Basic tips on introducing solids
Through my service, I spend a lot of my time simplifying the diets of upset newborns and infants to reinstate calm. Generally one, two or all three of the aspects below are happening for the child. They may be:
- having too much solids in one sitting thus they are being fed beyond their stomach capacity and digestive function
- being fed too much variety
- eating too many snack like foods throughout the day as parents are feeding in order to stop them grizzling, crying or screaming.
When is the best time to start solids?
A newborns body is biologically ready for solids at the age of 6 months. However in some instances, due to low weight gain, I will consider giving a five month old 1 teaspoon of solids a day to maintain their health.
When you first feed solids, offer them in the morning. This gives you time to notice any allergic reaction before you place baby to bed. A reaction generally happens within the hour and consists of:
- tingling or itching in the mouth
- hives, itching or eczema
- swelling of the lips, face, tongue and throat or other parts of the body
- wheezing, nasal congestion or trouble breathing
- abdominal pain, diarrhoea, nausea or vomiting
- dizziness, light-headedness or fainting.
Should I start with baby rice?
Most of us are taught that baby rice is the best starter food however, take a look at the ingredients of baby rice and you have to wonder why. Firstly, there are five completely new ingredients for your baby to process all at once for the first time in their lives! Secondly the ingredients aren’t exactly healthy. See this blog for more information on the ingredients in commercial baby rice - is it really the best first food for your baby's health?
Which food is a healthy option for your baby?
Red Kumera. Red Kumera is rated as one of the most nutritious of all vegetables. They have a good source of antioxidants, dietary fibre, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, a form of Vitamin A and are naturally gluten free. Red Kumera is also easier on your babies digestive system than Gold or Orange Kumera. I recommend adding a tiny drop of olive oil to the teaspoon of Kumera before feeding, this will help your baby’s bowel motions as their digestive system learns how to breakdown this new food.
When should I start to introduce other foods?
Two months after you have started kumera, using kumera as your base for all the meal times. Two months may seem a long time to some, but this way your baby’s digestive system only has one food to learn to process, while they get used to the additional quantity as you slowly add lunch and tea into their day. After two months you can add mashed up pear to one of the kumera feeds for a month. Pear is quite a harsh fruit but by this age a newborn’s system can handle it better. After this mashed up avocado to another feed for a month and then mashed up chicken. Yes, that does mean your baby is having kumera for breakfast and that may seem odd since we think of breakfast as cereal, fruits or toast, but really, your baby doesn’t know the difference. What they do know and feel is an overload when too much variety and quantity is fed.
Keep their food plain and simple.
Add small amounts of variety slowly.
This simultaneously nurture's a baby’s digestion & mental health.