A lot of babies start demanding food from as early as 6 months and a lot of mothers are worried that it is too early to feed baby these foods at such a tender age. Your babies’ pediatrician should have the final say in everything concerning their health and well-being. However, I’ll talk from personal experience. My younger brother started demanding adult food around 5/6 months. He started teething as early as 3 months. Initially, my mother didn’t give in but after a while when he started crying, she finally gave in. He started with amala, then mashed potatoes or rice.
There are actually certain foods babies mushy eat at such tender ages. But consult your pediatrician for more details. So what foods can you give your baby?
Mash the rice with your fingers and feed your baby. Ensure your nails are very clean with no nail polish. Make sure the rice is cooked till very soft. If you like your rice harder than usual, you might have to cook the baby’s own separately so it’ll be so soft that you can easily mash it with your fingers. At first the baby will not even finish 1 tablespoon of rice.
Swallow foods (Semolina, Garri etc & Soups)
Start with draw soups like okro, ewedu, ogbono etc. They’re the easiest for kids to swallow. For okro, use only the tiny bits so they won’t be challenging to digest. As for the swallows, most babies won’t even finish up to a lump that an adult can swallow at one go. Let your child dictate the pace at which he/she will go.
Some babies can handle this meal at such a young age because it has almost the consistency of baby cereal when done and you can mash it up even more. It is a good transition meal from cereal to adult food. There are no beans coat to get in the way like in the normal Beans Porridge. Bloating is also reduced considerably due to the absence of the beans coat.
Yam & Potatoes
Boil yam, Irish or sweet potatoes, add Beef Stew, mash and you have a baby friendly meal. Try mashing egg yolks with them. Your baby will love it.
If you eat a lot of pepper in your family, then when cooking the food, remove your baby’s portion before adding pepper. Too much pepper will upset your baby’s tender stomach.
Finally, it’s important to note that foods will not be a replacement for milk and cereal. You should still give your baby the same amount of milk and cereal he eats in a day while giving him these adult foods. You can apply the above ideas to most adult Nigerian food to convert them to baby food, all you need is mash them and give the baby plenty of water while feeding him. It does not have to be exactly the consistency of cereal because you should aim to gradually introduce new textures of food to your baby as he/she grows.