Thursday, July 15, 2010

Introducing Foods In First Year -- The Indian/AP Baby Way

I was advised to introduce solids after completion of 4 months but it was reiterated to me that milk should be the primary meal to the kid and solids is just to get the kid used to various textures gradually. Excessive drooling and those very observant glances whenever anyone ate (the Brahmi way ;)), I was told was the indication that the baby was ready for solids. However, the signs and readiness may vary from baby to baby. The pediatrician would let us know in one of the monthly or regular checkup visits.

Beginning With
Very ripe mashed banana without the seeds.
Cooked and mashed carrot.
Cooked apple without the skin.
Cooked peas, beans, beetroot.

The quantity however is really less, a spoonful or so to begin with. If the baby wants more, no problem.. but ensure that the milk intake at that point is not compromised and that milk is still to be consumed at a regular rate.

Cereals like Farex, Cerelac, Easum, First Foods or store-bought varieties based on the age-appropriate guidelines mentioned overleaf or as per the doctor.

Fruit juices
Home made juices of pomegranate, carrot, beetroot.. do not overdo on citrus juices like orange unless we get a nod from the ped.

Homemade vegetable soups.


Completion of 5 months, 6th month.. rice and dal fried and ground to a soft texture and cooked along with finely cut veggies.

The consistence of this rice and dal mix should be varied as per the kid's tolerance and taste preference. I used to give it in ghee (home-made). I find Durga Ghee to be tasty personally and so does the kid.

From 7th month onwards, the ped gradually asked me to try all the vegetables and I had tried a majority of them but avoided brinjal, bitter gourd.

By the end of first year, the kid should be able to eat more or less everything we as elders do, pretty much everything healthy and edible. Also, the powder texture should be made coarser gradually and by 11th month or so very softly cooked complete rice grains should be fine.

Sweet potato could be cooked and mashed but this is a little heavy on the tummy.

About giving Ragi, there are varied views but I was told to keep it until a later date so towards 8th month started on Ragi java or porridge based on kid's preference.

No added salt and sugar initially and gradually go for very very little salt. We might not like the taste without salt but for kids who are not introduced to that flavor it doesnt matter, so limit the sodium intake in first year of life.

Rice with buttermilk was also introduced around the same age. There are again varied views as to when to go about introducing dairy products for a kid. here I was given a go ahead in the 7th month and started giving rice with curd/buttermilk.

However, introducing to whole milk or cow/buffalo milk was put off until the kid turned one year old at the best.

I started introducing porridge made of milk little by little as the kid showed no signs of allergy.

Water at this stage should be introduced with a glass or a spoon and the bottle dependence should gradually be weaned.


Again, there are varied views as to how and when to go about.. Some wait until the 10th month, but I was told to introduce it in 7th month, starting with egg yellow and not the white. White was told to be avoided up until the kid turns a year old. So, hard boiling the egg and giving the kid yellow if he/she likes it. As the time passed, introduced various forms of it like omlette in ghee, scrambled egg, bread omlette sweet/hot.

After completing 9 months, I was told to try very softly cooked chicken and mutton kheema and fish gradually checking for allergies based on baby's preference. I started with fish, very little but not on a regular basis.. the number of times were few and far between. It again is a debatable issue and doc has mentioned that this or for that matter any new food should not be forced on kid and if and if they do want a little they will have it. Soups can also be given. Mooliga or the gravy in the bone is supposed to be a real healthy food and given to the food.

Whole Milk:
I was told to introduce it gradually substituting one routine feed with the whole milk, diluting at first and then switch completely from around 11 months of age or close to one year.

Sweets, ice-creams, chocolates should be avoided as much as possible but are definitely not a sin is what I was told from the age 10 months onwards... I personally feel that kid is fine enough getting the natural sugar from fruits rather than sweetening agents.

Date syrup is a good alternative for sugar in infants as it is told to avoid honey in the first year of life.

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