When a baby turns six months old, most parents start giving solids to their babies. Mother’s look forward to the day when their baby will eat food other than milk! We as a country are so passionate about food that we mark the baby’s first food day through an Annaparashan ceremony.
As first foods for a six-month-old baby, parents should start with fruit purees. Starting with purees is recommended as six-month-old babies don’t have teeth to chew and break down food. They can slurp nutrients in the form of purees easily. Banana is a very good fruit to start with as one can mash a banana effortlessly. Also, as it is a sweet fruit, most babies like it.
One can add a few spoons of milk to liquidize a mashed fruit for the baby.
After fruits one can introduce vegetable purees to the babies. There are some who suggest that one should start with vegetable puree instead of fruit to teach the child that not every food that they eat is sweet.
Choosing which one comes first, fruit or vegetable is a parents’ choice. What is important to remember and implement is, that parents should introduce as many green vegetables as possible to the child. It is important to introduce as many flavours as one can to the baby early on. Food tastes develop early in life and tend to persist. We know from experience that even as grown-ups we enjoy eating things whose taste we are accustomed to, and we resist eating things which we haven’t eaten before.
Vegetables are as important as fruits for babies. Getting babies to eat green vegetables can be a little tricky though. It is best to start early with green vegetable puree for your small babies. Parents can think of healthy recipes with vegetable puree for babies to smartly influence their preference.
Here are some healthy recipes for making great vegetable puree(s) for small babies. These vegetables are easily available in teh Indian market. You can roast, bake, steam or pressure cook and puree these vegetables for your little one in under 15 minutes. You can serve these as it is or add some basic spices/herbs like cumin seeds while cooking these vegetables.
Botanically this is a fruit, which is sweet, easy to cook and puree. Babies love it’s taste as it is sweet and flavourful. You can roast it or cook it in a pressure cooker and puree it.
Botanically this is a fruit too! The little green pearls are packed with micronutrients and are a very good source of dietary fibre. They soften easily on cooking and can be simply mashed into a smooth vegetable puree, almost all babies love its taste.
This vegetable has many nutrients to offer. It has an earthy flavour and this vegetable puree is bright red colour. This is also available around the year and you can pressure cook and puree it.
This vegetable is packed with many micronutrients. You can steam or pan roasted. This is a seasonal vegetable and the best ones are available during the winter season.
This is one of the most nutritious vegetables that you can offer to your child. Its cooking time is like that of cauliflower. You can add a little bit of cheese while making this vegetable puree the cooked broccoli to enhance its taste.
Another sweet vegetable which the kids like which is easily available in the Indian markets. Roast, steam or pressure cook it and mash it for the baby.
Adding salt or sugar to a six-month-old baby’s food is not recommended as the baby’s kidneys are still developing. Adding salt to a less than one year old baby’s food puts undue pressure on their kidneys. You can add water, milk or a little bit of cheese to liquidise the purees. One can also add herbs at the start of the cooking process to enhance the taste of the puree. Add generous amounts of butter or ghee while you are roasting your vegetables.
When the baby is starting out on solids, it is best to introduce things one by one. For example, try giving your child one food (fruit or vegetable) at a time, instead of mixing them up. Watch out for rashes and signs of discomfort after feeding the baby. This is an important precaution to take to ensure that your baby is not allergic to that food.
If babies refuse a food once, try giving it to them multiple times over a course of few weeks or months, as they need time to develop a liking for certain foods.
After you have ascertained the foods that are safe for your child, you can start mixing them. Let’s say, that your child likes apple which you served steamed and mashed and likes carrot too, then you can mix these two up to make an apple carrot soup or puree for the baby!
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