Doctors recommend exclusive breastfeeding till 6 months of age. After that, you can begin solid food once a day to complement breast milk. It is typically at this age that your baby will be able to push the solid food to the back of the throat with the tongue.
You should continue breastfeeding till your baby is a year old. If it suits you and your baby, you can even continue after that.
Watch out for these behaviors as signals indicating that your baby is ready:
At first, your baby may not be fully able to swallow what you feed, and food may dribble out of the mouth and onto the chin. It is also likely that your baby may refuse solid food since the taste and texture is new, which is normal. Keep trying to introduce small amounts every few days. Some babies are slower to take solids than others – watch out for the signs of readiness, and don’t hurry. After a while, your baby may be ready for finger foods that can be eaten independently.
Mash a ripe banana with breast milk for your baby’s first food. Buy organic brown rice cereal made especially for babies, and prepare it with breast milk. Fruit and vegetable purees and smoothies are convenient, easy and colorful. Closer to a year, your baby can start eating soft pieces of fruits such as pears and vegetables like pumpkin and sweet potato.
Here’s wishing your baby a healthy and happy start to a lifetime of plant-based whole food!
This nutrient-rich meal contains the vitamin boost of brown rice and the mineral-dense goodness of many vegetables. One of the best solid foods to begin your baby on, this is a wholesome, filling dish.
Brown rice contains fiber, which keeps your baby’s digestive system clean. It also contains minerals and anti-oxidants, making it the perfect first food for the baby! Broccoli is a superfood containing the perfect balance of protein, fats, vitamins, minerals and fiber! Butternut squash is high in vitamin B6, which strengthens your baby’s immune system. While leeks are rich in vitamin K, potatoes are dense in many essential minerals. The pumpkin in the cereal also provides a vitamin A boost. All in all, this is a heady mix of health!
This gorgeous smoothie combines the vitamins, minerals and fiber of bananas and blueberries to create a power-packed breakfast idea! Watch your baby scoop up this delightful treat with glee!
Bananas are sweet and give the delicious consistency characteristic of a smoothie. Blueberries brighten up the color and provide a tangy flavor!
Bananas are rich in potassium and magnesium, and also A, B and C vitamins. Rich in dietary fiber, they ensure that your baby’s tummy is full! Blueberries are packed with phytonutrients, vitamin B6, vitamin C and folate.
They make this smoothie tasty and nutritious!
This meal brings together the goodness of brown rice, carrots and peas, in a wholesome, filling and healthful meal. If your baby is 8 months and above, this meal is a delightful choice of nutrients! It is also a very quick and easy meal to make.
Brown rice is filling because of its high content of dietary fiber. It is nutritious due to the antioxidant and mineral content. Baby Natura’s Brown Rice With Carrot Cereal contains the power-packed nutrition of carrots. High in beta-carotene and other vitamins, carrots also contain essential minerals. Green peas are a good source of vitamins B1, B2, B6, C and K. They also contain dietary fiber and minerals such as manganese, copper, phosphorus molybdenum, zinc, magnesium, iron and potassium. Carrots, peas and brown rice equal perfection!
Are you wondering how will you follow this diet given your hectic schedules?
Following a PLANT-BASED WHOLE FOODS diet is not difficult anymore. Look for products that are certified plant-based whole foods. There is a variety of products available that reduce the need and time for cooking while helping you adhere to the principles of this lifestyle. These products come as packaged meals – cereals or purees, or snacks such as puffs, chews and rusks. You can also buy off-the-shelf smoothies that are delicious and healthy. These are convenient and easy ways to provide healthy food to your baby!
You can also complement these dishes with other fruits, vegetables, whole grain breads, herbs, nuts and seeds.
Reading Labels for a guide to understanding the products you buy.
If your baby has just started solid foods, you’ll probably be wondering how much you should be feeding your baby.
Just ask your baby! Babies are born with a brilliant system which regulates how much food they need – they eat when they are hungry, and till they are full! Simple.
Signs to look out for to know your baby is full:
Respect the wisdom of your baby’s body. Your baby has its own appetite, just like we do. Do not force-feed your baby or develop a tendency of overeating. At first, babies will only eat a spoonful or two, and in the meanwhile, breast milk is providing sufficient nutrition. Do not insist on feeding a particular quantity for fear of malnutrition. There will also be days when your baby eats more than usual, and less on days of teething or other discomfort. Just go with the flow.
This deliciously sweet treat for your baby is not only tasty, but also very healthy! The nourishing combination of brown rice and fruits makes this snack a healthful and tasteful one!
Brown rice is rich in minerals like selenium and manganese, as well as antioxidants. Due to its high content of dietary fiber, it makes for a filling and nutritious meal for your baby. Adding fruits provides the vitamin-dense addition to the already healthy brown rice. Plus, fruits provide a sweet and tangy twist to this tasty snack. If your baby is not 8 months old yet, consider pureeing the fruits before mixing them with the rice.
However, not everyone may agree with you.
Your family and friends may psychologically resist the wonderful things you are doing for your baby.
No, they are not bad people. They may just want to continue to stick to their old ways of being (the only ways they know), even when you present your research and science to them.
How do you overcome this challenge?
The parents who feed their children wrong foods don’t do it because they don’t care, they do it because they don’t know what is good.
Having educated yourself, you are in the empowered position to make the right decision for your child. Assure yourself that a little debate with your family is nothing compared to a healthy baby. Notice how other babies around you are falling sick often, and that their family members are suffering from lifestyle diseases too.
Be grateful for the knowledge you have and the choices you are making, because they will ensure that your family leads a different, healthy life compared to all the others.
Children will interact with their peers who eat foods that your child does not. Don’t panic.
Inform the teacher or adult in that situation what your child eats. PLANT-BASED WHOLE FOOD products that your baby can eat and give them to the caretaker. However, be firm about what your child will not eat.
Keep in mind not to preach to others about this lifestyle because they may not appreciate it. If they ask you for more information, however, explain this lifestyle to them. Once they notice that your baby is the only one not falling sick, they will ask you the secret themselves!
Here’s how to navigate daily life situations:
Do not worry about your child being deprived – it is the other children who are deprived of nutrition.
Good health is more precious than any piece of cake.
If your child fusses over food, read The Picky Eater for tips and tricks to resolve that!
Beginning solid foods for your baby is a big milestone. However, this comes with some doubts and concerns, such as those about food allergies.
How can you identify and manage food allergies?
When starting solid foods, introduce them one at a time. This will help you isolate and identify which foods are causing problems, and which are not. Wait three to five days to introduce a new food.
When introducing new combinations of solids, ensure that each of the individual foods are ones that your baby has already been separately introduced to.
90% of all allergic reactions are caused by the following foods:
A very serious type of allergy in babies is called food protein-induced enterocolitis syndrome (FPIES). Cow’s milk and soy can be the most common triggers of FPIES in the first few months. If the mother has been ingesting cow’s milk during nursing, the baby can have a reaction from just drinking breast milk.
Food allergy symptoms appear soon after the allergic food has been eaten. Watch out for these signs of allergy in your baby:
A severe allergic reaction may also be life threatening.
Always let caregivers know which foods your baby can or cannot eat. Give them packaged snacks and meals to feed your baby.
An allergic reaction could be fatal. Rush to your pediatrician immediately. Ask for an action plan from your doctor to be prepared for the next time it occurs.
Stomach problems like bloating, gas, cramps, vomiting and diarrhea could be signs that your baby’s digestive system is not able to process the food. This may not involve an immune system response, but the food is not suiting your baby. The most common food intolerance is lactose intolerance. Lactose is the sugar found in cow’s milk. Avoid cow’s milk and feed your baby only plant-based whole foods.
This wholesome meal combines the many benefits of brown rice and the nutrient-dense goodness of avocado. With soft textures and mild flavors, this nutrient-rich meal is the ideal one for your baby!
Brown rice is dense in minerals, antioxidants and dietary fiber, making it the perfect first food to start your baby on. Baby Natura’s Brown Rice With Banana Cereal also contains the vitamin-packed nutrition of bananas. Avocados are a great source of natural fats, which help in the absorption of vitamins in your baby’s body. Avocados also contain essential vitamins, potassium and antioxidants. This combination is a tasty and healthy meal for your baby!