As the baby makes transition from milk to baby food and then to table food, her chewing and swallowing skills improve. During this phase, the baby encounters different textures of food .
Every baby is unique and henceforth reacts differently for different food and their texture. Even their readiness towards solid food varies.So,it’s essential for parents to understand their baby likes and dislikes and be gradual in approach.
The basic objective for parents should be to start the solid food in the form of puree.As baby learns to handle it ,gradually decrease the consistency and increase the food texture.
Initially puree form of food is introduced to the infants. During, initial first 6 months of infancy, mother’s milk or formula milk is the basic food for the babies. But as baby grows, they need a healthy and balanced diet for their development.So, there is a need to introduce solid food.
Hence solid foods in the form of very thin puree are introduced so that they are able to easily digest the same. During this period, dilute infant cereals or puree food in watery consistency to create baby food .
Depending upon the nature of the food, one can use water, mother’s milk, formula milk, cow’s milk, yogurt, vegetable broth or apple juice for thinning baby food. One should always try to develop healthy eating habits and hence should encourage the baby to self feed and should never feed thin puree food through feeding bottles.
Slowly, the consistency of the puree is thickened by adding lesser amount of water or milk to the baby food. Mashed boiled potatoes, or fruits or vegetables, hung curd, are few other options of baby food besides cereals.
Wheat germ, whole wheat cereals, cottage cheeses, egg yolks, yogurts can be used as thicker for baby foods. During this period, parents must try and introduce maximum number of fruits and vegetables in their infants diet .Instead of boiling, one should either micro wave or steam the fruits and vegetable in order to retain its nutrients and vitamins.
To develop taste for crunchy and chewy foods, parents must peel and finely chop the raw fruits or vegetables. The size of these food items should be age appropriate and as per their kids taste preference. Even during this period, care must be taken to prevent choking hazards. Should never leave them unattended.
Some of the important points taken into consideration will help the parents and kids journey from baby food to table food a healthy and happy experience.
* Should never force feed the kids
* Should discard the unfinished food
* Ensure balanced diet of proteins,carbohydrates ,fat,nutrients and vitamins
* Never serve honey to infants less than 1year
* Foods should not be spicy or over salty or over sweet
* Introduce only one new food per day
* Don’t limit child’s fat intake for initial years of development. It’s necessary for their growth and development.