Which Solids to Introduce in the First Year
Introduction of fruits, vegetables, rice, cereals and juices
As the items below are added, do not stop or reduce the ones already started. The object is to foster more tastes and increase the quantity of food to the amount accepted.
Mashed fruits are a good first weaning food. They are easy to digest and palatable to the baby.
Vegetables can be added to the baby's diet a week or so after introducing fruits. Vegetables should first be boiled, then mashed in a blender, and then strained. (It is important to strain the vegetables until the baby is about 7 months old. After the baby is 7 months, straining is not required because vegetable fiber is very nutritious and contains certain useful toxins). Begin with a couple of spoons and then gradually increase the quantity every succeeding week to the limit accepted by the baby. Dark green leafy vegetables, carrots and pumpkin are very healthy.
There is no need to add salt to the
vegetables, since there is enough sodium in the vegetables. The baby's
system is not ready to handle too much salt in the first few months of
life. Ghee, butter or cooking oil can also be added for flavor as
well as for calories. Vegetables like spinach are high in iron.
In order to improve the absorption of iron into the baby's system, you
need to give vitamin C. Vegetables like tomato and cauliflower contain
vitamin C and therefore can be a good complement to spinach. Multivitamin
drops also contain vitamin C and can be given once a day, right after a
This can be added to the baby's diet
a week after starting mashed vegetables. One to two teaspoons should
be given twice a day, between two feeds around 8 am and 7 pm. Keep
increasing every 3-4 days to the amount accepted by the baby. Home-made
preparations are preferred to ready-made cereals. There are several
ways of offering home-made porridge: suji kheer (rava kheer), thin seera
with ghee, dalia from broken wheat, ragi (or nachni), soaked bread in milk,
mashed boiled rice with milk, phirni, etc.
Mashed and well-cooked khichri or dal and rice
Introduce khichri to the baby's diet
after a couple of weeks. You can add half a teaspoon of ghee, butter
or cooking oil to the final preparation. Initially, you should put
the cooked khichri in a blender so that it is easy for the baby to swallow.
Then you can gradually increase the consistency to a semi-solid state so
that the child's palate starts getting used to regular foods. You
can also add vegetables like carrots or spinach to the khichri.
When the child is about 6 months
old, curds can be introduced in the child's diet. Start with about
2 teaspoons and then gradually increase. Avoid adding sugar or other sweeteners
to the curds.
Soft boiled egg
Egg can be added to the baby's diet
when the child is about 6-7 months. The egg should be boiled in water
for three minutes, and then cooled in running water. First begin
with one teaspoon of the yolk (yellow portion), and then gradually introduce
the white portion of the egg. The white is very high in proteins,
but can also cause allergic reactions in some babies.
Juices made of fruits high in vitamin
C, like orange and pineapple, can be added at around 7 months. The
reason for not adding them earlier is that they often do not suit very
After the eighth month, as the baby
takes less of your milk, she needs to start getting external milk.
Either cow's milk or buffalo's milk can be given. Do not dilute the
milk with water. If the milk contains too much fat, remove the cream.
External milk does not suit many babies initially. They either get
diarrhoea or start vomiting. They may also develop allergies like eczema
(if there is a strong family history of allergies). Breastfeeding
should be continued at least until 1 year.
Gradually introduce chapati in the
child's diet. One can do so either by adding one chapati in the blender
with the child's vegetables, or by soaking it in dal.
Fish, minced meat
In the case of non-vegetarians, these
foods can also be introduced, in the soup form initially. It can
later be steamed, minced and offered to the child.
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