Like every mom, I too was super excited when my boy was nearing the end of 6 months. I wanted to give him the best food, best in quality, quantity, taste and definitely healthy. There were always suggestions on what I should give him and what I should not. But, I learnt my lesson through a trial and error process. Please be aware of the old school mom's (dadi's and nani's) , according to them salt, sugar, honey everything is ok, but it's not. Breast milk fore milk has no taste and hind milk tastes sweet and not salt. Even if your little one has got a taste of salt it's only from your sweat, don't go yuckkk...it's true. Babies kidney are not ready enough to filter salts etc. So keep the food simple and Go Slow, never rush or be in a hurry ...start with one thing and observe your baby for response and reaction.
I'm sharing few quick tips and recipes that I followed for my boy with the age factor too.;
Stage 1 (6/6+ months to 7.5 months);
The beginning is always a dire situation, what to start , where to start, how much to start with. 1-2tsp that's all, slowly increase the quantity. Will it suffice, it may not but it's ok, it's just the beginning. You can start with a banana, a properly ripe banana, mash it slightly to swallow and give. Or else homemade cerelac. Why homemade?? There's nothing better than homemade food for the little ones. No preservatives, no artificial flavours, no sugars and your are the one making so hygienic it is.;Whatever you start continue for a minimum of 4 days and then introduce something new.;
HOMEMADE CERELAC RECIPE;
Dry roast together rice and yellow moong dal until aromatic. Let it cool down and then grind to a coarse pwd. Store in an airtight container and don't let moisture seep into it. Use as required. Each batch lasts for 20 days. Simply cook to a thick soup like consistency and serve with ghee. No salt or sugar required. (Best time to give lunch)
After cerelac, start ragi malt...give it as breakfast or simply a brunch meal again 1-2tsp. Y ragi?? It's rich in calcium and much needed for the developing bones. Next start a fruit banana or apple. Banana should be ripe. Apple should be steam cooked, peeled, mashed and given. Also you can start with boiled and mashed potatoes or sweet potatoes. But remember "go slow and 1 at a time, don't be too quick to start another new food.";
Stage 2 (7.5 to 9 months);
By now you should have introduced some fruits, some vegetables and home-cooked meals to your baby. A minimum of 2 meals n 1 /2 snack time should be in line. Now start adding vegetables to the home cooked cerelac..don't grind the mixture any more..just cook it well and keep it slightly chewy. By the time your little one reaches the 8th month mark start giving par boiled veggies cut into strips slightly long and thick to chew on to. Raw carrots and beetroot, par boiled beans should be good. It will train them to chew their food. Don't bother about the teeth, they will show up when it's time, but right now your baby's guns are strong enough to chew. Now you can give most fruits and vegetables. You can also try different cereal instead of yellow moong alone. Try some dosa, Chapati soaked in milk, bread or biscuits (Marie) soaked in milk also is good. You can also try homemade soups, shared few recipes too...
Palak Soup Recipe.
Blanche palak and grind it to a paste. Add oil in a pan and add a garlic clove. Now add the pureed palak and some water and cooked slightly. Palak has a naturally salty taste don't bother about the salt.;
Stage 3 (9 months to 1 year)
You can now start to drizzle salt, if you feel the necessity, avoid sugar. Use Jaggery or palm Jaggery to sweeten. Start egg ( only yolk) and lean meat if your a non vegetarian. Most foods are already in line. By now your little one should be eating mostly everything in fruits and vegetables. Introduce nuts like almonds, cashews, raisins and walnuts. Watch when you introduce eggs n nuts cause some babies can show allergic reactions to them.;
Blanche tomatoes, skin and de seeded them. Seeds contain oxalic acid and babies cannot digest oxalic acid it's unsafe for them. Blend into a puree and serve. Keep it simple. You can try carrots too in similar way.;
Chicken Soup and Shredded Chicken recipe.;
Pressure cook boneless chicken for 2 whistles. Shred the chicken drizzle salt n pepper and give small bites. Use the stock for soup. In a pan add oil, when slight warm add garlic clove and add chicken stock and boil slightly, drizzle salt and your good to go. Pepper is an option.;Babies cannot digest corn or cornflour, red meat and fish high in mercury avoid it till 2 or 3 years of age.
By 1 year you can give home cooked regular foods and sabzi n daals provided the spice and salt is in control... Keep it healthy and simple... Observation is most important when introducing new foods .;Keep the process slow and continue breastfeeding as long as you can.;