Introducing Age-appropriate Baby Food

Introducing Age-appropriate Baby Food

Introducing baby food should be adjusted to his age. Start with a soft food texture and work your way up to a denser one.

Experts recommend starting feeding your baby at 6 months of age. No less important is paying attention to the readiness of the baby and his nutritional needs. If necessary, consult a doctor before feeding the baby.

Adjusting Baby's Ability

Some of the signs that you can recognize as a baby's readiness to eat solid foods in addition to breast milk are the loss of the pushing reflex on the baby's tongue, the ability to control the head and neck to sit up straight, and his interest in food, which can be seen by looking at the food. trying to take other people's food.

If you are still confused about the right menu, here are instructions for feeding babies according to age level:

Age 4-6 Months

At this time, breast milk or formula is the baby's main nutritional intake. Meanwhile, solid food is an additional intake. Usually the first baby food introduced is baby cereal porridge mixed with breast milk or formula. Do not rush to give baby porridge or similar solid food, but introduce slowly. The trick, give a spoonful of pulverized cereal that is brought to the baby's mouth. If the baby refuses, pause or wait a few days before trying again.

Even if you expect your baby to eat, it's best to wait until he looks a little hungry. But don't let the baby get too hungry because it can cause the baby to be fussy or tired. To work around this, you can give a little breast milk first. After that, lap the baby or sit on a special seat to start the first steps of feeding the baby.

You can start giving porridge made of banana, apple, papaya and sweet potato mashed in a blender. Introduce the pulp of this fruit to about 1 teaspoon, then increase it to a tablespoon twice a day. In addition, you can buy special baby foods that will become soft like mush after mixing with water.

Age 6-8 months

At this age, the average baby is able to sit in a special baby chair, without assistance. To be more secure, don't forget to wear a seat belt that is usually attached to a chair

When your baby is able to eat soft cereal or rice porridge from a spoon, you can then introduce other types of baby food. Do it slowly when giving new types of food. You can give the food to your baby for several days in a row so that he gets used to the taste, as well as knowing the possibility of your baby having an allergic reaction.

At this age, you can give pureed fruits and vegetables. For example, avocado for baby food or sweet potatoes and carrots that have been cooked in advance. Another option is porridge from beans, such as edamame, string beans, kidney beans, and porridge from tofu. At this time babies can also be given unsweetened yogurt in small portions.

As a protein intake, babies can begin to be given meat, such as boneless fish or chicken. Finely chop the meat before consumption by the baby.

The serving for babies 6-8 months is 1 teaspoon of fruit pulp, which can then be increased to to cup gradually over 2-3 meals. The same portion applies to porridge from vegetables. Meanwhile, soft cereals or rice porridge can be given about 3-9 tablespoons in 2-3 meals.

Age 8-10 months

At the age of 8-10 months, most babies are able to consume porridge or cereal that is given along with breast milk or formula. Generally, by this time babies can enjoy chewing food with a coarser texture. A 9 month old baby has begun to show the ability and coordination of the thumb and forefinger to hold and put food in the mouth.

You can simply grind baby food, no longer need to make it into mush. Some foods such as carrots or sweet potatoes need to be cooked first, but don't need to be mashed, just cut into small pieces so as not to choke the baby. Similarly, when you will give special baby biscuits. If you want to give eggs, choose the yolk part.

The portion of food for babies aged 8-10 months is about to cup of cereal, or 1 cup of fruit and vegetables. Plus up to cup of protein source foods.

10-12 months old

The portion of food for children aged 10-12 months is not too different from the age of 8-10 months. By their first birthday, babies are able to eat the same foods as adults. It's just that, it needs to be given in small pieces to be safe when chewed and swallowed.

Nuts, whole eggs and fish products should be consumed after the baby is one year old, especially if there is a family member who has a history of allergies. In addition, cow's milk and honey are also recommended to be given after the baby is one year old.

Tips for Preparing Baby Food

Cleanliness is one of the important things that must be considered when preparing baby food. For that, don't forget to wash your hands beforehand. If the child is placed in daycare, you also need to make sure that the person who prepares and provides food for the child has washed their hands beforehand.

If you buy ready-to-use baby food, make sure the product meets health standards. Don't forget to read the packaging label. Avoid products that contain sweeteners and other additives. When you give ready-to-eat food out of the box, transfer it to a serving bowl first, then store the rest in the refrigerator. Use up within 1-2 days after opening the package.

If you prepare baby food yourself, use a blender or food processor. Choose a cooking method that preserves nutrients better. Compared to boiled, it's better to steam fruits and vegetables. Start with one ingredient, then try mixing the two ingredients together to make a porridge.

One of the most important things, make sure the texture of the baby food you prepare is age-appropriate. At 9 months, babies can start eating coarser, thicker foods to help them learn to chew. For safety reasons, never leave your baby alone while eating. Also, avoid giving food that might cause the baby to choke.

Adjust the timing of feeding the baby, especially solid foods, according to the baby's age and ability. If necessary, consult with your doctor about the right choice of food and portions.