In this section:
The choice of your baby’s first solid food is very important. It must be suitable for her developing digestive system and be finely textured and easy to swallow. The time at which a baby accepts solid food varies from child to child. The introduction of solid foods should be determined by the baby’s stage of development, rather than by age alone.
Your baby is entering the Learner Eater stage when she can:
- Sit with support.
- Show good head and neck control.
- Push up with her arms when placed on her stomach.
- Has doubled her birth weight.
In the Learner Eater stage, your baby’s diet is still mainly milk feed (breast milk or infant formula), but milk feed alone can no longer meet her energy needs. Iron reserves are also being depleted.
- His sucking pattern has changed and he is less likely to drool and spit out food.
- He opens his mouth and leans forward to show that he is hungry, leans back or turns away when he is satisfied.
- His hand-to-mouth co-ordination is good, and he can grasp and move soft food to his mouth.
Until your baby can express these feelings and actions, feeding solids may be a form of force-feeding.
Avoid strong tastes such as broccoli or cabbage as a starter food. Introduce them at a later stage.
The kind of infant cereal will determine what it should be mixed with: either the current milk feed (Nestlé NESTUM) or previously boiled and cooled water (Nestlé CERELAC). Mix it to a soft, slightly runny consistency. A mixture that is too stiff may make your baby gag. Do not add salt or sugar when preparing strained fruit or vegetables.
Add Nestlé NESTUM to foods such as pumpkin and potato to enhance their nutritional value, throughout the first three years of life.