Encourage your child to explore
Expect mealtimes to be messy. Let your baby pick up food with his or her hands. Make him wear a baby bib to protect his or her clothes and prepare a rug for easy clean-ups.
Introduce your child to utensils
Handing your baby a spoon while eating can encourage him or her to learn eating by him/herself.
Start introducing baby cups for sips of water
You can also start encouraging the baby to sip his or her milk from a cup. This will be a good practice to wean the baby from feeding bottles and learning to drink from a cup on their own.
Puree your baby’s first meal to avoid choking hazards
Your baby is accustomed to milk and will just swallow anything you put in his or her mouth like he/she does when drinking milk. Your baby may not have teeth yet and does not know how to chew the food. Mashing bits of fruits and vegetables will allow your baby to swallow easily. You can gradually add texture and chopped finger foods as your baby gets older.
Start with little servings of food
It’s normal to boil and mash too much baby food that your baby will not finish. One way to store baby food is to put it in clean jars or containers. Do not feed your baby directly from the jar of homemade or store-bought baby food. Saliva on the spoon can quickly spoil left-overs; serve the baby food in a small bowl or plate instead.
Avoid power struggles. Do not force your baby to eat
When your baby turns away or spits food, it’s a sign that he or she has had enough. Do not force your baby and try again the next day. Daily exposure to food may help encourage him or her to eat more eventually.
Age-appropriate solid foods to include in your baby food recipes
The following are foods that are safe for your baby, depending on his or her age, that you can include in your baby food recipes:
Baby food recipes for 6-month-old
- Cooked and ground, single-grained cereal for baby mixed with breastmilk or formula milk
- Well-cooked and pureed vegetables
- Well-cooked and pureed meat, poultry and beans
- Mashed banana or avocado
Baby food recipes for 9-month-old
- Different kinds of vegetables, cut into small pieces. Avoid large, hard vegetables that can be a choking hazard.
- Well-cooked and finely-chopped meat poultry and beans.
- Sliced and quartered pieces of soft fruits like bananas and papayas.
- Small pieces of cheese, pasta, dry cereals, and baby crackers.
Baby food recipes for 1-year-old
- Small, bite-size pieces of cooked vegetables
- Well-cooked, soft and shredded meat, poultry and fish
- Bite-size pieces of easy to chew fruits.
- Small portions of food serve for the rest of the family.
Foods you can’t serve
Parents are advised to delay the introduction of potentially allergenic foods namely:
- Peanuts or tree nuts
- Fish or shellfish
- Cow milk products
- Juice (do not serve until the age of 1)
There are certain foods that are not appropriate for babies, which include:
- Cow’s milk. It is not a good source of iron and can sometimes lead to iron deficiency. It doesn’t meet the baby’s nutritional needs.
- Honey. Might contain harmful spores that could cause botulism, a serious illness.
- Large chunks of food. As much as possible, avoid offering large chunks of food that is hard to chew because it could potentially cause choking.
The half year milestone of your child is a great time to encourage learning and exploration. This is the time to teach your baby that there are other types or ways to eat and enjoy your food together as a family.
Seeing that your baby is getting the nutrition that he or she needs will make you feel fulfilled. It will also help in relieving some of your chores as your child slowly learns how to eat all by him/herself.
Make every mealtime fun and enjoyable. Try to learn more baby food recipes. The image of a smiling baby with food stains on his or her clothes and face is proof of a happy childhood that will be your child’s foundation in making healthy choices in the future.
Learn more about Baby Nutrition here.