I AM a new mother and I’m a little confused about giving my nine-month-old baby solid food. I don’t wish to buy commercially-prepared baby food. What are some of the best first foods that I can make at home?

AS your baby starts to be able to tolerate various foods once you start complementary feeding, that’s the time you can cook foods in combination.

Essentially, the wider the variety of foods your baby eats, the more varied nutrients she will get.

Cooking baby food on your own is a good way to ensure that no unnecessary ingredients and additives are added.

There’s no need to add salt, sugar, bottled sauces and seasonings for a baby below 12 months.

Let them savour the various tastes of natural foods.

Include a variety of nutrient-rich ingredients when making baby food. Picture from: Created by Freepik

In building your baby’s menu, consider adding the following foods rich in nutrients that your baby will require at this stage:

For growth, development and healthy cells — meat, fish, egg yolk and legumes.

For the production of red blood cells to carry oxygen throughout the body — red meat (beef/lamb), pumpkin, dark leafy greens and prunes.

Essential nutrient for baby’s growth and nerve cells — chicken, beef and legumes.

For the generation of strong bones and teeth — dairy products such as milk, cheese, yogurt, cottage cheese, dark leafy green vegetables,anchovies, soy beans and soy products.

Vitamin A
Strengthens baby’s immune system and promotes healthy eye vision and growth — dark yellow/orange coloured fruit and vegetables such as pumpkin, carrots, corn, papayas, sweet potatoes and mangoes.

Vitamin C
Important for growth, wound healing and strengthening baby’s immunity system against infections — vegetables and fruit, and potatoes.

Required to make DNA and Ribonucleic acid, genetic compounds and the production of new body cells — fruits and dark leafy green vegetables

You can easily make pureed baby food by steaming meat, vegetables and fruit until they are cooked and then blending them till smooth.

Rice is also a gentle grain that is well-tolerated as a first food.

You can add expressed breast milk to the purees as additional nutrition.

* Answers provided by Indra Balaratnam, consultant dietitian.

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