The questions that almost never leave a mother’s mind are – what to feed my child so that s/he grows up to be healthy and wise. Off late, there has been a lot of debate on whether processed baby foods should be given to children, whether it is safe to give raw fruits and vegetables as they are allegedly contaminated with pesticides, how strictly should no sugar/no salt policy be followed for babies below one year and so on. Add to it the fussy eating habits of kids these days, an anxious mother is left even more confused!
On BabyChakra MomStars group, we had a similar chat where experienced Moms shared their views on what they thought was best for the baby. We believe, every Mom knows what’s best for her baby, so let’s hear what they said –
Umaima Abdulally, a popular recipe blogger, shared, “My son was exclusively breastfed for 6 months. Then I started with khichdi, egg yolk, cow milk, bits of roti mashed in liquids. I have a never followed the no egg, no milk, no salt, etc rules. Once he adapted to solids, I gave him regular food that was cooked for everyone at home. I have been adventurous with my son’s meals and today he has an amazing sense of taste and smell when it comes to food. Also when he was about 9 - 10 months, I gave him a roti roll to nibble on and since then there has been no looking back. At the age of 4, he can eat subzi/ dals by scooping them with Rotis and also rice using fingers. Only when the child eats on his own, will he eat more and willing to explore flavours. Independent eating and nutrition go hand in hand.”
Some other Moms have chosen packaged baby foods if their pediatrician advised them – “My pediatrician and in-laws recommended Cerelac. I used it regularly. Before 6 months, baby was on feed both Formula and mommy’s milk. After 5 months, I gradually introduced solids in a mushy form without salt”, said Priya Sood, a very active MomStar.
“I have used Gerber oats and mixed grain cereals initially with milk and later with mixed veg soup from 6-9 months. Later dal-roti until 12 months and proper meal post one year”, added Khyati Doshi, a Mumbai-based Mom.
Some Mums also feel they take a call based on the child’s interests. While Bijeta used Cerelac for her first child, she never fed Cerelac to her second child, as she was not a fussy eater. “Personally, I think if your child is able to eat and digest home-cooked food then it is better to avoid canned food. This way, children also get exposed to flavors and can adapt easily to different tastes later. But if your kid is food-averse (my first daughter would rather suck her finger 24* 7 than eat anything), you have to feed or force feed them something!”
A mom’s natural instinct has it that most mums, on an average, want to offer fresh, natural, home-cooked food to their children. Another active MomStar, Neha Bharadwaj, echoes “My daughter was exclusively breastfed till 7 months. Then I gradually introduced solids starting with one meal a month and every month added one more meal. I did give her Gerber purees once in a while when I was out but not their processed mixes. At 1 year now, I still don't give her salt and sugar and no outside processed food. Whatever is cooked at home, I remove for her without salt, sugar and chili.”
As long as you have consulted the right experts and your child is responding well in terms of growth and developmental milestones, it is a mother’s/ parent’s call at the end of the day!
If you are reading this article on our website and have an Android phone, please download our APP here for a more personalised experience based on your lifestage.