Baby starting solids? Dietitian, Lyndi Cohen shares her top tips for the transition
When your baby reaches 6 months, breastmilk (or infant formula) may no longer provide them with all the necessary nutrients and energy they need to grow. You may also find that your baby will begin to have a greater appetite and will want to try different foods.
While maintaining good nutrition is important at all life stages, it is especially important for babies as they need the right type of nutrients and good sources of energy to grow.
A baby's transition to solids can be an overwhelming time for parents, but here are some tips to make it both an exciting and seamless experience.
What is the best way to introduce your baby to solids?
It's important to realise that while it’s often referred to as ‘starting baby on solids’, your baby’s first foods are not solid at all. Rather, you will be feeding your baby smooth, pureed foods.
Some of the best foods I recommend introducing to your baby are:
Iron-rich foods: It’s important that baby’s first foods provide a good source of iron.
A convenient and healthy option is SunRice Baby Rice Cereal which is made in Australia with Australian rice, and has no added sugar or artificial flavours.
Some other iron-rich foods I recommend are pureed meat, poultry and fish, or cooked tofu and legumes.
Pureed vegetables and fruit: This is a great way to get your baby used to the flavours of fruits and vegetables and ensure they are having a healthy varied diet from a young age. It also ensures they are getting a good supply of nutrients and energy that supports their growth. It is ideal to include a variety of fruits and vegetables so you can introduce your baby to lots of different smells, flavours and colours. The more foods you try, the more you will learn about what your baby enjoys. Some good options to try are avocado, peas, broccoli, berries, banana, pumpkin, carrot and spinach.
Full-fat yoghurt: Yoghurt is a good source of calcium, probiotics and protein, however it is important to choose one that doesn’t have any added sugars.
Tips for transitioning baby to solids!
Continue giving your baby breast milk or infant formula in the early stages of making the transition to solids. Start by offering your baby purees, progressing to mashed foods and then minced and chopped foods as they become ready.
As a guide, most babies are able to chew by 7 to 9 months of age and can manage finger foods at 8 months. SunRice Baby Rice Cereal is a good source of iron and can be added to purees to provide a nutritious meal for your baby.
Continue introducing your baby to an array of foods so that by 12 months, they are enjoying a varied diet.
Flavour additions such as salt or sugar should not be added to your baby’s food. They will find the food you give them flavourful without these!
Lyndi Cohen is a dietician and SunRice wellness Ambassador.