6 Secrets to Getting your Baby Started on Solid Foods
Weaning – YES! What a celebratory sigh of relief! After most of us mums have devoted our anatomy of breasts solely to the occupation of feeding our little one, I know that right now it is quite exciting to think about starting solid foods. Also, welcome to the mummy weaning cooking school
I had the old-age voice in my head when I thought about starting our child on solid foods. The same malenge (pumpkin) and papaya and I cannot even recall what else! But I figured that in these times, there must be something that I could do differently and better. One major mistake that I did make though – and I would like to point out from the start – was mixing too many different foods together from the commencement of the weaning process.
Every child is unique and, in my case, our firstborn son was weaned a little early at about 5 months because I did not have sufficient breast milk. But with our second-born daughter, I decided to breastfeed her exclusively until 7 months, after which I demanded my body back so to speak!
For both our children, here is what I discovered. I would continue to follow these tips if we add to the family.
1) Mum, be extremely patient for the first week.
Make very little solid foods because your baby will probably eat only 1-2 teaspoons of food at a time. Just try feeding the baby 3-5 times a day and add a little breast milk to the food so that a familiar flavour is part of the new food. Put yourself in your baby’s shoes and imagine eating baby solid foods Kenyan recipes for the first time in your life not to mention that the mother’s arm or baby chair is now replacing the comfort of the warm and cushioned breast area they previously demanded rights to.
2) Take it slow.
Leave a space of 4 days in between each new food you introduce. Do not try to mix different foods together for at least the first two weeks. But this could depend on the baby, as some will welcome the solid foods after a few days and you can begin adding a new ingredient to the meal. But in most cases, it may take a while for the baby to adjust.
3) Do some research, but go with your gut.
Personally, I did not read much on the weaning diet for the baby because I have a background in food and nutrition. On a lighter note, what I did research on was how to reduce MY MILK production and I tell you it is AMAZING what tips are available that left me either tickled to the bone or in awesome shock! We women are astounding!
4) Give your baby locally grown real food
Here are some examples of nutritious foods in Kenya. I would recommend every mother begin with weaning. But remember to introduce only one food at a time.
a. Pumpkin – butternut squash is my choice
b. Sweet Potato
d. Chicken broth(add to potatoes)
5) Make it palatable
Steam the pumpkin, potato or spinach in very little water until cooked. Blend then pass all the foods through a fine sieve to get it as smooth as possible so that the baby does not feel any lumps when eating. Furthermore, add quite a lot of breast milk to the food so that the baby’s first challenge is more the flavour than the texture. Always use the freshest ingredients you can get and do not overcook the food. Your baby deserves tasty meals.
Could I add some additional advice that a few of you mums may frown at? The fact is that I was EXHAUSTED even during the weaning process, and as I did not really trust the hygiene of my house-help at that tender age of the baby, I chose to be making the food myself. Now making a ¼ cup of fresh food every day for our baby was adding to the fatigue but I frowned upon any thought of freezing the food. How wrong I was!
6. Batch cook and freeze.
The fact is that the cooked foods I have mentioned above if frozen after cooking, do not lose many vitamins and minerals.
I recommend making some pumpkin for 2 or 3 days and spooning it into a clean ice-cube tray. Wrap tightly to avoid contamination with other foods and then be taking out a cube at a time to reheat for the baby. Do not do this for the banana and pawpaw. With pawpaw, note that the high enzyme content may result in digestive difficulties for some babies so introduce it with caution and preferably with slightly older babies. You can eat the remaining fruit after preparing what the baby needs.
Avocado is a great solid food because its relatively high fat and protein content makes it more similar to the composition of breast milk, and it is easy to digest. Some medical experts even recommend hard-boiled kienyeji egg yolks as a highly nutritious and digestible early weaning food. What were your baby’s favourite solid foods? Comment in the box below to share with fellow mums.
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