Different babies, different reactions! Some take on
to solid food with relish while others prefer to wait.
The transition to solids however should be a gradual
process. By introducing one solid food at a time and
giving a gap of a few days before introducing the
next will enable you to identify the cause and reactions
of allergies, if any.
Your baby will also be given the chance to adjust
to this important milestone at a comfortable pace.
Remember, do not feel pressurized; in the start the
aim of providing solids is not so much for the nourishment
but the different tastes and textures.
Why Infant Cereals
babies like the same food over and over
again while others move on quickly to
more varied purees.
• Cereals are the most common first foods recommended
by pediatricians because they are most gentle on the
baby's developing gut and in texture they are not
very different from the creamy milk babies are accustomed
• Prepared correctly the consistency should
be very thin, very much like breast or formula milk.
• The best way to start baby on his first solid
food is to introduce him to single grain, iron-fortified
cereal. They are sold in powder form and need to be
mixed with either expressed breast milk or formula
(at this stage milk is preferred over water).
• Rice cereal is preferred for its 'safety feature'
in that it is least likely to cause allergic reaction.
• There is a wide array of cereals in the market
and these commercial brands are all iron-fortified
but some do come pre-mixed with powdered formula.
Take note of that.
• Once your baby has adjusted to rice cereal
you may want to try other single grain cereals such
as oatmeal or barley. You may want to wait 5-7 days
before trying a new food to test for reactions.
• The next stage would be to introduce her to
mixed cereals. Most of these are wheat based and may
cause a reaction though this is very rare.
Preparing Infant Cereal
feed your baby runny, soft, smooth purees
that can be swallowed easily. From smooth
solids you can progress quite quickly
to thicker, coarser consistencies.
• Initially prepare a thin consistency (not
too different from milk your baby is used to). You
can gradually thicken it when your baby gets accustomed
to this consistency to something resembling soft mush.
• Start with 1 teaspoon of cereal once a day
for about a week and gradually progress to 2-3 teaspoons
or the amount that suits your baby. As a rough guide
most babies progress to 2-4 tablespoons two times
a day later on. In the start your baby will be pushing
it to the top of her mouth and swallowing it and a
thicker consistency may cause her to choke. For starters
it should be very similar to the milk your baby is
• Serve the portion using an infant spoon and
at room temperature or lukewarm.
• Never feed baby cereal from a bottle. Bottles
are for liquids only. Get her accustomed to feeding
from a bowl with a spoon as this will encourage the
development of her feeding skills.
• Some days can be bad and other days can be
better. Feed your infant as much as she wants to eat
and don't force-feed. As long as your baby is growing
well, the number of teaspoons does not really count
When is the best time?
• The best times to introduce baby to solids
is in the late morning or early afternoon, after baby
has had a little milk. The rest of the day can be
used to monitor for reactions. Pick a time when baby
is not cranky and in good spirits.
• Stay relaxed yourself so that your anxiety
doesn't reach your baby.
• Do not force baby to feed more; she knows
when she's full. Babies have small stomachs (remember!).
• Babies make funny faces, spit out, play with
their foods, or behave fussily. Take it in your stride
and before you know it he may soon love these foods.
Your patience matters a lot.
• Since babies do not have a particular fixed
taste for anything, use this time to get baby used
to healthy foods such as greenies like peas and broccoli
and spinach (all pureed, of course.
• Be patient and don't give up. Tomorrow is
another day. Realize that it may take a few attempts
before feeding gets easier.
Other first foods
• Banana is a great first food; it should be
mashed properly, enough to slide off the spoon. Finely
pureed, sieved potato is another good starting point.
• After about 2-3 weeks once your baby gets
used to single flavors and mini meals, you can start
blending two flavors and serving slightly more.
• Introduce new flavors by blending food into
a little baby rice so that the new taste will not
be too strong. For example pureed vegetables such
as carrot or broccoli can be mixed with some powdered
rice. Later you can even blend more diverse flavors
such as peas and cauliflower, apple and banana, pear
and semolina etc.