Introducing Solid food/Self-Feeding:
Breastmilk or formula milk is the primary and only food during the first 6 months. As per our pediatrician started giving solid food once my daughter has completed 6months.
I came across some wonderful Facebook group, which support self-feeding and I came to know that babies could self-feed even from their early ages. First, I was a little scared to start, and moreover, it’s a mom’s wish to feed the baby, but I want to give a try. So, I started giving her finger foods(boiled vegetables, just give them in hand) at first, and it was a huge success. She was more interested in taking the finger foods, and she likes to grab our plates too. After that, we were entirely into self-feeding. Hand-mouth coordination is much needed for self-feeding. Babies will suck their hand during the initial months, don’t stop it while they are doing. They have to learn hand-mouth
Benefits of Self-Feeding:
1. As like us, Babies know their food intake limit and take it as per their need. So, we don’t have to force-feed, and force-feeding ultimately will end in throwing up.
2. We don’t have to run behind the kids and feed them, which is overwhelming for both parent and babies.
3. We don’t have to worry about their mealtime or look into cues for hunger. If they are hungry, they will ask on their own, and our work is to give them nutritious food.
4. Self-Feeding is a life savior while going to restaurants, long trips, visiting friends place, Parties, etc. Self-fed kids will have their food (Tantrums and playing are different), and we don’t have to stress ourselves while visiting some place.
5. If they are involved in family foods we don’t have to prepare anything separately for kids.
6. Kids who are exposed to all varieties of food before the age of one, will accept most of the food items later in their life.
Our First year meal practice:
As per our pediatrician advice, I avoided salt, sugar, honey
- She was completely on Breastmilk for the first 6 months with very little formula during the first few days. Babies must be on breastmilk or formula milk (As per doctor suggestion)for the first one whole year (6 months compulsory and after 6 months compliment with solids).
- After completion of 6months, we have started with solids. First food is rice porridge. As per doctor’s advice, I have introduced one new food once every 3 days. For the first 2 months of solids journey, it was a puree. As I mentioned earlier after she turns 8 months slowly moved to self-feeding and reduced puree form of foods and it was normal food as we eat except porridge.
- As we introduced new foods once in 3 days, she got exposed to most of the family foods within the first year.
- As she’s into self-feeding, she got used to all kinds of foods and she experienced all textures.
- She was included in family mealtime every day. There is no specific time for her meals. She sits with us and
havethe food. I have practiced her to sit atone place and have the food. Initially, she will roam around for some time but eventually, she comes back for the food.
- Instead of the same texture, it’s always good to give different textured food. This will attract the kids to explore the foods.
- Mess. Yes, it will be a big mess if kids start to eat on their own. Even we went through that stage
.Butkids will learn a lot from that mess. Their sensorial skill will improve bytouchingvarious textured food. The messy thing will last for only first fewmonths, once they get accustomed to self-feeding, kids will have a mess- freemealtime.
It is always good to provide a healthy and home made dishes to kids. I found a healthy beetroot raita recipe from fellow bloggers.
Avoid giving cow’s milk, sugar, salt, honey during the first year.
Reason to avoid (As per Dr’s advice)
- Cow’s milk:
Cow’s milk contains lot of proteins, because of which babies can’t digest it and it will upset their stomach. Consumption of cow’s milk will harm babies kidneys.
Honey can contain spores of a bacterium called Clostridium botulinum, which can germinate in a baby’s immature digestive system and cause infant botulism, a rare but potentially fatal illness. … syrup) and not found the harmful bacteria. (Source-Google.com)
Things to avoid during mealtime.
- No distraction feeding
- No Mobiles or television .
- No force feeding.