During the first year, your baby will go through a major growth spurt. During this period, your baby makes the transition from breastfeeding or bottle feeding to solid food. Your baby will grow best with sufficient and healthy food. In this article, I explain what you should pay attention to when switching to solid food.
Exercise snacks of solid food
Your baby can start with practice snacks from 4 months. The purpose of practicing snacks is to teach the motor skills to eat more solid foods.
You can give almost all the healthy foods that you eat yourself. Make sure your baby is ready. You can notice, for example, that he looks a lot at your food and/or makes smacking noises.
During the practice snacks, it is important that your baby can sit up straight and swallow properly. Through practice snacks, your baby learns to deal with other tastes.
This increases the chance that your baby will eat the food with the first bites. This is important because otherwise, your baby will not get enough nutrients.
For example, you can give a spoonful of mashed vegetables, fruit, cooked fish, or meat.
First bites of solid food
You then expand the practice snacks by giving more food.
From 8 months your baby can eat peanut butter and egg. If your baby has severe eczema or a food allergy, you can give these products before the age of 6 months. It is important to discuss this with a doctor or dietician.
Various feeding schedules explain how you can expand the solid food. The goal is for your baby to be able to eat full meals between 8 and 12 months. Breastfeeding is still allowed.
This is a method where your baby is allowed to research food and imitate you or someone else. Your baby can start using this method of learning to eat solid foods from 6 months.
It is also important with this method that your baby can sit up straight. Support can be used for this if necessary.
The Rapley method is not recommended, among other things, if your baby was born prematurely, cannot yet sit up properly, and/or cannot chew and pick it up independently. If there is a family history of digestive problems, allergies, and intolerances, the Rapley method is also not a good choice.
Ready-made baby food vs. homemade baby food
In contrast, homemade baby food has many more health benefits. This way it contains much more nutrients and you know exactly what is in it.
If you make good planning, it does not have to take much time. It is also much cheaper than ready-to-use jarred food. You usually don’t need to cook separately.
Ready-to-use baby food is often smooth in texture and has no distinct taste because it is mixed. By making your baby food, your baby learns to deal with different textures and loose flavors.
You can meal prep the baby food and freeze it in portions. This saves a lot of time compared to making solid food each time. You can puree the food or make a special baby food maker. You can steam, blend, defrost and heat in this device.