green vegetables before.
- Beets, turnip, spinach, cabbage and broccoli are high in nitrates and are harder to digest. Wait until the baby is 9 months old before introducing these foods.
- Be careful with citrus foods since they are very acid. Wait until the baby is one or even two years old before introducing these foods.
- Because of manipulation, home-made and frozen veggies have a 20% lower vitamin content compared to fresh produce, and yet, we don’t give these to our babies right away!
- Canned veggies go through a process that resembles pasteurization, which means that the vegetables are boiled and then lose 40% of their vitamin content. Remember that the amount of sodium in these products is also very high and should be kept away from babies. This is why it is better to give fresh produce and frozen vegetables to your baby and only have canned vegetables for emergency situations.
- Even if it tastes better to adults, never add salt or sugar to fruits and vegetables. Not only is it bad for their bodies, but it stops the child from discovering the real taste of food.
- Fruit juices are introduced only after having discovered solid foods; about a month after. Don’t forget that juices contain a lot of sugar (even natural juices) and should not replace breast milk or formula. Don’t give more than a cup a day (250 ml) and always dilute it until the child is a year old.