7 Best Solid Foods to Feed Your Baby
Breast milk or formulas provide all the nourishment that babies need but they are recommended only up to the age of 6 months. While it is a really big milestone, introducing solids to babies can be a nerve-cracking experience. But this is the time to help your baby develop healthy eating habits for all her life.
So there’s no need to rush. You have to be careful and knowledgeable about all the dos and don’ts of solid foods before introducing them to the babies and know their nutritional value. Here is a list of some of the best finger foods for babies that they really need.
1. Dry Cereal and Puffs
Dry cereal and puffs are some of the most popular first foods for babies as they are easy to pick one at a time and allow the baby to practice a pincer grip. As they mix well with saliva, they are very easy for the infants to manage and do not cause and choking. It is better to mix single grain cereals like oatmeal with a little breast milk or formula as they make good watered-down versions. You can gradually thicken the consistency as the baby becomes more comfortable with the food.
2. Soft Fruits
Fruits that are very ripe are generally very soft and they are easily eaten by babies. Bananas, peaches and watermelon are some of the best fruits to introduce to the baby as they make great baby finger foods. Cut them into small portions to avoid any choking and it is even better to mash them before feeding the baby. As natural fruits are packed with essential vitamins and nutrients, they are also healthy for the baby’s growth.
3. Scrambled Eggs
While paediatricians earlier suggested parents to wait for a while before introducing eggs due to their allergic nature, new research suggests that early introduction of allergic foods, like eggs, may help in preventing food allergy in children at a later stage. But that doesn’t mean that you should go all in at once. Initially, introduce only egg whites from hard boiled or scrambled eggs and make sure that you do not add any salt.
Pasta should be slightly overcooked when it comes to feeding the baby so that it is soft and nice to swallow easily. Go for small pasta shapes and even better cut the pasta into small pieces in different shapes. Initially, pasta should be served plain and as the baby is introduced to more solid foods, you can toss in some butter or tomato sauce that is low in sodium.
5. Cooked Vegetables
Sweet potatoes, carrots, broccoli, beets and green peas all make excellent baby foods are they are packed with all the nutrients that a baby needs. However, they should be cooked until soft and proper care should be taken so that they do not choke. Steaming is a better option to get the most nutrients. Beans are also another protein-rich food options for babies. Steam them thoroughly and mash them between your fingers before serving to the baby.
This is one of the best baby finger foods and should be introduced if your little one hasn’t shown any teeth yet. As avocados are very good source of omega-3 fatty acids, they help in baby’s brain development. Pick a ripe one as it can be smashed and made easy for the baby to eat. The fruit contains healthy fats, proteins and carbohydrates needed for the baby’s growth and can be continued even into second year.
7. Homemade Muffins
Homemade muffins are healthier, fresh and tasty compared to store-bought varieties which are loaded with sugars. Use whole-wheat flour and add other healthy ingredients like banana and zucchini to make them even better. Use applesauce instead of sugar and store them in standard tins so that they can be given to the baby in very little sizes.