- Family and Parenting»
- Parenting Skills, Styles & Advice
Feeding your baby solids
How to feed your baby solids
Feeding your baby solids is a big step toward independence of the baby as well as the mom. It is very important that children learn to eat well and more so like what they eat as they make a transition from a baby to a toddler and later into an adult.
It is therefore, the responsibility of parents to inculcate healthy eating habits in children so that they grow up into happy adults later in life. There are few things that should be kept in mind by adults while teaching eating to children. Somewhere between 7-12 months, there are a numbers of foods that can be introduced to the baby.
1. Before introducing a new thing for the first time, eat the same food in front of the child yourself. Repeat this step 4-5 times without offering it to the child. If he/she asks for it, give it, but do not offer more unless asked for.
2. Next, give your child half the quantity of regular food that the child usually has at the time of eating. At the very next sign of hunger, try to give the new thing.
3. What is very important is that if the child refuses, do not force, but give your child the regular food that he/she is used to having.
4. As a next step, make the child hungry by making him/her skip a meal (if required, 2 meals) altogether. Some adults complain that my child can go for an entire day without food. So I have to give something. But trust me no human being can go without eating or drinking for very long. If food is not served for little more time than the adult’s usual meltdown limit, the child will eat whatever is offered next.)
5. While the child is eating a new thing for the first time, do not insist that it be finished.
6. One has to keep giving variety of foods and try new recipes to keep the child interested in eating. So go ahead and be creative.
7. Every day, designate at least 2 meals that the child is supposed to have on his/her own. During these 2 meals, do not run after them or force them. Let these be their favorite foods too! These could be finger foods or semi-solids as well. Don’t worry if they make the house messy at this time. After all it is a part of growing up. If they are allowed to experiment themselves, at around 12 months, they will soon learn the technique of eating properly.
8. Remember, making the child little hungry before feeding is always better than forcing the child to eat. This ensures that the child starts liking food instead of seeing it as a punishment.
9. Of course, make your child do some amount of physical activity every day. So get out of your couches, switch off the TVs and computers and make your child play. This exercise, especially done 45 minutes to an hour before feeding time goes a long way in helping your child like food.
10. Work towards making your child have regular food that is eaten in the family. There is no need to give food without spices. The idea is to make the child have everything that the family is used to having.