At 6 months old, you are just about to introduce solids. This can be both exciting and frustrating because babies react to food differently. Sometimes they like it, other times they want to scream their little heads off at the sight of food.
What you need to do is take it slow. Do not do too much at once. You will also notice that sometimes the baby gets curious about food, so try to grab their attention by providing different foods every day. This will help introduce them to different tastes.
Nutrition for a 6-month-old baby will include both solid food as well as breastmilk and formula. Please note that, if you have decided to introduce solids in your baby’s diet, you are advised to continue with the milk because this is their main source of nutrition. This gives him plenty of time to adjust to the new additions.
Is Your Baby Ready For Solid Food?
Not all babies are ready for solid food even if they have hit the 6-month mark. Certain signs will tell you that their digestive and immune systems are strong enough to accept solid food. These signs include the following.
- If your baby can sit well and can hold their head steady without requiring support. This is because they will need to hold a steady position to take in food.
- If your baby has good coordination, can look at food and use their pincer grip to grasp it and put it in their mouth
- If your baby has lost their tongue-thrust reflex. This means that if something unfamiliar is put on your baby’s tongue and they don’t push it out immediately, then they are ready for solids. This reflex is normally present to help prevent your baby from choking and it gradually diminishes by 6 months.
- If your baby is imitating you and showing interest through their body language, e.g. watching you closely as you eat, trying to grab your food and cutlery, or wiggling and fussing whenever you start to eat.
You will need to start very slowly, with some iron-fortified cereal that you can mix with breastmilk or formula. As your baby adjusts slowly to the solid food, introduce strained fruits in addition to the cereal. This should be done week by week. Always wait a few days before trying out the next food so you can be sure the baby has not developed an allergic reaction.
If your baby does not seem to like the new food, give it a rest for a few days and revert to breastmilk or formula. After a few days, you can try again. Babies are fickle little creatures and their tastes keep changing from day to day, so you cannot give up.
The key here is to take it one food at a time so you can monitor reactions to the food such as developing a rash, vomiting, and diarrhea.
Healthy Food Ideas For Your 6 Month Old Baby
You can steam the fruits so they are easy to mash, and then puree them if you are introducing for the first time. Fruits such as avocado, pears, bananas, peaches, and apples are good at this age. They will provide the baby with the required vitamins.
Vegetable purees such as sweet and English potatoes, sweet pumpkins, carrots, French beans, etc, are very good for the baby at this age, and you can steam them lightly so they can be pureed easily.
This is an excellent source of vitamins and carbohydrates for your baby. Broken ice that is made with breast milk or formula is the best porridge for the baby.
In addition, porridge can also be made from various grain cereals such as wheat, barley, millet, oats, etc. These cereals are usually dried and then powdered together or separately to make them good for the baby.
Although this is made from cow’s milk, which is not recommended until the baby turns one, unsweetened yogurt can be given to the baby in moderate amounts as an alternative to the purees.
As a parent to a 6 month old, you must give them the nutrients they require. At this age, the baby is getting hungry more often, and the breastmilk may not be enough. Experiment with different recipes to come up with something your baby will love.