To start solid food to babies is called weaning.There are lots of myths &
misunderstandings regarding this & it is not uncommon for everyone to give
advise & narrate their experiences. There are no hard & fast rules.Each
child is different & is to be handled on individual basis. We are giving
some basic advice but modifications can be done as per childs needs.
1. EXCLUSIVE BREAST FEEDING UP TO 4 MONTHS OR EVEN 6 MONTHS ADVISABLE Usually
it is advisable to start solids at 4 months of age.
2. Upto 9 month to 1 year milk remains main source of energy & solids are introduced to develop the taste.
3. It is generally preferable to give natural food rather than readymade food. However readymade food can be given on odd occasions when fresh natural food is not available. Same food which is eaten by the family should be given.
4. Breast feeding should be continued as long as possible even up to 2 years. Introduce top up milk feeds after 6 months also. Milk can be given with spoon or bottle. It is preferable to give Tinned milk formula upto 8-9 months and thereafter use ordinary milk which is consumed by the family. NEVER EVER DILUTE THE MILK WITH WATER. It is a misconception that by adding water to the milk it is easily digested.
5. Till 8 to 9 month age child is unable to chew so all food which is to be given has to be in paste/semisolid form.
6. Never forcefeed the child. NEVER COMPARE YOUR CHILD WITH ANOTHERS CHILD OR EVEN WITH HIS/HER SIBLING.
7. Small babies do not read books or what is written on tins. They eat according to their own wish. Even a spoon or two spoon of a meal is enough as taste development is important. Amount of meal taken varies from time to time and each child requirements are different.
8. Introduce one food at a time,let the child develop the taste then add on another one gradually. If child doesnt like the taste of one particular food try it later may be after a week or so.
9. It is preferred to give solid food prior to milk feed. Try to put the child on the same food habits which are prevailing in the family. Normally 3 main meals & 2 snacks in between are given. Each meal & snack can be followed by milkfeed.
10. Start with fruit depending on season such as apple, bananna followed by rice, dal, khichri, custard prepared in ordinary milk, jelly, ice-cream, subji(mashed) prepared at home. After 5 months give wheat products such as suzikheer, dalia, mashed roti, paneer etc. Egg (fully boiled or ommllette) should be given after 8 months only. NEVER GIVE HALF BOILED EGGS.
11. Water can be given after meals. Juices can also be given but they are no substitute for solid food.