Introducing first foods into your little one’s world is exciting for all of you. Watching their little faces when they take the first spoonful and then smoosh it all over you, is just one of those moments you will never forget.
First foods for babies are often overthought and in reality all you need to do is keep it simple. They will not be giving you scores out of ten for making the tastiest food so take the pressure of yourself.
Around the age of 6 months is the recommended time to introduce the first foods to babies as their digestive system is more mature at this point. They also have more head control and can sit supported in a high chair, which will make life a whole lot easier.
So you might be asking yourself ‘What exactly are first foods and how am I going to feed them?’
Cereals and rice
When you are starting out with first foods it’s important to try one at a time and in small amounts so not to overload their digestive system.
One piece of advice I would give you is to prepare food ahead and use ice cube trays to freeze food. You can place the frozen cubes in containers in the freezer and mix as needed.
First Foods to try initially are things like:
Kumara (Sweet potato)
Once you have cooked the food either by steaming, roasting or boiling then you will need to blend the food into a smooth consistency.
At this point in your babies life they will need some added iron as their stores will be depleting. Baby rice cereal is a great way to add this into the diet and it can be mixed easily into the mashed up food.
You may choose to spoon-feed your baby or an alternative is to let your baby fed themselves by baby led feeding. I have tried both personally and I have found it to be beneficial to do a mixture of the two.
If you start by spoon feeding your baby, you can gauge how much food they are consuming, once you are happy that they have some in their tummy then it is nice to let them try feeding themselves with food that they can hold and feel. This is an important stage of learning about food and different textures.
Baby Led Feeding
Try cutting some larger slices of the foods mentioned above, big enough so that your baby will be able to hold it. You can prepare this as you need it or store some in the fridge.
Babies love to make a mess and it is a big part about learning about foods, textures and flavours. Investing in a wipeable floor mat and some wipeable bibs is a must.
Enjoy this special time watching your little one discover new foods and flavours, keep it simple and try them with various foods over the next few months.
Read more informative pregnancy, birth and baby articles at Maternity Mum Blog