The best foods to give your baby are fresh foods that you prepare and cook yourself. Gear the texture of the food to what they can happily cope with. It’s normal to see occasional chunks of whole food on her nappy, but if they appear regularly, go back to mashing for a few weeks longer. Make their food wet and easy to swallow. Moisten pureed, mashed or minced foods with boiled water, breast milk, formula, the cooking liquid, fruit juice or yogurt. Temperature of the food should be cool or lukewarm.
Introducing a new food:
Offer each new food on its own, and wait for 24hrs before giving it again to see how your child reacts. If diarrhoea, sickness or a rash follows, don’t offer that food again for several months.
Seasoning: Don’t use any; salt can damage young kidneys and your baby won’t mind bland flavours.
What to avoid:
Until he/she is at least four, avoid nuts and any salty, processed, fatty or spicy foods; salami, baccon, salt fish, Jersy, milk, cream and tandoori foods are not suitable. Don’t give soft cheese or honey until one year. Use fresh eggs and always cook them.
4-6 months:Give semi liquid purees, bland and smooth and without any lumps.
Preparation: Peel carefully, remove pips and strings, cook, steam or boil and then sieve.
Foods: Peas, marrow, well cooked green beans, cauliflower, pureed apple and potato.
6-8 months: Foods can be minced or mashed to the texture of cottage cheese, adding liquid or yogurt. Give finger foods now: sticks of raw vegetables are good to suck.
Preparation: For fruits and vegetables; peel carefully, remove pips and strings and make puree. For meat or fish; trim fat and skin off, then cook or grill it. Remove all bones and mince finely.
Foods: wheat cereals, parsnip, tomato, sweet corn, soaked dried apricots, bread butter, and potato fingers.
8-9 months: Introduce your child to chunkier textures now, so chop food rather than mashing it. Give plenty of finger foods to encourage feeding skills.
Foods: Toast red meat, home-cooked dishes like soup, shepherd’s pie, pasta, mashed lentils.
10-12 months: Your child is eating almost everything the family eats, chopped into bite size pieces. Continue to avoid salt in your cooking.
Foods: Pork if well cooked, green vegetables like cabbage, green pepper, whole peeled tomato, fruits, tinned tuna.