Week Twenty Four
Starting solid food
Your baby's six-month birthday marks a new chapter is her diet - you can now break out the rice cereal and offer him a mouthful of solid food. Chances are that he'll screw up his face and push it back out of his mouth with his tongue. Don't be put off by your baby's reaction - this is a brave, new world after all - he has to get used to the new taste and texture, along with getting food off a spoon.
In the early weeks, keep his food thin and completely pureed. Offer one food type at a time for a couple of days at a time - this way, you'll quickly pick up any potential food allergies or sensitivities.
Solid food and allergies
With a lot of press about the rising incidence of food allergies in our children, it's no wonder many parents feel anxious introducing solid food into their baby's diet. While it is true that food allergies and intolerances are on the rise, you can introduce new foods into your baby's diet in a way and on a timeline that can identify and minimise possible reactions.
Until your baby's nine months old, refrain from introducing wheat or soy products - stick instead with iron-fortified rice cereal and low-allergy fruits and vegetables. When you do begin to introduce meat, start with chicken (steam and then shred it), and hold off on dairy products until she's twelve months old. Egg yolks can be introduced after nine months, but, again, wait until she's twelve months before you introduce egg white.
Introducing solids successfully
While it's tempting to offer your baby all the sweet foods first - apple and pear are popular first choices - try to stay away from them in the early days. Often babies who have been introduced to sugary foods early on reject the less sweet tastes of vegetables such as potato, carrot and pumpkin.
Also, avoid seasoning your baby's food - he doesn't need extra salt or sugar in his food. Your baby's taste buds are more sensitive than our dulled adult ones, so he'll enjoy food that we may consider plain. And before you decide that your baby doesn't like a particular food, give him at least six tries of the new food. Many babies will reject a new flavour many times before deciding they actually like it.
Find more about your baby’s week by week development
This article was written by Linda Drummond for Kidspot.com.au and has been adapted for Kidspot.co.nz