Introducing solids is an important time in a child's life and they move away from breastfeeding or formula feeding as their main source of nutrients and start to activate the digestive system in a new way.
More and more we are seeing children with multiple allergies or intolerances and there are quite a few reasons for this, but it comes down to gut health and bacteria well before any food was introduced. More and more research is showing us the importance of gut health and having the right bacteria. If that gut health is disrupted and you introduce food the reaction to most food in the digestion will cause pain and discomfort, colic, constipation and maybe even an allergic reaction.
Which is why I suggest if you have a baby who has suffered colic, digestive issues before you start solid heal the gut. This can be done through a homeopathic practitioner with knowledge in nutrition and gut health.
When starting solids it's important to start giving solids slowly and only giving one type of food at a time, starting with food that is the least reactive.
Walk for babies indication that they want to eat food, such as trying to grab food from your hands and being able to hold there head up.
I remember my son being very interested in food just before he turned four month old. But due to the young age and my knowledge of gut health, I started with rice cereal mixed with boiled water at 4 month of age. I did this for one month before introducing anything else. You can also use breast milk instead of water.
It is suggested that you use a single grain rice or oats cereal if starting before the age of 6 months. due to the maturity of the digestive system.
Introduce 1 new food per week at a time, if there is a reaction to that food try it again in a few weeks. When I mean reaction I do not mean a major allergic reaction if this happens the food needs to be avoided and it is suggested you see your doctor or specialist.
Start with mild fruit or veggies - Avo was my go-to
Things like Quinoa can be added in once they start eating a range of fruit or veg.
By about 8 months you can start to introduce lentils or meat if you're a meat-eater.
Everything is puree at this stage it helps the digestion break things down and they also don't have any teeth to chew everything yet.
You can now start combining foods, however, most children like plane separated food for a long time as the taste buds haven't fully formed and mixing food can be overpowering. Some will not grow out of this until around the age of 5.
Plates with separated section work well.
You can start to introduce the fibre rich veggies like Broccoli and Cauliflower.
Can introduce berries like blueberries, melon and cherries.
Tofu and fish can be introduced
The puree can be a little more chunky now and not so smooth, Texture sensitive babies may not like this so much.
This is also a time when you can use Little Munchkins as a food source using half the dose, not as a replacement to breastfeeding or formula feeding.
10 - 12 months
You can start to introduce acidic food slowly
Food is cut into bite-size pieces but easily mashed when eaten.
strawberries - some kids get a rash the first few times
Eggs can now be introduced
Pasta can be introduced at this stage my suggestion, however, is to go for buckwheat, quinoa gluten-free pasta options.
Things to avoid introducing to soon
Dairy-based products should not be introduced until after 12 months, I don't think they should be introduced at all as 75% of us have an intolerance to dairy and overall the research tells us it is not beneficial for health and wellbeing.
Alternative - coconut yogurt, almond milk, coconut milk, rice milk cashew cheese is a cream cheese that dairy-free. coconut cheese is also available as is soy cheese.
Mix in Little Munchkins for added nutrition and protein.
Nuts such as peanut due to possible allergies is one that is avoided for some time.
Best to speak to your paediatrician or health practitioner around the introduction of nuts and in regards to allergies.
This is general information only and should not replace advice given to you by your health professional. Always seek medical advice in emergencies.