The ideal diet for 3-6 month old babies

The World Health Organization (WHO) agrees that breast milk is the best form of nutrition for babies during the first 6 months. Between 3 and 6 months, however, babies begin to show signs of solid food-readiness, such as good head control, interest in other people’s food and loss of baby tongue-extrusion reflex that causes young babies to push everything but a nipple out of their mouths with their tongues. Signs of food-readiness mean it is high time you introduce your baby to solid foods. Check with your doctor first before you start on the ideal diet for 3-6 month old babies.

Breast milk or formula

Babies under one year still need breast milk or formula to get essential nutrients. It is, therefore, a good idea to start the first feeding of the day with breast milk or bottle formula before moving on to solid food nutritional supplements later on in the day. Eating solid food with the spoon is a task that requires time, patience and effort. Your baby may not have these qualities when he first wakes up, especially if he wakes up extremely hungry. Ideally, introduce new foods at lunch time and extend the feeding gradually to other meals.

Baby cereals and grains

Start your baby with iron-fortified baby cereal mixed with breast milk or formula. Iron fortified rice is recommended to begin with on a spoon, but it may cause constipation. Your baby will also need whole grains and fibre in her diet in addition to baby cereals. Mix multiple grains together for maximum health benefits.

Also, give your baby small pieces of food that can’t cause choking like bread as a snack to help her practice self-feeding. However, do not put cereals and grains in the baby’s bottle unless specifically told to do so by your doctor. Bottle feeding your baby with cereals poses a choking hazard and can lead to your baby being overweight.

Fruits and vegetables

Fruits and vegetables area great addition to lunch and dinner meals. They can also be fed for breakfast, depending on your baby’s appetite for solid food. Make sure uncooked fruits and vegetables are soft and tender and cooked fruits and vegetables are diced into small pieces or fork-mashed into tender state. Avoid fruits that have seeds in them so you don’t choke or upset your baby’s tummy.

Remember, don’t offer your baby large amounts of solid food that you haven’t introduced before. Wait between one and two weeks before you introduce new foods to ensure your baby does not develop food allergies. Also, consult with your doctor regularly on the frequency and types of new foods to introduce, as well as any other issues that arise like food intolerance and allergic reactions.

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