When can I add salt to baby food?

Is it safe to add salt to baby food?

Adding salt in baby food?

When can I introduce salt in baby’s diet?

Why no salt for baby till 1 year?

 Why should one not add salt to baby food?

It is recommended that one should avoid adding salt to baby’s food till one year or as long as possible. Salt is basically a chemical compound composed of Sodium and Chlorine and is chemically known as Sodium Chloride (NaCl).

Human body needs minerals like sodium and potassium, but in very, very small amount. Excess minerals which are not absorbed .by the body are filtered away by kidneys and excreted with urine. Baby’s kidneys and digestive system are still maturing and thus too much of anything may be harmful. Too much salt can harm their still fragile kidneys and system.

Other than these, there can be long term lifestyle problems:

  • Too much salt or sugar means child will not appreciate the natural taste of food like vegetables.
  • It can also lead to child preferring food with loads of salt which can eventually lead to health problems.

 

When can I add salt to baby food? 

 

It is said that human body needs small amount of sodium, how will my baby get that if I avoid salt completely?

During the first year, breastmilk or formula still forms the bulk of your baby’s food. There is enough sodium in breastmilk and formula for baby’s needs, so there is no need to add extra salt to baby’s food.

 

Will baby eat the bland food without salt? What if s/he does not like food without salt? 

Please note that we like salt in our food because we have learnt to like our food with salt. Baby’s palate is clean and s/he does not know if there needs to be salt in food. This is also a good opportunity to introduce baby to pure, natural flavours without any addition of salt or sugar. Dals, rice, veggies, fruits all have their own natural taste. Remember baby cannot miss what s/he does not know about.

 

When is it OK to add some salt to baby food?

As baby approaches first year and you start introducing regular table food to her, you may introduce small amounts of salt and seasonings to your baby’s food. Remember, too much salt is bad for everyone, so make food with low salt and put foundation of healthy habits early on. Adding a teaspoon of salt to a dish for the whole family will distribute the salt among all and will not be too much for baby.

Also, there is salt in lots of food around you without you adding any extra. Butter, cheese, pickle, ketchup, noodles, fries all kid’s favorites are laden with salt, so there is no need to add salt to baby food and your child will definitely not have lack of sodium, if anything.

Recommended:

No salt recipes for babies

How to start solids for baby

Foods to avoid for baby till 1 year

Foods to avoid during first year – Unsafe foods for Baby

Unsafe foods for baby before 1 year 

Forbidden baby foods

Foods to avoid during first year – As your baby grows and becomes more adventurous in eating, you must keep certain things in mind while feeding your baby. There might be well-wishers offering your baby different foods but you should politely tell them that it has not been introduced or doctor has prohibited certain things. Here we list out foods that can be dangerous for your baby before she turns one and you must avoid them before her first birthday and sometimes beyond.

 

Unsafe foods for baby till 1 year

 

Foods to avoid giving infants during first year

Choking Hazards for babies

There are many food items which present choking hazard to baby, if given before baby turns 1 and even later.

Nuts. Nuts pose a big risk as choking hazard, as they are tough to chew with limited teeth that baby has. Even when baby is older, these should be crushed to powder or small pieces till kid is 3-5 years old.

Big Fruits Fruits like berries and grapes can cause choking as baby does not have have enough teeth to chew them. If giving these should be cut into small manageable pieces for baby.

Chunky fruits and vegetables Big pieces of vegetables like carrots, cucumber etc and fruits like apples, pear etc can cause choking and should not be given to babies. Fruits and veggies must be cooked well and shredded to small pieces or mashed well.

Raisins are also choking hazard and should be avoided till baby is older.

Popcorn too can cause choking and should be avoided.

Hard candy or jellies should be avoided.

Candy- choking risk for baby

 

Allergens – Foods to avoid during baby’s first year

Following foods should be avoided early on, as they can cause allergy in babies. If there is a known allergy in your family, you should wait even longer and introduce carefully in consultation with doctor.

Nuts. Nuts like peanuts and others have been known to cause allergy and it is best not to introduce them to baby before turning at least one. If there is a history of nut allergy in your family, you may want to wait even further and introduce with doctor’s advice.

Eggs Eggs are a common allergen and most doctors advise against its introduction early on. Yolk is considered safer than egg-white and should be introduced before white.

Shellfish Shellfish like prawns, crabs etc are a common allergen and should be avoided till baby is much older.

Strawberry are known to be allergenic and should be avoided till baby is at least one.

Citrus Fruits like orange, lemon etc should be avoided till baby is at least 1 as they can cause painful rashes to baby.

Chocolates also pose risk of allergy and should be avoided till baby is atleast a few years old. It also makes sense to delay it to protect your baby’s teeth.

 

Other Hazards – Foods to avoid during first year

Cow’s Milk

Cow’s milk should not be introduced to baby before first birthday, as it contains more protein and sodium than your baby’s delicate system can handle. It also has less iron and essential fatty acids than breastmilk and formula, which are essential for your baby’s growth. Some babies are known to develop reflux and allergies if started on cow’s milk early on.

Honey

Honey can be dangerous to baby before first birthday and should be avoided. It may contain spores of Clostridium botulinum, which though harmless to adults can cause Botulism in babies.

Seafish

Seafish like tuna, salmon, sharks which are high in mercury should not be given to baby.

Unpasteurized Milk

Unpasteurized Milk can contain dangerous bacteria and should be avoided in babies and young kids.

Teas and Coffee

Tea, coffee and cocoa contain caffeine which can interfere with absorption of calcium and should be avoided for babies and young kids.

Carbonated drinks

Carbonated drinks like soda, colas etc contain lots of sugar, sodium and artificial flavourings all bad for young kids. Carbonation happens due to gas which can upset your baby’s tummy as well.

Salt and sugar

Salt and sugar is best not given to baby before they turn 1 year. Breastmilk and other foods and baby takes has enough sodium, so her little body needs no extra salt. Infact, extra salt can do harm to their tiny, developing bodies.

Read more on why salt should avoided in baby’s food during first year.

Experts believe that sugar offered during first year can lead to kids preferring sweet food and not being willing to try savoury and natural food items. It is hence best for babies to introduce them to the natural tastes of fruits and vegetables without additional salt or sugar.

 

Breastfeeding: Basics for Breastfeeding Success

“Breastfeeding is the best gift  a mother can give to her newborn child. “

But not all mothers have a successful breastfeeding relationship with their baby. There are various reasons for that. Most common reason being not knowing how to approach it the correct way. There are many steps you can take to ensure you are able to breastfeed your baby as long as you and the baby wants.

I will share my own breastfeeding journey with you all. It was easy to start with. My baby could not latch properly. It seemed she wasn’t able to suck at all. I had to ask for nurse’s help every time I wanted feed my baby and that was almost every hour. I was feeling full and engorged and a sense of despair was coming over me. But I persisted and consulted a lactation consultant. She advised me on latching position and how to hold the baby and within a week, we were both comfortable that was the beginning of a beautiful breastfeeding journey which continued till she was 13 months old.

Breastfeeding basics

 

 

Getting Started to Breastfeeding

It is advised that mother should start breastfeeding her child as soon as she is brought to her. Babies are programmed to suck and they need to suck for a long time. Offer the breast as long as comfortable. Even if the baby does not show eagerness to suck, keep offering.

Many well-wishers around you might tell you to wait for that you do not have enough milk, but that’s not what it is. Babies need very tiny amounts of milk the first couple of days, so your body is producing just the right amount. The first yellow milk or colostrum is necessary for baby, so start as soon as your baby comes to your baby for long-term breastfeeding success.

Read more about colostrum and its benefits to baby

No Other Feed

Ensure that hospital staff or nurses do not give any alternate feed to the baby. In some places, sugar-water or formula is given to baby. This can fill your baby’s tiny tummy and there will not be any room or inclination left for the nourishing breast-milk during the first few days.

Keep offering every hour till you and your baby get the hang of latching and feeding.

 BreastFeeding on Demand

Some doctors advise feeding babies on a schedule like every 2-3 hours. However, consultants across the world these days, advise feeding on demand. It means you should feed whenever the baby wants to feed rather than following the clock. However, if you feel that baby is going without feed for more than 4 hours, you should wake the baby up gently and feed the baby.

 

Offer both breasts for feeding the baby

Offer both breasts to baby, so that both get stimulated enough to produce sufficient milk. Human breasts produce milk on the basis of demand and supply. When your baby sucks more often, body ups milk production to meet the demand. Similarly, if one of the breasts is ignored continuously, body adjusts the production due to low demand. Even a small gap during initial days can affect milk production, which can be very difficult to bring up again, thus leading to failure.

Use a Breast-pump

If you are unwell or are not able to feed your baby directly, express milk using a breast-pump and give it to baby with a bottle or a spoon or paladi. It will not be same as when baby sucks, but aleast your baby will get breast-milk and your milk-supply can be kept up till things become normal.

Be Patient

Even if you hit a few bumps, do not get discouraged. Every mother goes through these hiccups and persevering is the only way out. Babies also take some time in learning how to latch on to the breast.After a few days, it will become second nature to you and the baby.

Take Medical help when needed

If you have any issues, do not hesitate to talk to a lactation consultant. These consultants are specialists in field of breastfeeding and can answer all your questions and correct any issues with your technique. Take help of the nurses, if you have trouble with baby latching on.

However difficult it may seem, always remember that you are not alone in this and all mothers hit a few bumps before it becomes a smooth ride. And if at all, you are not able to breastfeed your baby for as long as you would like, remember that bottle-fed babies also develop equally well. See pros and cons of both breastfeeding and bottle feeding

Food Chart for Babies, Indian Baby Food Chart, Infant Feeding Guidelines Chart

Food chart for babies 

Age-by-age month-wise guide to feeding babies/ Indian Baby food Chart

 This age-by-age month-wise Indian baby food chart will help you in deciding what to feed your baby at what age during the precarious first year. These are only rough guidelines to help you. Do not stress upon feeding your baby only what and how much is mentioned here. Every baby is different and if your baby wants to have something more or less, follow baby’s lead.

Find recipes for your baby and toddler here.

Month-wise meal plans/ diet charts for infants/ Baby food chart month by month

Read more on Nutrition For Toddlers and Sample diet plans for toddlers

Feel that your toddler is not gaining enough weight. See our tips on diet for skinny toddlers

 

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Introducing Solids Chart / Baby First Foods(4-7 months)

Introducing Solids Chart / Baby First Foods

Best first foods for baby 

Best first baby foods 

What do you need to make homemade baby food?

 You do not require much for making homemade baby food and introducing solids to baby and equipments from your kitchen are enough for this purpose. However, few things will be good to have. I had these and they have served me well and continue to serve me till date though my daughter is past baby food days. 

 

  • A small pressure cooker (1 to 1 ½ litre capacity ) : This is a life saver when you are introducing solids to your baby. You can cook small amounts of food baby in a jiffy without much fuss.

 

 

 

  • A good quality steel strainer : Great for straining cooked food. Can also be used to puree well-cooked food. Simply put cooked fruits/ vegetables for making baby food onto strainer and pass it through using a spoon or fork.

 

 

How to start introducing solids to baby?

Below are good baby first foods to start with :

 Rice cereal as baby first food

 Rice cereal can be given to baby once baby is nearer to 6 months mark. Mix cereal with lukewarm water or baby’s milk to make a very runny mixture. Feed this with a spoon and not in a bottle.

 Dal water  as baby first food

 Dal water is commonly given to babies as a first food. It is the water in which pulses have been boiled. Usually green gram (moong dal) is given to babies first as it is the easiest to digest.

See how to make Moong dal water / Dal ka pani as baby first food

 Rice water as baby first food

 You can also give cooled rice water, i.e. water in which rice has been boiled. This is a little but not too starchy and a light baby first food.

 Fruits  as baby first food

 Fruits can be great first foods. Fruits like banana and apple are usually not allergenic and can be safely given to babies. Babies love eating fruits for their sweet taste.

 Banana as baby first food

 Banana can be simply mashed very well to a paste and mixed with a little milk or water to make runny and given to baby. To make sure there are no chunks, pass through a strainer.

You can also make banana suji halwa as baby first food

 Apple as baby first food

 Apple needs to be cooked before it can be given to baby.

 Peel apple. Cut into small chunks and cook in a saucepan with small amount of water for 10-15minutes till apple is very soft. If you use a pressure cooker, cook till 2-3 whistles and cool before opening.

  Pass this through a strainer or blend first and then strain. Make sure no fiber goes in to young baby’s food as baby’s digestive system is still immature and cannot handle very tough tissue. As baby grows, you can simply mash or blend and give without straining. Use remaining water to make the puree.

How to make AppleSauce for Baby First Food

 

Vegetables

Veggies like carrots, Bottle gourd (Lauki), ridge gourd, pumpkins can be introduced to baby’s diet, a few weeks after baby has adjusted to cereal or fruits.

Clean and small cut vegetable into small pieces. Boil vegetable in a saucepan or pressure cooker till veggies are very well-cooked. Mash or blend and pass through strainer.

 DON’T ADD ANY SUGAR OR SALT TO YOUR BABY’S FOOD AT THIS STAGE.

Pumpkin and Potato Mash/Puree as baby first food

 


 

Get a food chart for babies below 1 year.

 For recipes for 6-9 months old  babies and recipes for 10-12 months babies , go to Recipe Corner 

 

 HOW MUCH SOLID FOOD TO GIVE?

You should take it very slow when introducing solid foods. Always introduce only one new food at a time and continue the same for 3-4 days to keep tab on any allergic reaction. If you notice any rashes , hives etc , discontinue the culprit food immediately and do not start until a month or two later.

Baby will not eat much at first. She might just spit everything out or may eat a little. It may take many attempts for baby to accept a food. In any case, take it slow and don’t offer more than a teaspoon at first gradually increasing to a tablespoon and then to 2-3 tablespoons.

 Follow our 6 month baby food chart for introducing solids

Baby eats very little. What to do?

  • Always follow baby’s lead. Don’t ever force baby to finish what you have made. If baby turns the head away or spits out the food repeatedly, stop right away.
  • If you force-feed the baby, she might just vomit everything out, so stop and try again the next day and there is a better chance of succeeding.
  • Also, force-feeding will make baby dread feeding sessions and you can then be ready for howling session at the sight of high-chair itself.
  • Make the meal-time fun and not a chore for the baby. She can get all the required nutrition from breastmilk or formula, so don’t fret if she takes only a spoon of that applesauce and then loses interest.

 

WHAT NOT TO GIVE THE BABY TILL 1 YEAR?

There are a few things which well-wishers might suggest you while introducing solids, but should be kept out of baby’s menu for now and till the baby turns 1 year old.

  • Cow’s milk

  • Honey

  • Chocolates

  • Egg whites

  • Extra fat in food. Though, it is traditional to add some ghee to baby’s food, use it sparingly.

  • If there is any history of allergy in the family, delay that item till a tleast 1 year.

  • Citrus fruits should not be given to baby before 6 months.

 Read more on foods to avoid during first year.

Hope all these will help you in introducing solids and planning your baby’s first foods.  If you like the article, do share it in your circle. Do leave a comment to ask a question or let us know your feedback.  You can follow us on Facebooktwitter and pinterest.

When to start feeding Baby Cereal / When and How to Start Solids for Baby

When and How to Start Solids for Baby

 

When to start solids for baby
when to start feeding baby cereal

For a baby to start solids is a big big milestone and step ahead into this world. First question that parents face, is WHEN to start. And new parents probably get as many different advice as people they know. Grandmother will tell you they started you when you were three months old and you did not have any problem after all. A friend might tip you about feeding cereal in a bottle. Your doctor might advise you to wait till 6 months. It can be very confusing.

 

Very early introduction of solids can be harmful for baby, as it can fill her tiny tummy and leave less room for breast-milk or formula which is most important for baby growth at this stage. Early introduction of food can also cause allergy. At the same time, wait for too long and you may find that your baby does not take to new food easily and wants to continue nursing or bottle.

 

Most paediatricians recommend exclusive breastfeeding till 6 months of age. A baby should not be given any solid food before 4 months of age. Baby’s digestive system is not ready to handle solids till at least 4 months and breast milk or formula is enough to provide all the nourishment the baby needs. You can start solids gradually sometime between 4 and 6 months with the advice of your baby’s doctor.

 

All babies are different and you should go with baby’s cues to decide when to introduce solids. Just because your best friend started her baby at 4 months doesn’t mean you should too. Neither should you wait till 7 months because your sister did that.

 

 

 

HOW TO KNOW IF BABY IS READY FOR SOLIDS

There are many developmental signs which can help you decide when you want to introduce solids to your baby.

 

  • Baby can sit well with support and can hold her head well and steady. Baby should never be given food lying down.

  • Tongue-thrust reflex is gone. Tongue-thrust reflex protects babies from accidentally swallowing any foreign material. Try giving small amount of solid food to baby and if it immediately comes out even after several attempts, baby is not yet ready for solids. Do not ever force baby to swallow food.

  • Baby observes intently and is curious about your food. This is not a sure-shot sign as babies at this age are curious about most things.

  • Baby makes chewing motion.

  • Baby is hungry even after eight to ten feedings.

  • Baby has gained significant weight. Usually baby should have at least doubled her birth weight before solids can be given to her.

 Observe your baby for these signs and then start solids after consultation with baby’s doctor.

 WHAT TO GIVE WHEN STARTING SOLIDS

Rice cereal is considered to be a safe first food to start with. However , it does not need to be the only thing you can feed your baby as a first food. In India, there are many alternate cereals which babies have been fed traditionally.

Check out a list of first foods you can give your baby.

Whatever you give should be very watery at first and do not expect baby to finish everything you have prepared. This in initial months is just to enable baby to aware that there are other and varied tasting sources of nutrition than breast or bottle. There are certain foods should not be given to baby during first year.

Ready-made baby food in jars is available in baby stores. You can choose to use those if you are pressed for time and don’t mind the cost or make your own fresh food as is done traditionally. Making your own baby food is very easy and you know exactly what you are giving to your baby.

Weaning recipes for babies

Homemade instant cereals for baby

 

Whenever you introduce a new food, always introduce it alone and give the same food for 3-4 days. This is known as the 3 day wait rule. This will ensure you can notice allegies if any. If you find baby is experiencing any kind of rash, gassiness, reflux etc. discontinue that food and wait for many weeks before trying again.

 

Further Read:

 How and What to give as First Foods

 

Key points about feeding and burping a newborn

0-3 Months : Newborn babies need to be fed frequently. Though each baby is different, newborn babies need to feed 8-12 times in 24 hours.

 

If you want to follow a schedule, you can feed the baby every 2 hours during the day and every 3 hours during night. If you see your baby going without feed for over 4 hours, you should wake the baby up gently and feed the baby. Consult your doctor regarding this.

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