Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Introducing Solids -- My Way 2

The main concern at the time of starting solid, semi-solid food is..

What should I feed my kid?
Check out the first post HERE.

how much should i feed my kid?
Well, to begin with just a little scoop of whatever it is.. say mashed banana, cereal, rice, etc. and go gradually go about increasing it.

Some kids might take an instant liking to what is being fed and some might be very resistant varies from kid to kid. Some might take to it with joy, bored of drinking the same milk/formula day in and day out and that is indeed a blessing. The doctor asks to start very little but if the kid is taking it well and demands for more, do not ration it out. Like start with one scoop is fine but you dont have to give just 1 scoop on day 2 and 3 also because you were told to give just a scoop, let the kid guide you with cues.. do not overfeed but do give them enough.

Some kids have a little resistance to shift from breast/bottle to spoon/finger.. gulping down liquids is easier than solids, so the change in consistency is also a major factor.

What should be the consistency of the cereal/first food??
to begin with very liquidy, semi solid consistency and then go about with the recommended quantity on the cereal pack.

How often do I introduce new foods?
Give a gap of about 3 to 4 days between introducing each new item and monitor for any signs of allergy and go about. Check out the brands available and the doctor's recommendations and go about.

Do I give the kid water?
Yes, with the solids you need to give some water; however, not very much.. just a spoonful or so.

How do I feed the kid?
Upright or semi reclined would be an apt position. However, if starting in 4th month or so, then if the kid is not able to lift up his neck then on the legs but head as much elevated as possible with support.

What if the kid is rejecting the food outright?
Try gradually do not rush, do not force feed. If the cereal you are giving right now is not appealing to their taste buds, go for different flavors available in the market. Always begin with stage-1 no matter when you are introducing them.

Stuffing Food: The biggest problem when I introduced food was how do I feed the kid, when do i give water, between the food or after the food. How should I give the food, as the kid gulps it down immediately rather than chewing how fast should I be feeding. When the kid was very small she used to eat happily because it was a change from routine milk but as time passed, feeding was a big issue. She would open her mouth only for a few times and my task was to push in as much as possible in those few open times.. phew, so I felt like I stuffed up the kid in that little time she gives me. Then came a time when I had to forcefully open her mouth and stuff the food and make her sit up right and give her some time to gulp it down and repeat the action :((... sigh!!! and then when she got sick she completely stopped food for a while which gave me panic attacks, but that is a phase, as long as the kid is in her normal behavior pattern with just the same energy levels it is not an area of concern, make sure the kid is well hydrated and fed at least small amounts every once in a while and wait for the kid to get back to normal :(.

Tips: Variety of colorful bowls, spoons, sippers, stories, funny faces, songs, etc. would be of some use during the food sessions.

But I would say, let the feeding sessions be the happy times for self and the kiddo, give the kid what she likes, how much she likes, give them variety, eat along with them, make meal sessions pleasant ones. When the kid is force fed, stuffed beyond what she would happily eat, they would gradually get averse to feeding sessions. See to it that the kid is fed enough but dont try for more. It is but natural that we want our kids to stuff in a lot of nutritious food but they just cant take beyond what they can, realize that and just take it a little light :).

Water: Do not give a sip of water after each morsel of food, a few morsels a spoon of water and after finishing the entire bowl of food or complete meal session a little bit of water.. just a little, too much of water immediately after meal makes them throw up a little at times, so a little water and then maybe after a few minutes or so, how much ever the kid wants to drink.

Activity: Another important thing is do not let the kid sleep on tummy or carry the kid so that the tummy is exerted immediately after meal. If possible let the kid play for a while or if sleeping let them sleep on their back first and then sleep as they want to.

TV/Computer: I would personally say avoid showing TV/computer while eating the food. It makes our task easier in the beginning but as they say, we need to focus on food when we eat. It is one habit I personally would like to inculcate in the kid, no TV/computer when eating period. Meal time should be happy time, family time, together time and a sacred time :) 'cos we are what we eat.

Routine: Also, it is better to have a routine from the outset and not allow the kids to have a bite from each and every one's plate at home. like a morsel from dad's plate, a morsel from mom's, brother's etc. Mealtimes are strictly mealtimes, no mid-meal meals from others. Eating from other's plates will cause eating irregularities at the time of their personal mealtimes, personal experience, so just avoid that. Eat together and feed from your plate, but do not feed your meals after she is done with her meals..

Will my baby be able to digest the food, wont it be strong on her belly..
Do not stuff her up and go a little easy and everything should just be fine. You can give gripe water to aid in digestion. You can give Ajwain (vaamu) in her food. Like boil a few flakes of Ajwain in water and give them to drink or put some Ajwain in the rice/dal mix at the time of cooking or if the baby is a little older, fry vaamu in ghee and grind it with a pinch of salt and give it in the first two morsels to the kid.. supposedly too good for digestion.

Teaching feeding or weaning your child depends on the principle that you are trying to make her understand the taste of different things, which she was not aware of earlier. So, that can’t be done at one time, you need to give things repeatedly. Once she eats that, with time, she will understand the taste. Force-feeding is not the right thing to do. Though I understand, for some children, accepting new taste is not easy, so what I advise, while playing with her or while diverting attention and feeding, you introduce these new things. Involve more people in this. You and she both must enjoy this feeding time. Its upto you how you make this more relaxing and enjoyable. Feeding your child can’t be taken lightly; of course it’s an important part of your daily schedule. Try your own ways to do it.


  1. Great Blog Sree :) Wish this blog becomes famous one day like a helping hand for all the Indian Moms. Hatsoff to your effort and dedication you put in this blog.
    Very Very useful for the firsttime moms ..like me :)
    not only firsttime moms but all the moms i guess :D

    Ishi papa says..thank you sree aunty :)

  2. A very good compilation Sree :)

    I've started giving solids just a month ago, so haven't experienced any feeding issues other than abt the quanities to be fed (tw)...I've introduced cereals, fruits n veggies, rice-dal ravva mix (copied ur gujju annam recipe...thanks a lot) so far...

    Abt feeding water, my ped advised me to give him abt 3-4 spoons of water every 2hrs during summer to keep the baby well hydrated...

  3. Very helpful for first time moms sree:)