Babies need to learn to use their jaws and teeth to break down foods and swallow the food safely. When you introduce solids to your baby at six months, she does not yet have control of her mouth and jaws, so she cannot chew effectively. Nanny advises that although it is great for her to practice on finger foods, but her main nutrition should come from purees. The earlier you introduce solids to your baby, the thinner the puree it needs to be. You can prepare cooked or raw foods and puree them with a hand blender or mash them. Purees are a good way to introduce a huge variety of vegetables, fruits, carbohydrates, dairy food, fish and meat. Babies will eat and enjoy lots of different flavours, including fruit with meat and fish with chess. Nanny will often start with one food at a time, then start combinations. There are a number of suitable foods:
Baby rice – This is a gluten-free first food that especially made for babies which makes an easy transition to solid foods as it can be mixed with her usual milk. Make sure you or the nanny choose one that is sugar free.
Cooked purees – Good choices for first cooked purees for your baby include root vegetables like parsnips, turnips, carrots and sweet potato. Apples and pears are good as they cook down quickly to become soft and easy to puree. Some nannies will boil, steam or roast vegetables or even steam them in a microwave.
Raw purees – Good raw foods to puree or mash for your baby include the weaning superfoods such as avocados and bananas. Talk about fast food: simply remove the peel (and stone in the avocado) and mash with a fork. If you feel the banana or avocado is too thick, you can mix it with some expressed breastmilk or cooled, boiled water.