Free express shipping across SA on all orders of R450 or more

Introducing Solids

Toddler playing with food

By Burgie Ireland RN RM SANC

It’s exciting giving your baby ‘proper’ food for the first time, but don’t be tempted to rush into this. Your child has a lifetime of eating to do, and milk is all s/he needs for the first six months. Waiting gives the digestive system a chance to mature, minimises the risks of allergies and the possibility of obesity. Your baby also needs to know how to chew, tolerate lumps and swallow bulky food.

What’s so special about six months?

By six months your baby’s energy needs have spiked and s/he needs more calories, proteins, minerals and vitamins. Developmental milestones are on the move, and chewing with those newly acquired teeth and experimenting with different tastes, textures, flavours, colours and ‘lumps’ are just two of these. Introducing solids too late can delay these milestones, with some babies even gagging when dealing with lumpy food.

By six months your baby can sit up straight and has good hand-eye co-ordination. Self-feeding is another step towards independence. Babies are also learning to use their little mouths for more than just exploring objects and experiment with different sounds to communicate with.

Signs of readiness for solids:

Baby is hungrier than usual.

By six months, the gut microbiome (good bacteria) supporting the immune system, is well established, so there’s no need to sterilise feeding equipment.

Shows an interest in what you’re eating. 

What to introduce:

The trend today is to introduce raw, natural fruit or vegetables such as mashed banana, avocado pear or papaya. Its best to pulp, sieve or liquidise first foods, starting with small amounts. If your baby objects, try again tomorrow.

Introduce only one food at a time for a few days to check for reactions. Don’t add sugar, salt, butter or spices.

Avoid empty calories and teach your baby good eating habits from the start.

Previous Next