Your little one is growing up. She can hold her head up, and can sit when supported. She’s interested in what you have on your plate, and is constantly reaching out for the spoon when you’re eating your own dinner. If she’s around six months old, these signs show she’s ready to start solids.
Introducing new foods can be a challenge for parents who want to make sure they’re doing the best for their baby. Parents want to know the right foods to introduce and how to introduce them. They also worry about allergies and how best to watch out for them.
Well, we’ve answered these questions for you, and put together an easy-to-use Food Introduction Log. The log will help you monitor your bub for any reactions after introducing a new food.
Let’s get started.
The Best Easy-to-Digest Foods for Your Baby
Smooth fruits and vegetables. The Healthy Eating Guidelines also suggest giving bub smooth fruits or cooked fruit and vegetables that have been mashed or pureed. Some great choices are avocado which contain lots of healthy fats, as well as the mineral magnesium (crucial to our health). Stewed apple or pear are great options because they provide baby with fibre and pectin which helps with digestion or constipation.
Babies also love bananas which are a great first carbohydrate source because they contain amylase, an enzyme necessary for the digestion of carbohydrates. Pumpkins and squashes, such as butternut squash are also great choices because they’re low in nitrate.
Blended red meat. Red meat is one of the only foods that is high in three key nutrients that are vital to a baby’s development: iron, zinc and vitamin B12. Because of baby’s immature digestive tract, they will struggle to get these micronutrients from plant sources, but red meat, blended with a little breastmilk or infant formula, is easy for your baby’s little body to convert to a usable form.
Porridge. Oats are among some of the healthiest grains on earth. They’re rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fibre. Plus they’re easy on young tummies and help stave off constipation that can arise when babies are first trying solid foods. Combine your porridge with delicious pureed pears for even more health benefits for bub. Pears are high in folate, provitamin A and niacin, which are important for cellular function, energy production and skin health. And oats and pears are a delicious combination.
Winter Porridge with Poached Pear
½ cup of oats
¾ cup to 1 cup of sterilised water
1x pureed pear
Goat milk is rich in mineral and vitamin content. It has a creamy texture and is excellent for babies because of its easy digestibility.
As parents, we are rightly worried about possible allergies. Very serious allergies in children can cause anaphylactic shock. But new research suggests that it’s best to introduce common allergenic foods early on in your baby’s food journey. In fact, we now know that exposing babies to common allergenic foods early may reduce their risk of developing food allergies.
Introducing Allergenic Foods
If your child has tolerated low-risk foods well (such as banana, avocado and butternut squash), you might want to introduce potential allergenic foods (such as egg, peanuts and milk). Introduction of all foods should follow the same pattern.
- Introduce new foods one at a time. Once you’ve given your bub a new type of food, wait three to five days before introducing another type of food.
- Watch for any reactions – such as eczema, gas, bloating, vomiting, hives, fussiness, blood in the stool, runny nose or diarrhoea – and record those reactions on your Food Introduction Log. It may sometimes take up to three days for any reactions to appear.
- Once you’ve introduced a new food, and it’s tolerated well, keep offering it to your little one regularly, even while introducing other new foods. One good way to introduce new fruits is by adding them to your baby’s Winter Porridge. Other fruits, such as blueberries or peaches, can easily be added as well (one at a time) to make a delicious and healthy meal for bub.
High Risk Babies
If your child has an established food allergy, a suspected food allergy, eczema or a sibling with an allergy, it’s best to speak to your GP before introducing any allergenic foods.
At the end of the day, introducing solids to your baby should be fun, both for you and your bub. Take it slow, keep track of the foods as you go and start with those that are both easy-to-digest and yummy to eat, and you’ll be starting your LittleOak baby off on an exciting and healthy food journey.
If your LittleOak bub is ready to start their solids journey
Give the Winter Porridge with Poached Pear a go. Delicious, high in micronutrients, easy on little tummies and low allergenic when made with our goat’s milk formula – it’s the perfect first food.
The LittleOak Company aims to give accurate, useful, reliable and up-to-date information on baby nutrition of the general nature and may amend the content on this site as required. To the extent permitted by law, The LittleOak Company does not accept any liability or responsibility for claims, resulting from the misinterpretation of the content of this website, which is never intended to disregard, alter or discontinue professional medical advice and/or treatment. If you are ever unsure about your baby's development, concerned about the well-being of your bub or your own health, seek medical advice immediately without delay.