When you first start giving solid food to your baby, it is more of an introduction to solids rather than giving him full-blown meals. A taste here and there is advised for starters so that he can grow accustomed to the new sensation of food as opposed to drink. There will be new flavors to discover and eating from a spoon instead of sucking from a bottle is a brand new experience all on its own.
You’re best to start with rice cereal made fairly sloppily, using formula from baby’s bottle. A baby has a pretty quick tongue-thrusting reflex which means once you spoon the food in to his mouth, it’s likely to come straight back out again. Persevere, however, because it’s part of the learning process to be able to capture the food with the tongue and swallow. Gradually you can make the cereal more firm as baby gets used to it.
The best time of day to begin solid foods is breakfast time. After waking refreshed from a good sleep, he’ll be ready and willing to try new things. Plus, any reactions to the food, such as tummy ache, can be dealt with in an alert, daytime environment. In reality though, you shouldn’t have much trouble getting some rice cereal down. Most babies handle it beautifully and indicate their desire for more!
After a few days of rice cereal with his breakfast, you can start adding a little well mashed banana or cooked apple and see how he likes it. Once you’ve got the breakfast routine down pat, you can start varying his lunch and dinner with tasty new additions.
Mashed potato and carrot are great starters, or try some pureed vegetable soup. Broccoli and cauliflower, cooked and put through a food processor are also popular. With baby’s lunch time bottle, prepare some vegetable mash; all you’ll need is about two teaspoons full at first, and if he eats all of that up, you can make more next time. Offer more at dinnertime.
Generally, when your baby is just starting out on solids, concentrate on breakfast, and then introduce lunch and finally, dinner. A pre-bedtime bottle is all that’s needed at that time of day. Start sitting your baby at the table in his high chair to enjoy dinnertime with the family. He’ll be thrilled to bits at sharing the goings-on with everyone else. Once he’s a little older, you can pass him pieces of bread or finger-size portions of meat to chew on. Always supervise babies with food. Eating should be a shared experience, so never leave a baby with food in front of him while you do laundry or talk on the phone. Make it fun and happy so as to establish good eating habits for the future. No one likes to eat alone!