Transitioning from milk and baby food to real solid food can be a huge moment in a toddler’s life. Parents usually start this process of complementary feeding or weaning when the child is almost six months old, slowing introducing them to different food textures and developing their taste buds with a variety of flavors. This is a really crucial step in your child’s development, and there is no reason why process of exploring new dimensions of flavors should not be a fun experience for them.
The reason why doctors recommend parents to keep their infants on breast milk and baby formula until the age of six months is to develop their digestive system fully so that once they switch to solid food, their body is able to absorb its nutrients more efficiently. After their toddlers are almost six months old, their parents can slowly start switching up their diets by slowing incorporating real foods into the baby’s liquid diet. This can be done by either pureeing solid food and mixing it with baby formula or mashing up boiled rice or cereal with some breast milk.
Most parents are intimidated with the idea of introducing their infants to solid food after months of feeding them milk and baby formula, with many not knowing when to start feeding their toddlers real food and how much to give them in a day. Here are some of the signs to look for in your child to know when they’re ready to take their first bite of real food and how parents can make this transition smooth and fun for their little ones.
• When children start showing their curiosity about different foods by trying to pick them up or put them in their mouths.
• They are able to support their heads without wobbling and can sit up on their own without the help of an adult.
• They are able to chew food and swallow it instead of spitting it out or pushing it away.
Now that you know that your baby is ready to take their first step towards eating solid food, here are some of the things that parents can do initiate the process and introduce them to different flavors and textures slowly.
• Make sure to start with soft food such as rice and bananas which can be mashed and mixed with your baby’s normal food. This avoids the risk of vomiting or choking.
• Let your little one take control of their meals by allowing them to touch and pick up their foods. This instills a certain sense of curiosity and interest in your child which helps them enjoy new flavors and textures.
• Be patient with your baby, they may be hesitant to try something new but forcing them to eat solid foods may not be the best way to go about it. Make sure to give them only a few bites per day to enjoy in order not to overwhelm them by a sudden change in their diet.