Starting your baby on solids is a new and fun chapter!
As your little one approaches 6 months of age, they will need additional nutrients from solids apart from breastmilk or formula to support healthy growth and development. Eating across the main categories of food allows your child to obtain nourishment from different food sources to aid in meeting his nutritional needs at various stages.
Parents can encourage healthy eating habits by offering a wide variety of food cooked with different methods and styles. Use fresh natural spices and seasonings to create new flavours. After all, eating is an experiential journey, which allows babies to discover new tastes, textures, smells and sights. Food can be served as purees or suitable sizes for child to handle. Feeding can be done via traditional weaning (spoon-feeding) or Baby Led Weaning. Adult supervision is encouraged during meal times.
Prior to starting on solids, ensure that your baby is ready by looking out for these developmental signs:
- Able to sit unsupported
- Shows interest in eating e.g. grabbing food, salivates when he sees food
- Has lost the tongue protrusion (thrust reflex) where food is automatically pushed out from his mouth
- Is willing to chew
- Develops ‘pincer grasp’ and picking objects or food up between his thumb and forefinger
As baby’s digestive system are still developing, it is important to ensure that food is thoroughly cooked. Raw food should not be served to babies as they pose a risk for bacterial contamination.