Saturday, February 6, 2010

Introducing Solids

Start with Moong Dal Water. Later, you can start on a combination of green leafy vegetable soups and dal water. Begin with thin soups such as carrot, pumpkin, bottle gourd etc. Begin with strained soups and dal water initially. As your baby grows older and is about 7 months old, you can start on unstrained soups and dals. Later on, you can add other green vegetables to your baby's diet. These are a good source of iron, calcium and vitamin C.

Begin with one type of vegetable or dal and gradually accustom your baby to a combination of these vegetables and dals. Try vegetable variations like Beet and Carrot Soup. A wide variety of soups and juices will help your baby savour and develop a palate for foods other than milk

Rice is the most common cereal to begin with, as it is nutritious and easiest for babies to digest. Gradually, try a combination of a cereal and pulse, such as rice with moong dal in the form of khichdi. Your baby would best accept a well mashed khichdi thinned down with warm water, which will be easier for her to swallow and digest. Serve Moong Dal Khichdi and see your baby happily gurgle it down.

Other cereals such as wheat, ragi, bulgur wheat etc can be added as baby starts accepting semi-solid foods. Cook and puree these cereals with milk to form a smooth creamy consistency that is balmy for your baby’s tongue. Add a teaspoon or two of butter or ghee to these foods, as these are a rich source of vitamin A. A great start could be made with the Jowar and Ragi Kanji, which is an unusual and yummy combination to initiate your baby to this diet. Begin with one to two teaspoons and gradually increase the quantity to about half a cup. Once your baby accepts these changes, it is time to introduce her to mashed fruits and mashed dals as well. Most babies will love the sweet taste of fruits and welcome this innovation in their regular diet. A mashed banana (diluted with a little milk) makes an excellent meal. Chickoo, papaya and ripe mango can also be great additions. Introduce stewed fruits like apples a week or two later.

Remember to begin with a single fruit or vegetable and gradually accustom your baby to combinations.

By the end of the fifth month, most babies readily accept more variety and can be served boiled and completely mashed vegetables like carrots, potatoes etc. Ensure that these vegetables are properly cooked and blended to a semi-solid consistency so that they are easy to swallow.

Courtesy: Sireesha (M&B)

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