Eating Solids

By Razan Rousan*

Your baby is physically ready to start eating solid foods from six months old but remember that the priority is for breast or formula milk. Introducing foods slowly helps to avoid irritation and allergies. Here are tips to get you and your baby off to a good start!

Signs your baby is ready to start eating solids

  • Can sit balancing the weight of his or her head
  • Starts getting hungry before feeding time
  • Shows interest in what you’re eating

 

How to start

  • Choose an appropriate time for you and your baby (it’s better one to two hours after a milk feeding)
  • Usually start with ground rice (gluten free is best)
  • Using a round baby spoon, touch his lower lip with the spoon and he will open his mouth
  • Your baby will be surprised but keep smiling with “Mmm” sounds!
  • Be patient and confident
  • It’s better to feed your baby in his highchair
  • Start different food types each day (or every few days) to monitor your baby for any signs of allergic reaction
  • Check with your health advisor for your baby food chart (best foods for your baby at each stage: 6 – 9 months, 10 – 12 months and so on)
  • Avoid sweets and reduce salt and spices
  • Avoid orange juice before 9 months
  • Avoid honey before 2 years
  • Warm the baby food over a bowl of hot water; avoid microwaves
  • Baby’s first foods will be pureed, then as soon as your baby is ready (8 months+), move from pureed food to mashed, then to lumpy and finger food. This is essential to develop the muscles for chewing and also helps with speech development
  • Water should take priority over juices

Baby Food

Examples of foods you can introduce to your baby:

At 6 – 7 months

  • Ground gluten free rice
  • Vegetables (carrots, baby marrow, sweet potato, pumpkin)
  • Ripe peeled pureed fruits (apple, banana, pears, avocado, peach)

8 – 9 months

  • Additional to the above, add meat and chicken
  • Start finger foods

At 9 -11 months

  • Add lentils, beans
  • Vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, spinach and others)
  • Fruits (grapes, watermelon, orange, mango)
  • Start ¼ yolk of hard boiled eggs three times a week
  • Yoghurt
  • Lebaneh
  • Wheat
  • Fish

At 1 year +

  • Full cream milk
  • Whole egg
  • Cheese
  • Can eat what you’re cooking (without spices)

Mama’s Yummy Recipes

Here are some of my homemade recipes that worked well with my kids:

Avocado Pears

(6 – 7 months)

Ingredients

  • 1 ripe avocado, peeled
  • 1 pear, peeled

Directions

Peel the avocado and pear then blend them together

Veggie Meat

(8 – 9 months)

Ingredients

1 baby marrow, peeled

1 potato, peeled and diced

1 carrot, peeled and diced

100 g lamb meat chunk

¼ tsp cinnamon

Directions

1. Boil the meat with a little bit of cinnamon until it’s well done

2. Steam or boil the vegetables

3. Mix the meat and the vegetables with some fresh water (avoid meat water)

Pumpkin Rice Soup

(6 months + )

Ingredients

300 g yellow pumpkin, cubed

150 g cooked rice

Fresh coriander, chopped

1 clove garlic, chopped (optional)

60 ml lemon juice

1 tbsp sunflower oil

500 ml boiled water

Directions

1. Put a little bit of oil in a saucepan, add the pumpkin cubes, stir until tender then add the strained rice

2. Add boiled water and cook until the rice is very soft

3. Heat a little bit of oil in a frying pan, add the chopped garlic and coriander and stir for a few seconds before adding the lemon juice

4. Combine with pumpkin mixture

Mutafayieh (Rice, Zucchini & Yoghurt)

(6 months+)

Ingredients

4 small baby zucchini, chopped

½ cup soaked rice

½ kg yoghurt

1 tbsp corn-starch

2 tbsp sunflower oil

1 tbsp dry mint

Directions

1. Add a little bit of oil to a saucepan, then add the zucchini and stir until soft and tender

2. Add the rice and 500 ml boiled water, stir until the rice is well cooked. In another pot, cook corn-starch in 60 ml water, stirring well then add the yoghurt and blend

3. Combine with the cooked rice, add the dry mint, keep stirring and don’t cover the pot

4. Keep on low heat for five to seven minutes until well done 

  

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