As a new mother, it is only natural to have numerous questions about your baby’s development and well-being. As such, one of the most common questions most mothers have is when to start feeding solid foods to their little ones. While breastmilk or formula is the main source of nutrition for the first six months, it’s important to introduce solid foods at the right time to ensure your baby’s healthy growth and development. Attempting to solve this dilemma is actor-vlogger Debina Bonnerjee who is a mother to two little daughters, Lianna and Divisha.
“A lot of people ask me how did Lianna start eating solid food, when did she start eating the same, and if I am applying the same trick for Divisha,” she started out saying, in a video posted on her official YouTube channel, Debina Decodes.
She shared that for both of her babies, she started with semi-liquid food items. “Lianna’s first food was mashed avocado placed inside her mouth which she would taste and eat using her tongue. We initially used our hands to feed her because their tongues aren’t used to eating food and may end up spitting it out,” Debina said.
As for Divisha, she opted for mashed boiled rice mixed with water as her first semi-solid food. “In the food sucker, you can add blueberries, bananas, mango, etc. I chose blueberries. This method introduces new flavours. It isn’t necessary to give only one fruit, you can give different fruits every day. The sooner you introduce a variety of fruits and other food items to them, the wider their taste palette will be,” she added.
Debina further shared that she doesn’t feed salt, sugar, jaggery, and honey to her daughters. “This is because a baby’s brain development gets slow when they start eating sugar, my doctor said,” she concluded.
Talking about introducing solid foods to babies, Dr Jagdish Kathwate, Consultant Neonatologist and Paediatrician, Motherhood Hospital, Kharadi, Pune said that one must avoid giving solid foods for the first six months. “The baby is not yet ready to eat solid foods and giving it can lead to poor feeding experiences. After consulting the doctor, solid foods should be introduced only after six months, based on the growth and development of the baby.”
He said that one must ensure the baby sits on his/her own and opens mouth when he/she sees any food item. “Begin with small amounts of solid foods. Do not give roti, sabzi immediately. Also, avoid nuts, popcorn, grapes, or big pieces of food that may get stuck in the mouth. Give softly cooked foods or mashed potatoes, veggies, cheese, bananas, and peas. Do not force the child to eat food. Let him/her eat when he/she wants to. Do not give fruit juices or sweetened beverages to the baby in the first year. It is better to take the help of an expert who will guide parents regarding what to give the baby and what not to,” Dr Kathwate said.