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Mar 17, 2016

When should you start solid foods to your baby?

Weaning is a process of ‘making your baby accustomed to food other than the mother’s milk’. As your baby grows, his/her nutritional requirements cannot be adequately met by breast milk alone. You have to gradually start introducing solids in your baby’s diet. Weaning is a wonderful phase of discovery of the baby. The baby discovers new smells and tastes and start forming likes and dislikes for them. There is no precise age at which weaning should start, but it should not be earlier than 4 months of age.

Points that need to be considered while starting weaning foods:

  • Start solid foods at 4-6 months of age.
  • Introduce only one food at a time to let the infant get used to it.
  • Start with very small amounts (2-3 teaspoonfuls) of any new food in the beginning.
  • Introduce solids in between breast feeds. You can end the feud with a suck at the breast, if the baby is not satisfied with the solids initially.
  • Give water with Katori spoon 3-4 times a day
  • Clean mouth with water and a clean muslin cloth/ baby brush twice a day

The weaning food:

  • Should not have too much sugar, salt, oil or butter
  • Should have high energy content
  • Should be easy to digest
  • Should initially be semi-solid, mashed to consistency
  • Should not be too thick
  • Should be fresh and clean
  • Should be easy to prepare
  • Always wash hands and utensils with soap and water before preparing food and feeding the baby.
  • The utensils used for feeding the baby must be sterilized by keeping them in boiling water for 5 minutes. You can stop sterilizing the utensils after the child is 8 months of age.

The following diet plan can be followed:

1st week of starting the semi solids

  • Add boiled water to instant baby foods.,dal water, rice water, curd can be introduced

At the 3rd week of starting the semi solids:

  • Introduce seasonal fruits: One fruit at a time for at least 3-4 days before introducing another one. The fruits should be properly washed.
  • You can stew/mash any of the following- Papaya, Melon, Cheeku, Mango, Watermelon, Banana (over ripe), Apple or Nashpati peeled, pulp of orange/Mausami and banana. Mixed fresh fruits can also be given (sweeten as needed). Avoid grapes for the first few months.
  • Wheat based cereals can be introduced.
  • 2-3 teaspoonful of cooled boiled water should be given to the child after each solid meal.
  • Introduce a seasonal vegetable- One new vegetable at a time for at least 3-4 days before introducing another one.
  • You can stew/ mash the following vegetable- Ghiya, Tori, Tinda, Peas, Carrots and Spinach. You can add seasoning accordi9ng to taste. No pepper or chili to be used.
  • Some other foods you can start- Yogurt, Rice pudding, Cheese, Paneer bhujia, Khichri, Daal soup, vegetable soup and plain curd.


  • The child should start having 3 solids meals a day.
  • E.g. Cereal with fruit juice (Breakfast).
  • Mashed vegetables, deal with plain water (Lunch) .
  • Stewed fruits, yogurt with plain water (Dinner).
  • Some other foods you can start- Yogurt, Rice pudding, Cheese, Paneer bhujia, Khichri, Daal soup, vegetable soup and plain curd.
  • Use a sipper/ katori / spoon for water/ juice/ formula feed after 6 months of age.
  • You can introduce foods such as Biscuits, Suji Kheer, Upma, Halwa, chapatti soaked in milk.

At 7-9 months of age:

  • The teeth start appearing around this time. The child can be given food having coarsely mashed or finely chopped consistency.

By 10 months of age:

  • The child can now start holding finger foods.
  • Introduce Biscuits, Bread slices with jam, Cheese spread, Butter, chapatti with butter, slices of peeled soft fruit.
  • Introduce Egg- boiled / screamed in milk with a little butter. Gradually, try to increase the variety as well as the quantity of the solid foods while cutting on the milk.

At 1 year of age

  • There should be a gap of at least 3-4 hrs in between the meals.
  • Avoid in between snacks, Do not feed give milk in between the meals.
  • Avoid night feeding

A typical meal plan may be as follows:

  • 7: am- Milk in the morning
  • 10: am- Breakfast- egg/cheese+Bread+juice) or (Cereal+fresh fruit) or daliya/suji kheer/paranthi.
  • 1:30 pm- Lunch- (daal+rice+yogurt/ kheer+water)
  • 5: pm- Milk+biscuit/rusk or fruits, egg, besan Burfi, Atta, Laredo.
  • 8:30 pm- Dinner- (Vegetable+ buttered chapatti+water)+ (Ice-cream/ custard)

(If using infant formula milk, continue till 1 yr of age, after which you can start cow’s milk. This reduces the risk of allergies and increases the intake of vitamins.

Categories: General

Tags: Child

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