02 May

Introducing solid foods to the baby

It is always a challenge and a period of anxiety for a new mother to know what is it that she can give her baby as a complementary food apart from breastfeeding. Complementary foods made Many of my subscribers ask me this question as to when is a good time to start the baby on solid foods and what is a good solid food to start?

Complementary foods made from locally available foods should be introduced at six completed months to all babies while continuing breastfeeding. Complementary feeding is a time when the baby slowly transitions from liquid to solid food.

The size of the stomach of the baby at 6 months is of the size of an orange or a grapefruit, So the size is small and your baby needs to get energy dense food at each feed so he stays full and active. To provide more calories from smaller volumes, food must be thick in consistency - thick enough to stay on the spoon without running off, when the spoon is tilted. Parents must identify the staple homemade food comprising of cereal-pulse mixture in the ratio 2:1, (as these are fresh, clean and cheap) and make them caloric and nutrient-rich with locally available products.like Ragi porridge, jowar porridge, wheat porridge or Dates porridge. You can begin with one or two teaspoons and gradually increase the quantity to half a cup or more.


The food should be a “balanced diet” consisting of various (as diverse as possible) food groups/components in different combinations. Initially, babies may not like the foods but introduce them to different foods one at a time and as the babies show interest in complementary feeds, the variety should be increased.  Easily available, cost-effective seasonal uncooked fruits, green and other dark-colored vegetables, milk and milk products, pulses/legumes, oil/butter, sugar/jaggery may be added to the staples gradually


Avoid giving drinks with low nutrient value, such as tea, coffee, and sugary drinks. Make sure your food preparation is hygienic. Freshly cooked food should be consumed within one to two hours in hot climate unless refrigerated. Please make sure you wash your hands before preparing food and also before feeding your baby.

Last modified on Monday, 06 August 2018 13:03
Dr Padma

Dr Padma is a Family care physician and is the Founder and CEO of MedHealthTV.


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