Here is a guideline for the list of weaning foods for Indian babies that can be included in the baby's diet and at what months.
Note 1: The first, basic and most important step: HYGIENE
Please make sure your hands are absolutely clean before starting your little one's food preparation. All the vessels, bottles, spoons, katoris and other utensils are thoroughly washed in hot water before use. The water or the milk used in the feed has to be boiled and cooled.
Note 2: When to start weaning: AGE/ NEED
This is a very controversial topic. There are many angles to when weaning should be started for a particular child. If the child is on breast milk exclusively and there is enough produced for the baby, then we say 5 months is a good time to start.
If the breast milk is less and the baby is starving and is on formula milk, then 4 to 4.5 months is when we recommend weaning.
Note 3: What to start weaning with: FOODS THAT CAN BE GIVEN
4 to 6 months – Babies at this stage can have
1. Fruits - Diluted apple juice, non-acidic juices like pears, peach juice etc. Once the child is comfortable with this, after a week, a thin puree of these fruits can be made after stewing the fruits.
2. Cereals – Think rice water, dal water and/or puree of rice and dal.
3. Vegetables - Non-gas forming vegetables like carrots, sweet potatoes, well boiled green peas and French beans in a thin puree.
How much to feed -approx. 2 tsp. per meal, start with 1 meal a day and graduate to 3 meals a day.
Along with the meals - 800ml ml to 1000ml of breast milk or formula milk has to be given.
At this stage, your baby CANT HAVE the following- wheat, barley, oats, eggs, nuts, meats, honey, citrus fruits like orange, berries, Cows milk, salt, sugar, cheese,
6 to 7 months – Babies at this stage can have all of the above items and
- All fruits and vegetables in thick puree forms
- Cereals and dals- Do ensure all cereals and dals are in a 3:1 ratio. To prepare, you can soak, sprout, sun dry or powder cereals and dals. In fact, consider making a 4 day supply at a time. These can then be fed as porridge with formula milk. You could consider using Jaggery to sweeten this porridge. Jaggery makes for a good sweetener and has iron.
How much to feed- approx. 4 to 6 TSP per meal along with 500 to 600ml of breast or formula milk
At this stage, your baby CANT HAVE the following - Cows milk, nuts, eggs, fish, honey, salt, sugar, masala like haldi, cheese.
7 to 9 months - Babies at this stage can have all of the above items and
- All fruits in mashed form.
- Boiled egg, chicken puree, fish, ghee, cows milk for cooking porridges and home made Cerelac, cheese, nuts.
How much to feed - Approximately 8 to 12 spoons alongwith 500 - 600ml breast milk, diluted cows milk and formula feed.
At this stage, your baby CANT HAVE the following- shellfish, salt.
9 to 12 months - Babies at this stage can have all of the above items and
Almost adult food- This is the phase where we introduce the little one to adult food! At this time, grains can stop being powdered to be given and can start on soft khichidi, rotis in milk and curds, etc.
How much to feed – Approximately 200g per feed along with 2 snack meals (mid morning and mid evening) and 300-400ml milk.
Do remember to opt for fresh and seasonal foods, home cooked and not out of packets to have a healthy and happy baby :).
All these are a reference for what you can feed your baby. If you feel your baby has not taken well to a particular food item, wait for 10 days before trying it again.
Also read more about: Weaning Food Recipe: 4 to 6 months, 7 to 9 months, 10 to 12 months, The Complete guide to Sippers and feeding Cups for your weaning baby