When the baby approaches 6 months of age, doubts begin to assail us about how to face this new stage in the feeding of our little ones. For months, milk, whether breast milk or formula, has been the basis of our baby's diet, and we have this under control, but what will happen now? We tell you how to give solid food to children step by step.
To begin with, it is not appropriate to be alarmed, since the first weeks, or even months of complementary feeding, are simply a period of adaptation to the new feeding method, while milk must continue to be the basis of the child's diet.
- First days
Depending on the chosen feeding method, either based on purees or a feeding guided by the baby (Baby Led Weaning), we can choose to offer two or three foods (separating them at least 3 or 4 days from each other in order to detect possible food allergies) of which we usually consume at home.
Milk generally has a sweet aftertaste, so babies they are usually more interested in foods that have a sweet tendencyAs well, vegetables such as carrots, broccoli or sweet potatoes and fruits such as ripe banana or pear will attract them more.
When we cook, for example, both the puree and the carrot piece for our little one, it should not have any added salt, although optionally we can add a teaspoon of olive oil to the puree if we wish.
The normal thing is that the baby does not show too much interest at first and this interest increases as the days go by. In the first place because they are not familiar with the flavors and, secondly, because they distrust when we put the spoon in their mouth. In addition, it is very common that immediately after putting the spoonful of puree in their mouth, spit, it is another stage in learning. On the other hand, it is usually easier, although much more chaotic, for the baby to feed itself, since it will put only what it finds interesting in its mouth.
- The first weeks
After a couple of weeks we must increase the range of flavors to which we expose our baby, increasing the range of vegetables and fruits that we offer towards others less sweet. If we choose a method guided by the baby, we can put any food we want within reach (with the necessary precautions to detect allergies), always cooked or cut so that it can be handled easily. In addition, cereals, pasta and rice can also be incorporated as a source of complex carbohydrates.
- From the second month
After the first month we can incorporate animal protein into our little one's puree, whether it is chicken, turkey or red meat as lean as possible, as well as fish and, if desired, eggs. We must limit ourselves to offering those foods that we consume in the family nucleus. It makes no sense to buy rabbit meat to add to our son's puree if, when he abandons the purees, this meat will not be part of his usual diet, since he will hardly be able to identify its flavor in the puree.
- Before 12 months
After the first months, the baby is ready to accept the vast majority of foods. In the case of purees, now we can combine any of the foods that we have already offered and incorporate a new one until we get a more varied dish. The texture of the purees can be kept fine and creamy, although little by little it can be modified towards a more lumpy one, putting aside the mixer and using a fork to mash the food.
At 12 months the baby's diet can already include any food that adults consume, taking care not to add any salt in its cooking. If you have chosen to feed the child with purees, this is a good time to stop doing it, starting the transition to whole foods that he can manage and chew and encourage him to feed himself, first with his hands and gradually incorporating the cutlery .
Unfortunately, there is no magic recipe or a list of foods that tells us the order in which they should be offered, since, except for a history of allergy in the family, any food is likely to be used from 6 months of age.
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