Once your baby has tried rice cereal start introducing simple ingredient fruits and vegetables, such as well-mashed or pureed pumpkin, apples, pear or kumara. Offer the same food once a day for a few days then offer another new food. Remember to only offer one to two teaspoons the first time then gradually increase over a few days to one to two tablespoons. If baby rejects a food, try again the next day. Sometimes it can take up to 10 tries before a baby accepts a food.
WHEN TO START SOLIDS
Until the age of around six months ALL baby’s nutrition comes from breast milk or infant formula. Most babies are ready to try solids around four to six months. Babies are born with a store of iron that starts to deplete at around six months so it is important that breast milk or infant formula are complemented with rice cereal that has added iron as well as a range of pureed meats and vegetables. The vegetables have Vitamin C., which helps iron absorption.
SIGNS THAT YOUR BABY IS READY FOR SOLIDS
- Your baby is able to hold his head up
- Forward tongue thrust or extrusion reflex has disappeared so he can take food from a spoon and swallow it (if baby is still poking their tongue out, this means they are not quite ready for solids).
- Watches you eat and becomes very excited when they see food
- Chewing movements even though probably no teeth yet.
Remember to offer your baby milk feed first, wait a little while, and then offer a small amount of new food.
HOW TO INTRODUCE SOLIDS
Offer Only Organic Baby Rice Cereal as baby’s very first food. Mix one teaspoon with a little breast milk or formula to a thin custard consistency. If using breast milk it may go watery as breast milk has enzymes, which break down the starches in rice cereal.
Sit baby on your lap with baby’s right arm tucked behind you and holding baby’s left arm with your left hand. Reverse the position if you are left-handed. Offer half to one teaspoon the first day. The next day increase by one to two teaspoons and so on until baby has one to two tablespoons a day. After a week or so offer another new food, for example, pureed pumpkin, in the same way at a different time of day so that baby has rice cereal once a day plus a taste of a new food. Babies’ appetites vary from day to day so expect that they will eat different amounts on different days. Check with your child health nurse as to the number of breast feeds or bottles of infant formula that your baby needs at this stage.