• sarahcheng86

When, What and How to Introduce Solid Food to Your Infant

Updated: May 24

In this article, I will be sharing when, how and what to introduce solid food to your infant.




Feeding the infant: 1 to 6 months old

What to feed the infant?


- The infant only needs iron from breastmilk or milk formula.



Signs of the infant being hungry include:

- Crying and/or moving mouth to the person’s breast who is carrying.

- Putting hands or feet into the mouth.


- Sucking item or someone’s face, hand, or feet.



Time to Introduce Solid Food

- New growth stages require more iron than can be found in breastmilk or formula.


- After six months, breastmilk is still the infant’s main source of energy and nutrients BUT solid foods should now be added into the daily food intake.


The infant has a small stomach and needs to be eating small amounts of soft and nutritious food frequently throughout the day.


Signs that your infant is ready for solid food:









- Has good head and neck control and can sit upright when supported.

- Opens the mouth when you offer food on a teaspoon.


- Shows an interest in food by looking at what is on your bowl.

- Opens mouth and reaches for your food when you are eating.



How To Introduce Solid Food?

Food Timing

The infant is more likely to try new solid food after a feed of breastmilk or milk formula which satisfies hunger.

- Sit the infant in a highchair beside you.

- Wipe the infant and your hands before feeding or letting the infant to self-feed.

- Try one or two teaspoons of food to start with each day and increase according to the infant’s appetite.

- Talk, listen and bond with the infant.

As time passes, parents will learn when the infant is hungry, full or not interested. Click here to read about “Baby Sleep Tips”.



Signs of the infant being hungry include:

- Mouth moving or chewing

- Putting hands, feet or items which the infant can reach into the mouth.


- Sucking item or someone’s face, hand or feet.

- Turning mouth next to the parent’s mouth when the parent holds on to the food.


- Getting excited as you prepare food.

- Opening mouth with hands reaching or snatching as about to be fed.

- Crying or making noise with hands reaching to ask for more after the first teaspoon.














Signs of a full infant and no longer interested in food:

- Turning head away from food.

- Losing interest or getting distracted.

- Pushing the teaspoon or the food away.

- Clamping mouth shut and crying when you trying to feed after a period.


- Spitting out food.

Signs of the infant not interested in food include:

- Spitting out food


- Clamping mouth shut and crying when the parent is trying to feed.


Signs of the infant don’t like the food or drink:

















IMPORTANT:

- If the infant is not interested in food, try again a few days later or mix it with another food that the infant likes. After some tries and the infant still refuse the food, do not force the infant.

- Offer food the infant is interested in.


- Give the infant a teaspoon to try the food.



Does your baby “keep waking up in the night”? Here are tips for you to try it out.



What food will the infant like to eat?



















Food Texture and Types

Introduce solid food which is iron-rich and has the right food texture.

Feeding the infant: 6 - 8 months old


What to feed the infant?

Food that is smooth and soft to swallow.








- Breast milk or formula AND


- Porridge, small pieces of bread or crackers

- Pureed fruits (banana, apple, strawberry, peach, pear, avocado, mango, watermelon)


- Pureed vegetables (peas, broccoli, green beans, tomato, sweet potato, mashed butternut squash)


- Pureed or mashed meat (chicken, pork, beef)


- Pureed or mashed tofu


- Small amount of pureed or soft cheese, yogurt and ice cream


The infant will be ready for a variety of foods, and one to two meals a day.



Visit here for more details on Kids-Friendly Cafes in Singapore.

Feeding the infant: 9 - 12 months old


What to feed the infant?

Food which is small and soft pieces of chopped, finger foods to chew and eat.







- Breast milk or formula AND


- Porridge, small pieces of bread, crackers, eggs omelet, pasta, pizza


- Mashed fruits or bite-size fruits (banana, apple, strawberry, peach, pear, avocado, mango, watermelon)


- Bite-size, soft, cooked vegetables (peas, broccoli, green beans, tomato, sweet potato, mashed butternut squash, corn, cucumber, potato, carrot)


- Small bits of meat (chicken, pork, beef)


- Soft tofu, yogurt, cheese and ice cream


The infant will be ready for a variety of soft finger foods and three meals with snacks a day.



IMPORTANT:

- Expect the infant’s mealtime to be messier and slower. Eating is a skill to learn and for the infant to explore the textures and shapes of solid food.

- The taste of a new food may surprise the infant. Give the infant time to get used to it. Be patient and don’t force the infant to eat.

- Meals are a shared family time. Try to be patient with the infant and the mess created, the infant gets to enjoy mealtimes and grow.


- To make cleaning up after meals easier, place a newspaper or a plastic sheet under the infant's high chair and have a washcloth handy.


- Feed the infant with water in a cup daily.

Coming to the end of this article, I hope all these pointers will help you to introduce solid food to your infant and he will start eating.



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