Babies should be exclusively breastfed for the first six months without being introduced to any solid foods also known as weaning. Mothers breast milk is very important for the baby since it has all the nutrients the baby needs in the first six months. The nutrients in this milk helps protect the baby from many infections that they may have as they grow up.
When your baby finally turns six months old it is time to introduce him or her to a variety of foods. The nutrients that the baby had gotten before birth are now beginning to reduce and now it is time to introduce other foods that provide the required nutrients.
Different vegetables like spinach, kales, carrots and broccoli are good enough to be introduced to the baby as early as when they turn six months. Introducing one vegetable at a time is very important to observe how the baby reacts to each vegetable introduced. These vegetables can be pureed at the first stages as the baby learns how to eat them.
As your baby turns six months, he or she will need nutrients such as zinc, iron and protein and these can be found in different types of meats like chicken and red meat. Whenever you are preparing the meat it is important to cook the meat thoroughly and ensure you remove all the bones before giving the baby. At the early stages you can puree the meat and introduce it to the baby as you monitor how the baby reacts to this type of protein.
Breast milk is always the best and the first food for the baby and the baby should continue to breastfeed. When you introduce the baby to solid foods, they will not start eating big portions immediately and so their main meal will still be the breast milk. Remember this milk still supplies the baby with most of the nutrients needed for his or her growth.
Beans and lentils are a great source of protein that you can introduce to your baby. If you don’t want your baby to start on meat diet so early in life this can be a great way to get proteins. You can cook the beans and lentils until soft and then puree them before giving your baby. You can mix this with vegetables for good absorption.
Fish is a great source of protein, minerals and vitamins. Flaked or well mashed fish is good for the baby. Before giving your baby any fish, you should ensure all bones are removed and the fish is carefully cooked. Oily fish like Mackerel and salmon are good for the baby as they contain omega-3 fatty acids and they are good or brain development.
There are some types of fish that are not good for the baby when you start weaning him or her, such fish like swordfish, marlin have traces of mercury and this may affect your baby’s development.
Weaning your baby is a fun time for you and your child. After the baby is now six months old, introducing these foods one at a time is very important. After every new food introduced, it is important to observe any sign or reaction from the baby so as to know what to continue giving and what to stop giving the baby.