Introducing solid food is an exciting milestone in a baby’s first year of development. It is recommended to start solids only when the baby shows signs of readiness and preferably after turning 6 months old.
There are two main weaning approaches – Traditional Weaning, where the baby is fed by the caregiver with a spoon, and Baby Led Weaning, where the baby is allowed to self-feed.
Safe foods are those with the least possibility of causing allergic reactions, such as homemade vegetable purees and fruit such as avocado and steamed pumpkin.
We asked some mums to share with us their child’s first food and how the experience was like.
“I fed Liam banana and breastmilk for his first food and he puked it all out because he wasn’t used to the texture and it wasn’t smooth enough. That scared me! For Katie, I started Baby Led Weaning with her from the start. I gave her steamed broccoli and she took it like a champ!
“I was supposed to feed my baby avocado, like what I fed her elder brother, but I was lazy to go to the market that day and ended up feeding her carrots strips instead. She shivered with every bite and her brother got curious and tried taking one too. He immediately regretted it and put (it) back!
However, her unofficial first food was actually a custard bun that her elder brother accidentally left on the play mat, which she nibbled on when I wasn’t paying attention!”
“Cora’s first food was rice cereal because we attended some event where she was fed with rice cereal! She was greedy and cried when there were no more samples! Afterwards, I started her on avocado mixed with breastmilk.”
“Her first food was porridge! A Japanese friend gifted me a weaning book while we were living in Switzerland. Even though the book was entirely in Japanese, I could easily understand it by looking at the pictures. Of course, I had a little help from Google Translate too. It’s probably due to this way of weaning that allowed her to eat natto without a blink of an eye.”
“My elder girl was a few days shy of six months old when I prepared steamed pumpkin and grapes which were cut lengthwise for her. I practised Baby Led Weaning and sat her in a booster chair with a dining tray. It was such a mess! She nibbled on the pumpkin and the grapes but started smearing the pumpkin all over the tray! Clean up was a nightmare! Thinking back, it was a fun memory to have.”
A mix of milk with fruit seems to be a popular option as a first food. As infants below six months old are fed solely milk (either formula milk or breastmilk), it makes sense to mix milk together with a bland tasting ingredient such as avocado or rice cereal to encourage them to eat.
When preparing your first food for your baby, be sure to avoid honey, nuts and eggs as honey is unsafe for babies below one-year-old, and nuts and eggs are high on the allergens list. Have fun researching and deciding on the best first food for your baby!