Natural breast milk or good quality breast milk formula is adequate nourishment for your baby till about four to six months of age. Beyond this however, it is important to slowly introduce solid foods to their diet in order to ensure they continue to get what their bodies need.
What you feed your child in their early formative years may well impact their adult physical health. The child’s diet during infancy hence is crucial.
What to Feed Them and When
If you break your baby’s age into the various developmental stages, it is simpler to decipher what is needed and should be fed when. We have broken up stages of physical development below and have provided you with information on what food types would work best therein.
Four to Six Months
This is the very start of your baby’s introduction to food other than breast milk or formula. At this stage it is recommended to take things extremely slowly. Between four and six months, your best bet is to feed your child single grain cereals. This is most important as it is around this time that your baby requires minerals like iron which single grain cereals are able to provide. They are also very easy on the stomach.
Six to Eight Months
Here’s when feeding your child starts becoming fun. You may begin at this stage by introducing pureed or boiled and mashed vegetables as well as fruit. You can also offer your baby food types like yoghurt as well as bottled fruit and vegetables (for babies/from the baby section). Pureeing and mashing however are needed at this stage.
Last but not least, here is where you may start introducing protein in small quantities. This could include boiled chicken or even tofu.
Eight to Ten Months
You may continue with a lot of the food items mentioned above here with a few additions. Further, it is at this stage when you can move away from the pureeing and mashing business and offer your child regularly cooked vegetables and fresh fruit.
You may even introduce things like baby snacks (crackers for instance), tiny quantities of dairy such as pasteurized cheese. Babies may even be offered poultry at this stage. However, do consult with your doctor before you do so as there are some who hold the opinion that egg whites should not be given to babies till the age of one.
Ten to Twelve Months
Between ten to twelve months of age you can ease up a little on the precaution when it comes to dairy, poultry, fruits, vegetables and certain simply cooked meats. At the same time, it helps to identify if your child is allergic to anything and to avoid foods that might trigger allergies altogether. Another food item you might have to hold up on is honey as certain studies suggest it could be detrimental to your baby’s health.
There you have it! A step by step guide for all the food an infant needs for growth and development. It also helps to supplement with formula milk for babies and best baby formula for newborns when they are older. These are great ways to supplement nutrition that your babies gain from the food you give them.
In short; take it step by step, take it slow, experiment with the options above and in no time, that little infant will be up, about and eating like a healthy child should!