Babies are typically ready to try basic first foods at around six months of age. Before then it is recommended that they stay exclusively on breast or formula milk. But how do you KNOW if your baby is ready to try their first foods?
Rice cereal is typically the first food for babies as it is very easy to digest and gentle on the tummy. You can buy it in the baby section of the Supermarket and it usually comes in plain or pear and banana flavour. Start with a tablespoon at a time mixed with either breast milk or formula (what ever your baby is used to). Make it quite runny at first (and nice and warm – but not hot) until your baby is used to the familiar taste and smell. Only try a small spoonfull or two at the first few feeds. Don’t be surprised if it gets spat back out at you!
The best time to try rice cereal for the first time is in mid morning when your baby is happy, alert and ready for some dinner! It isn’t recommended trying rice cereal at night just in case it upsets them – you could be in for a stinker of a night’s sleep! Discard any uneaten food – don’t save it for the next meal.
Once your baby is regularly enjoying rice cereal, you can offer them small amounts of pureed fruit or boiled vegetables. Make sure you mash them well and push through a sieve so there is no lumps. Dilute with a little breast milk or formula or even boiled water.
Some simple purees your baby might enjoy can include: