can be added to the baby’s diet a week or so after
introducing fruits. Vegetables should first be boiled, then
mashed in a blender, and then strained. (It is important to
strain the vegetables until the baby is about 7 months old.
After the baby is 7 months, straining is not required
because vegetable fiber is very nutritious and contains
certain useful toxins). Begin with a couple of spoons and
then gradually increase the quantity every succeeding week
to the limit accepted by the baby. Dark green leafy
vegetables, carrots and pumpkin are very healthy.
There is no need to add
salt to the vegetables, since there is enough sodium in the
vegetables. The baby’s system is not ready to handle too
much salt in the first few months of life. Ghee, butter or
cooking oil can also be added for flavor as well as for
calories. Vegetables like spinach are high in iron. In
order to improve the absorption of iron into the baby’s
system, you need to give vitamin C. Vegetables like tomato
and cauliflower contain vitamin C and therefore can be a
good complement to spinach. Multivitamin drops also contain
vitamin C and can be given once a day, right after a meal.
This can be added to the
baby’s diet a week after starting mashed vegetables. One to
two teaspoons should be given twice a day, between two feeds
around 8 am and 7 pm. Keep increasing every 3-4 days to the
amount accepted by the baby. Home-made preparations are
preferred to ready-made cereals. There are several ways of
offering home-made porridge: suji kheer (rava kheer), thin
seera with ghee, dalia from broken wheat, ragi (or nachni),
soaked bread in milk, mashed boiled rice with milk, phirni,
Mashed and well-cooked khichri or dal and rice
Introduce khichri to the
baby’s diet after a couple of weeks. You can add half a
teaspoon of ghee, butter or cooking oil to the final
preparation. Initially, you should put the cooked khichri
in a blender so that it is easy for the baby to swallow.
Then you can gradually increase the consistency to a
semi-solid state so that the child’s palate starts getting
used to regular foods. You can also add vegetables like
carrots or spinach to the khichri.
When the child is about 6
months old, curds can be introduced in the child’s diet.
Start with about 2 teaspoons and then gradually increase.
Avoid adding sugar or other sweeteners to the curds.
Egg can be added to the
baby’s diet when the child is about 6-7 months. The egg
should be boiled in water for three minutes, and then cooled
in running water. First begin with one teaspoon of the yolk
(yellow portion), and then gradually introduce the white
portion of the egg. The white is very high in proteins, but
can also cause allergic reactions in some babies.
Juices made of fruits high
in vitamin C, like orange and pineapple, can be added at
around 7 months. The reason for not adding them earlier is
that they often do not suit very young babies.
After the eighth month, as
the baby takes less of your milk, she needs to start getting
external milk. Either cow’s milk or buffalo’s milk can be
given. Do not dilute the milk with water. If the milk
contains too much fat, remove the cream. External milk does
not suit many babies initially. They either get diarrhoea
or start vomiting. They may also develop allergies like
eczema (if there is a strong family history of allergies).
Breastfeeding should be continued at least until 1 year.
chapati in the child’s diet. One can do so either by adding
one chapati in the blender with the child’s vegetables, or
by soaking it in dal.
In the case of
non-vegetarians, these foods can also be introduced, in the
soup form initially. It can later be steamed, minced and
offered to the child.