Annaprashana: Introduction of solids

Annaprashan means first feeding of rice. Also a great milestone in the baby’s development, as this day marks the introduction of solids to babies. Check out what you should introduce to your baby in the months to follow.

Although there is no specified age for introducing solids, how does one know whether the baby is ready for solids? The following signs indicate that the baby is ready:

tongue-thrust reflex

  • Loss of tongue-thrust reflex (This enables the baby to swallow and drink liquids; if this reflex persists baby will drink the liquid of puree and throw the food out)
  • Capable to sit upright without being assisted
  • Shows interest in mother’s food

One very important factor for baby’s first solid foods is that only age appropriate food should be served to the baby. Solid food should always be offered with milk as babies are still getting their main source of nutrition. They are interested in solids only when little hungry and not starving. Initially, she might not accept the new texture and tastes of the food.

Babies should not be force fed. They should be allowed to eat at their own pace. Cues should be picked up when the baby does not want to have more. These could be turning her head away, refuses to open her mouth, and keeps food in her mouth for a long time. Once these signs are exhibited, food should not be offered further.

Babies go through the following feeding stages:

  • 6-8 Months: First stage of starting solids mostly consists of giving pureed fruits and vegetables. Ingredients for recipes could be picked up from the following options:
    • Grains: Rice, Oats
    • Fruits: Apples, Bananas, Mangoes, Peaches, Pears
    • Vegetables: Pumpkin, Carrots, Beans, Sweet Potatoes, Peas
    • Protein: Chicken, Tofu
    • Dairy: Milk, Yogurt
  • 8-10 Months: In this stage food is served as soft cooked food or finely chopped pieces of raw fruit. Little spice can also be introduced. Following ingredients can be picked to make some mouth watering recipes:
    • Grains: Oats, Rice, Pasta, Wheat, Sesame, Millet
    • Fruits: Apples, Bananas, Mangoes, Peaches, Pears, Grapes, Dates, Kiwi, Papaya, Plums
    • Vegetables: Pumpkin, Carrots, Beans, Sweet Potatoes, Peas, Eggplant, Broccoli, Cauliflower, Zucchini, Onions
    • Protein: Chicken, Tofu, Fish, Beans (legumes)
    • Dairy: Milk, Yogurt, Cottage Cheese
  • 10-12 Months: By this stage table food can be served to the baby and she would have started eating by herself as well. For some this stage might be annoying as baby might refuse to be spoon fed… but does not last forever. Try some recipes from the mentioned ingredients:
    • Grains: Any
    • Fruits: Citrus fruits
    • Vegetables: Spinach, cucumbers, tomatoes
    • Protein: Fish, Eggs
    • Dairy: Milk, Yogurt, Cottage Cheese

 baby-food

While your baby has started with the food, don’t forget to give the required milk intake. Daily “Milk” Intakes for Babies age 0 to 12 months as suggested by Merck Source

  • 0-3 Months: Breastfeed every 1-3 hours or Formula 18-40 ounces
  • 4-5 Months: Breastfeed every 2-4 hours or Formula 24-45 ounces
  • 6-8 Months: Breastfeed every 3-4 hours or Formula 24-37 ounces
  • 9-12 Months: Breastfeed every 4-5 hours or Formula 24-31 ounces

For those of you, who want to try new recipes for your little ones, please visit: Wholesome Baby Food. It has some amazing and mouth watering recipes for babies. So go ahead and experiment with colour, texture and taste of the food along with a huge variety utensils.

alert-triangle-redOne thing to be kept in mind is, always consult with the baby’s paediatrician before introducing solid foods and especially discuss about foods that may pose allergy risks.

Also, here is a video of a simple recipe which was my daughter’s favourite:

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Shubhra Rastogi Written by:

Well, about me I can say that I am a certified dentist, healthcare analyst, medical writer and above all a mother of a 6-year-old. Most of my day to day activities revolve around her and she is my inspiration to start this blog. As a mother, I experimented with a lot of new things for my little one in a quest to find the best for her. I just want to share my experiences of being a happy and content mum.

2 Comments

  1. Sid
    August 28, 2015
    Reply

    Nice write up Shubhs.

    Some thing that the mother/ mothers should bear in mind especially during the stages when soilds are just being introduced is:
    – that only one food type should be introduced at a time.
    – in small quantity.
    – also it is better to try the new option/ food type during the early hours of the day.

    All this so that one can keep a check in case the baby reacts or is intolerant to that food type and then more or less the whole day is available in case any medical attention is required.

    I am not a mom…..but a Dad yes and thought this might be helpful.

    • Shubhra Rastogi
      August 28, 2015
      Reply

      Rightly said… It is always advisable to introduce new food in the morning as reactions can be seen if any…. Way to go dad 🙂

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