Breast milk or, failing that, artificial milk, is the most important food in the baby’s diet, at least during the first months.
After this period, you will need to introduce solid foods into your child’s menus. As parents, you need to be well informed so that the transition is as smooth as possible.
Generally, when babies are twice as big as at birth, that is to say around 7 kilos, at around 4 months, they are prepared to discover their first solid foods.
Solid foods: a novelty for babies
The first recommendation to start giving solid foods to your baby is to start gradually. Quite often when we give a spoonful of solid food to a baby, the baby pushes it out of the mouth. And this is completely normal. He is probably not yet able to carry these foods to the back of his mouth to swallow them.
We adults love varied meals. Babies, on the other hand, need to gradually incorporate them into their diet because all the flavors are completely new to them.
Remember that your baby – who has never eaten anything thicker than breast milk or formula – may have some trouble getting used to this action. If you see that the food is very thick for him, try diluting it a little the first few times. Then you can gradually thicken the texture.
Be patient, it takes time to learn
Start with half a spoon and talk to your baby during this process. Tell him positive things like, “Look, do you see how good it looks? ” Your child may not know what to do at first. It can be a bit confusing, wrinkle the nose, plays with food in the mouth, or totally refuse it. Be patient!
When you give her solid food for the first time, you can also give her some breast milk, alternate with a teaspoon of food, and give her some milk again.
Once your baby learns to eat his first solid foods, gradually adding other foods in a complementary fashion may be a good idea. By doing this, he will learn to taste new things and eat everything.
In reality, it’s best to wait five to seven days before introducing a new food, so you can check if your baby is allergic to something.
You can start with cereals
Cereals are a good source of iron and B vitamins for children. They provide them with the calories they need. Eating small amounts of cereal with breast or formula milk in a spoon twice a day will help your baby enter the world of solid foods.
Remember one thing: it is important not to put the cereal in the bottle so that your child does not choke. Also, getting into the habit of putting cereal in the bottle without a pediatrician’s recommendation could make your baby gain weight too quickly.
Continue with vegetables, then fruit
Usually the first solid food to incorporate into the baby’s diet is cereal (only one type of grain). However, there is medical evidence that introducing solid food in a certain order has an advantage for the baby. Despite this, we recommend that you start with cereals and continue with vegetables and fruits.
Babies usually develop their sense of taste more easily with vegetables. Start by offering her a vegetable purée for lunch. Then, you can give it a fruit puree in the morning or at tea time.
Each child follows their own pace of development
Do not force your child to eat if you see him cry or turn his head when you suggest new foods. It is best to continue to exclusively breastfeed or bottle him for a while before trying again.
Starting to eat solid foods is a gradual process. At first, most of the nutrients your baby needs will still be in breast milk or formula.
The most important thing is that during the first years of life, your child gets into the habit of eating everything. Thanks to this, he will have a healthier and more varied diet in the future. Remember to watch him and watch for signs that he has eaten enough or is still hungry.