In one of our previous post “Introducing Solid Foods to Babies,” we learned about the right time to start solid food to babies. All the essential nutrients are the key aspects of a growing baby. What babies eat during the early period reflects their overall health, weight, and immune system. When introducing solid food to babies, do not try to replace solid food with breast milk or formula. Breast milk is considered the best nutritional food for babies. Doctors strongly recommend exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life and continue at least until 12 months. Breastfeeding protects the baby against any infections. It is full of nutrients that help the baby develop his body and mind.
The very first foods to include in your babies diet should be easy to digest and of course, it should be with flavors. Traditionally rice and lentils are introduced to babies first. Slowly vegetables and fruits should be fed. Some people prefer to introduce vegetables before fruits in order to develop a savory taste in kids. Vegetables like carrot, potato, sweet potato, pumpkin, and butternut squash are introduced to babies when starting solids. Fruits like apple, pear, banana, and papaya are easy to digest and as they taste sweet babies tend to like it. The fruits should be fresh and ripe enough and should taste good. Banana and papaya do not require cooking as they tend to be soft when properly ripe. They can be pureed with little breast milk or formula milk.
Don’t rush with heavy dinner meals to your baby. Instead, try feeding them solids during the day. As you are making your baby’s first solid meal, the rice cereal, fruit or vegetable puree should be very soft and should be of liquid consistency. You can adjust the consistency by adding breast milk or formula, or boiled water. Once the baby learns to swallow solid food, you can gradually start to reduce the amount of liquid you are adding to the purees. Initially, don’t expect your baby to take more than 1-2 teaspoons of his baby food. Once the baby’s taste buds develop, the baby’s food intake will increase. One more thing to keep in mind is that you are helping your baby learn the flavors, textures, eating, and to swallow, and all of these will take some time. Here are some fresh and homemade baby’s first food recipes for you to try for your cute little one.
Choose one of the sweet varieties of apple. Peel, core, and chop one apple. Put the chopped apple into a heavy saucepan with 5 tablespoons water. Cover and let it cook on low heat until tender. Once done, puree it in a blender.
Papaya is one of the fruits that do not need any cooking as it is very soft in texture. Cut few pieces of very ripe papaya and puree it in a blender. If needed, add little breast milk or formula to adjust the consistency.
Choose a fresh and ripe pear. Peel, core and cut one pear into small pieces. Put the chopped pear into a saucepan and cook with little water on low heat until soft. Once it’s done, puree it in a blender. After the first few weeks, you can safely puree ripe pear without cooking. Apple and pear can be combined together to make a puree.
Carrot / Sweet Potato/ Parsnip Puree
Peel and chop a carrot, sweet potato or small sized parsnip. Put the chopped pieces of these vegetables in a saucepan with some water. Cover and cook until very soft. Puree to a smooth consistency in a blender.
Avocado with Banana
Take some avocado flesh and blend it with mashed banana until smooth and creamy. Papaya can also be added instead of banana. As avocado has the tendency to turn brown, this should be eaten soon after it is made.
Initially, start with a single fruit or vegetable, and once the baby starts knowing the flavors and textures, you can combine a couple of fruits or vegetables together. Try adding rice cereals with vegetables and fruits and make purees to make it more nutritious.