Another month, another milestone. Is your little one 4 to 6 months old and sitting up well without support? Are you ready to start introducing solids into baby’s diet? What an exciting step! Here are just a few tips to help you in your fruit and veggies journey.
One at a time
Choose whether you would like to start introducing fruit or veggies into baby’s diet first. It doesn’t really matter which, just pick one at a time. That way, baby’s taste buds and digestive system have the time to adjust and you’ll learn what your little one likes and dislikes.
Summer is a great time for fruits, as a lot of them are in season. Try mashed apples, pears, melons, peaches and prunes for example. Just make sure to remove skin and seeds before feeding them to your little one. Once baby’s tummy is happy with these local varieties, you could try something a little more exotic like mango or kiwi.
The upside of starting with fruit is that you can feed baby a little bit of (diluted and sieved) fruit juice first, rather than directly skipping to mashes. Do make sure you choose fresh fruits, as canned varieties and bottled juices contain way too much added sugar.
Start baby off on veggies that are easy to digest– cauliflower, carrots, zucchini, squash and tomato are great for summer. Fresh, here too, trumps canned, as the latter contains a lot of added salt which is bad for baby’s kidneys.
To prepare baby’s food, wash your vegetable(s) of choice thoroughly, slice into large chunks and cook them in just a little bit of water– or steam them. That way, you’ll preserve plenty of vitamins that will help keep your littlest one happy and healthy.
Plan your first solid baby meals at noon, so baby has plenty of time to digest the food. Start off with just a few spoons before topping off with milk or formula, and gradually increase portion sizes up to 150 grams (5 ounces). Babies won’t eat full vegetable or fruit meals (200-300 grams or 7-10.5 ounces) until they’re 12 months old. Just play it by ear and see how eager your little one is to finish off their plate.
Don’t forget to keep plenty of bibs on hand, as most of baby’s first meals will probably end up on their clothes and the floor, rather than in their mouths. Finish up with some relaxing cuddle time. Cute little Max could use a hug!