Your baby is nearing six months and excitement starts to mount as you prepare to introduce solids for the first time. This is often called first-foods (weaning) or complementary feeding, implying that foods complement milk at this stage of the weaning journey, instead of replacing it entirely.
Even though milk alone may not meet your baby’s nutritional needs anymore, it is still an important source of nutrients and minerals essential for healthy growth and this means that you will still offer baby milk when you first start with solid foods.
The best food to start with is one that is culturally acceptable and familiar to the family. Traditionally, this may be a soft porridge like rice porridge or maize porridge, but other options may be single flavours like puréed sweet potato, or butternut, carrots, apples, pears, pawpaw, or peaches.
Regardless of the food you choose, prepare it with breast milk (or formula) to help your baby recognise a flavour that they have been used to for the past 6 months. Offer this food for three days before moving on to another food or changing the flavour in the food. For example, if your baby likes pumpkin, mix with pureed apple or a sprinkle of cinnamon next time as you can mix foods together from early on. It is good practice to continually offer baby’s tastebuds new flavours and taste dimensions as you progress on your solids journey.
There is no evidence that babies will not like veggies if they have already had naturally sweeter fruit. It is also suggested that you try a food that is not an allergen for now, avoiding for example a wheat-based cereal (gluten), yoghurt (cow’s milk) or egg at first.
For a convenient way to get your baby to try its first foods, why not try Squish 100% fruit and veg purees?
Squish offers a range of 100% fruit and veg purees and pressed 100% fruit and veg juices. The convenient pouches are well-loved amongst mommies and are perfect for babies from the first introduction of solids, right through the weaning process – from babies to toddlers and beyond.
Squish 100% fruit and veg puree and juice flavours give parents a broader range of taste options for even the fussiest of eaters, right from the first introduction of solids through to a full meal, or tasty snack.
Time to stock up on baby-friendly spoons, bowls, and bibs. Think about where you want to feed your baby. Choose an appropriate feeding space, one that will help promote sensory stimulation and the social aspect of mealtimes. Remember, meals do not need to be limited to the feeding chair and you can feed your baby on the lap. Meals also do not need to be limited to the kitchen or dining room. When age appropriate, sit on the floor with a blanket or outside under the trees on a warm day. Regardless, it is important to ensure however that your baby is always well supported and sitting upright when being fed.
Invest in different sized bowls with fun colours (silicon cups work great) and a fun mini cooler bag for when you’re out and about.
Squish 100% fruit and purees and pressed juices offer convenient meal solutions whether at home, on the go, right from the start of the weaning journey. And because Squish purees are free from preservatives, flavourants, colourants, you can rest assured you are offering your baby a meal that is pretty much the same as making it yourself.
It’s go time which means it’s time to choose the right time of day, ideally when both you and your baby are calm, relaxed, and not in a rush. This may be the weekend for working parents, or a weekday for stay-at-home moms. You may also want to include other family members for this memorable milestone.
The best time of the day to start offering solids to your baby is when your baby is most alert and awake, and in a happy mood. This may be after waking from a midmorning nap and between milk feeds so that your baby is not too tired, too hungry, or too full.
During the beginning stages, do not worry too much about the formality of mealtimes as we know it, like offering cereal for breakfast at 8am or a vegetable with lunch at 1pm. Follow your baby’s lead and enjoy these special first moments watching your baby’s taste buds get excited about solid food. You can then start to add other tastes and eventually other textures when your baby is ready, and Squish 100% fruit and veg purees offer a meal solution for every occasion.