How do you know when to start your baby on solids? And, which ones? Fortunately, you can discern by using your common sense and by observing her development. Here’s how to provide your baby with vital and easy to digest foods.
It’s miraculous how nurturing your newborn so deeply pierces your heart with love. As you provide her with the finest, it’s pleasurable for both of you. Thus, in order to fully meet her dietary needs, it’s helpful to consider her biological cycles.
As a fetus, your babe thrived only on your nutrient-dense blood that came—as a direct transfusion—through the umbilicus. At birth, your baby’s never-used, delicate digestive tract readily absorbs your living milk. It abundantly provides all that she needs.
Anything else would be alien. Formulas lack vital nutrients and micronutrients, furthermore they challenge a baby’s digestive system. The World Health Organization recommends that you exclusively breastfeed for at least the first six months and to continue breastfeeding for two years.
At approximately five months, her initial “eating” skill is learning to swallow. Let her sip pure water, which is the best you can offer. Water will delight her.
The appearance of her first tooth, coming typically between seven and nine months, signals her physiological readiness for food. Continuing to breastfeed, you’ll slowly introduce other foods, one at a time. This gentle approach helps you identify any allergic reaction to a particular food.
To understand her nutritional needs, consider the composition of your milk. It is protein-rich and high in both fats and easy to digest carbohydrates. Furthermore, it is fresh, unprocessed and additive-free.
Ideally, your baby’s foods will be like your milk—utterly unsullied, with easily-to-assimilate carbohydrates, protein and fat.
Between five and six months, mashed bananas are the one raw food you can give her. Otherwise offer cooked and pureed apples, pears, prunes, broccoli, yams, winter squash and carrots.
Once she’s adjusted to vegetables and fruits, introduce her to protein foods like chicken, lamb and beef cooked in an easy to digest soup or stew and offered in tiny pieces.
Be conservative and watchful when introducing her to any of the common allergens including: dairy, grains, nuts, seeds, eggs (especially egg whites) and soy. If she seems to have a reaction, stop offering that food and wait another week before trying it a second time.