Weaning is the transitional period in an infant’s diet when the mother gradually begins to introduce foods other than breast milk. This is the time when you give your baby first food that is solid and keeps the baby satiated for a long time and helps with developing your baby’s taste buds.
Infants should be gradually weaned and introduced to a wide range of foods with different tastes and textures. The baby should be given time to get accustomed to the new food, as well as to set his/her own pace of feeding. Ideally, only one new food item is introduced to your baby’s diet at a time. The next new food item should be introduced only when you are sure your baby is accustomed to the first item and does not show any intolerance or allergies to it.
The infant should be exposed to a variety of foods from the four main food groups:
Traditionally, the first foods given to the baby have always been soft, smooth, and runny in consistency, such as purees, and are fed with a spoon. As the baby’s ability to chew and bite starts developing, the food can be thicker and more textured (e.g., mashed, lumpy, minced food) to allow the infant to experience a wider variety of food.
Some parents follow the baby led weaning approach that involves starting the baby with finger foods right from the beginning of weaning at 6 months of age. Baby led weaning gives the babies a chance to explore foods for themselves, and these babies tend to eat a wide range of foods at an early age.
Your baby grows very fast in the first year of life. What you might not know is that a baby’s birth weight doubles by 6 months and triples by 1 year. To support this growth, babies need a very nutritious diet during this time. The addition of solid foods to the diet, after six months of exclusive breastfeeding, is essential to the healthy growth of your baby. To make sure your baby gets adequate nutrition for growth, prepare a healthy baby meal plan that includes milk as well as solid foods from all food groups after consulting your doctor.
Also read: Healthy Sheera Recipes For Weaning Babies