Introducing solids is an important milestone in your child’s development and you want to get it right, for what goes in today has the potential to impact their health later on. So let’s help you get it right.
Babies’ growth in the first year of life needs to be fuelled by plenty of energy and nutrients. Growth is often not steady and can occur in spurts, meaning that hunger and appetite can be unpredictable. Starting solids is a learning experience for both parents and baby and needs to be done progressively to develop baby’s tastes.
Remember, you’re introducing a new consistency that is thicker than breast milk or infant formula. The purpose of the first stage is to accustom your baby to the more solid consistency of the food, so don’t worry too much about volume. Keep in mind that food is meant to be enjoyed, and your approach to feeding as a parent is central to your child’s early feeding experience.
Mess making is all part of your baby’s first attempts to learn to feed themselves and is an important part of the learning process.
Breast milk is the ideal source of nutrition for your baby and provides the necessary nutrients, fluids and energy up to around 6 months of age. At around 6 months, breast milk alone is no longer sufficient to meet baby’s nutritional requirements, particularly for energy, protein, iron and zinc.