The kind of nutrition you provide for your new-born in his or her first year is very important for the long-term development and health of your child. Although babies primarily depend on the mother's milk during the first year, you need to be careful about how and when you introduce them to more complex forms of food. Here are a couple of useful and effective tips to ensure your child is getting everything he or she needs:
Introducing solid foods
Babies are usually ready to transition bit-by-bit to solid foods after around six months. Normal indications that they are ready to do so include improved physical coordination such as the ability to sit up and look around and tracking or reaching out for food when it's near them. Starting solid foods too early or too late could affect the growth and development of your baby, and difficulties in taking to the solid food. Good options among first solid foods include fortified infant cereal, mashed fruits and vegetables and well cooked meat.
After about 8 or 9 months, your baby can, and will start showing an interest in eating a greater variety of foods. It's a good idea to progress gradually, though, beginning with small pieces of fruits, vegetables, cooked meats and crusty food. Do not switch entirely to other kinds of milk, as the mother's milk has nutrients essential to the baby's development in the first year. Encourage your child to start self-feeding using spoons, and train them to chew their food thoroughly. Towards the end of the year you may let them eat more complex foods such as pasta, bread, cheese and yogurt. Some foods, like tea, honey and whole nuts are unsuitable in the first year.