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Guide to Weaning
Last Updated : Sep 14,2017
1. Weaning is a period of experiments, both for you and your baby. It is really a matter of trial and error to find out what your baby really likes as most babies show strong preferences, even at this early age.
2. Wean your baby gradually over a period of months. Your little one is less likely to be distressed when weaning happens gradually.
3. During the initial days of weaning, allow your baby to lick on some foods, preferably liquids, so that she gets accustomed to different kinds of flavours and textures. When you start off, give foods that are very thin in consistency like Apple Punch. As your baby gets accustomed to thinner foods, you can gradually thicken the consistency. Along with this, most babies are ready for a mashed cereal or fruit. Encourage your baby to wean by providing other nourishment like Masoor Dal Water, Doodhi Soup in place of breast feeds.
4. Your baby will need plenty of loving attention while you both make the transition from nursing to weaning. She will be your best guide during the initial period of weaning and she is the only person whose opinion on this subject counts.
5. While introducing any foods for the first time, watch out for any allergic reactions, like cough, cold or skin rashes. If these occur, discontinue that food immediately and consult your paediatrician.
6. Sometimes she may dislike some foods so much that she may just throw them back at you. At these times, avoid giving the same food a second try immediately. Wait for a week or two before you try again. In the meantime, you can also offer her another food to introduce her taste buds to new flavours. However, if your baby continues to dislike that particular food, try and add an accepted food to a rejected one to help your baby get used to the taste.
7. Feed your baby in an upright position. This will prevent her from choking on foods.
8. Try not to show any sort of dislike towards any food while feeding your baby as babies are good imitators and get influenced very easily.
9. It is always better to be guided by your baby’s appetite than to feel pressured into overfeeding her. Do not urge your baby to eat more than she wants. Instead, try and understand her expressions towards food. Learn the pattern of your baby’s feeding requirements from her body language. Some babies show signs of hunger by waving their hands or kicking their legs when they see food. Other babies may lean forward and open their mouth or cry loudly. When they are no longer hungry, they will reject food by turning their mouths away or spitting it out.
10. Most doctors are of the opinion that it is not advisable to add sugar or salt to baby food till at least 9-10 months of age.
11. Salt is not considered to be a healthy addition to babies’ diet till 9 months to 1 year as the little one's kidneys are not fully developed. However some paediatricians recommend introducing salt at the age of 10 months, so the baby gets used to eating regular home-cooked food. So, go ahead and follow your paediatrician’s advice.
12. It is wiser to avoid adding sugar to your baby's meals as a sweet tooth is usually cultivated rather than inherited. If your baby develops a taste for sugary foods at this age, this in turn may lead to dental problems and obesity later in life. Instead, dates or jaggery can be used as alternative sweeteners after the seventh month.
13. Avoid adding strong spices like pepper and garlic to your baby's meals at least till she is seven months old as she may find them unpleasant to taste and may reject foods containing these spices.
14. Babies generally accept lukewarm foods more readily. Avoid serving hot foods to your baby. Always bring the temperature of the food down to lukewarm and check it by feeling it on your palm or wrist.
15. It may seem tough initially and you're both going to throw your share of tantrums at meal times, but try and be patient and resourceful.
16. If your little one is sick, consult your paediatrician about changes in her diet.
Other related articles on this :
Daily Food Guide for Toddlers
Best food for feeding Mothers to get more milk
When and how much to feed your Baby
Components of Breast Milk
Recipes for Baby (10 to 12 Months)
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Guide To Weaning
A nourishing liquid food that is perfect for weaning your little one, Masoor Dal Water has a texture quite like mother’s milk, which increases the chances of its acceptance by babies.
When you start weaning your baby, strain the dal water as babies cannot digest whole pulses at this stage. At month 8 or 9, you can start giving it without straining. As a variant, you can also try the recipe with green moong dal.
Doodhi, a watery vegetable, is ideal for making soups for babies! It helps to fulfil their water requirement in an easy-to-digest and soothing form. The bland taste of doodhi is also liked by babies.
We have pressure cooked, blended and strained the Doodhi Soup to make it easier for the child to consume and digest. Since salt is not recommended by paediatricians at this age, we have not added any. If there is any leftover, you can drink it up with a little salt and pepper too, but not for your baby!
Barley is a protein-rich cereal that will do wonders for your baby. This nutritious weaning food is also easy and simple to make and will not take up too much of your time during this busy and stressful timeframe, when your baby demands a lot of your attention.
You can start with plain Barley Water, when you begin weaning your baby, and once the child is 10 to 12 months old, you can start flavouring it with jaggery, if your paediatrician approves.
This soothing and sumptuous Potato and Vegetable Soup features four lovely, colourful veggies – carrot, French beans, potatoes and cauliflower. As mentioned earlier, this is the ideal time to introduce your child to new flavours, and this soup serves that purpose well.
Just ensure that your child is not allergic to any of the ingredients. Apart from exploring new flavours, this thick and creamy lunch-time soup will also provide your child with ample antioxidants, vitamins A and C.
An apple a day keeps the doctor away, but this is one fruit that babies initially have trouble digesting in the raw form. So, this Apple Punch is a wonderful way of introducing apples to your baby's diet. As your little one grows older and is able to digest this liquid form easily, apples can be stewed in lesser water to make a purée and served to the babies without straining as shown in the recipe of Apple Stew.
A safe and soothing food, Rice Mash is highly recommended once your baby has gotten used to Rice Water.
Rice Mash is aromatic, thanks to the light lacing of ghee, which also lubricates the mash making it easier for the child to swallow. This easy and healthy recipe is satiating, easily-digestible, and provides ample energy too.
After the age of 7 to 8 months, your baby will be ready to have foods that are of a more solid consistency. This fabulously tasty and nutritious Banana and Jowar Sheera will serve the purpose of familiarising your baby with such foods.
Being rich in carbohydrates, protein and iron, it will keep your baby 'full' for a longer period of time. Plus, thankfully, children usually find the natural sweetness of banana and jaggery very appealing, so your baby will not think twice before slurping up every spoonful!
Here is a rice delicacy that appeals to most infants because of its bright green colour. Kids also love the soft, chewy texture of paneer, which makes it doubly delightful.
Spinach provides much-needed folic acid for your growing baby while paneer is a good source of calcium and protein.
Serve this satiating Palak Paneer Rice with a cup of fresh curds, to make a delicious meal for lunch or dinner.
A wonder veggie, rich in vitamins and other nutrients, carrots are also tasty enough to be liked by babies! Thanks to its natural sweetness and satiating consistency, this Carrot Juice is sure to be loved by your precious one too.
It is important to make this juice in a hopper to completely eliminate fibre and get a clear juice, as carrot’s fibre is not digestible at 7th.month.
Ideally, foods for babies should have a soothing flavour, attractive colour (to make them grab it!) and ample nutrients. This Muskmelon Juice fits perfectly with those requirements.
Your baby will get a good share of antioxidants like vitamins A and C, from this tasty juice, which will improve their health and immunity too. To get this recipe right, use ripe muskmelon, but not overripe ones.
Prepare the juice in a hopper, so you can serve it without further straining. Try this and Carrot Juice separately, and once your baby gets used to it, try your hand at combining the two to make Carrot and Muskmelon Juice.
Papaya is an all-rounder, as it has a large number of valuable nutrients. It improves digestion, and nourishes your baby with vitamin A, so make sure you introduce your little one to Papaya Purée at the right age, to develop an early liking for it.
When preparing this easy dish, make sure you blend the papaya well till you get a smooth, lump-free purée. To get this right, use a fully-ripened and soft papaya.
Khichdi is a complete meal in itself, providing plenty of energy, protein and folic acid for your baby.
This yummy Vegetable Khichdi is all the more nutritious, thanks to the addition of vitamin A rich carrots. The appealing colour, soft texture and slight sweetness of cooked carrots also improve the flavour and texture of this meal.
All in all, this recipe is a good way of introducing your child to a mildly-spiced dish.
Although the King of Fruits visits us only once a year, make sure you treat your baby to this delicious Mango Yoghurt when the fruits are available in plenty.
Mangoes give plenty of vitamin A, which aids in vision while fresh curds are a good source of calcium needed to strengthen the bones of growing babies. In the early stages of weaning, use curds made of cow’s milk rather than buffalo’s milk as it is easily digestible.
Also, use fresh curds as soon as they are fully set and before they start becoming sour, to ensure a soft flavour that your child will like.
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