Just search baby weaning plan on the web and in a matter of seconds you get thousands of results like weaning schedules, weaning foods, food recipes and many similar things. Thanks to the web, we have a lot of options.
However, I am a simple person and I still like the old times when desi moms used to feed the baby in their own style. They used to make the foods at home and used to feed the babies with their own hands. In this post, I will unlock different plans of 6 month old baby, 8 month old baby food and even some ideas for 12 month old. So, Go ahead and explore more.
When packaged food became popular baby food
But with time the trends changed. This thing called advertisement affects our mindsets so much. I remember with time the packaged food for babies gained more and more importance. Like cerelac. We all grew up watching the Cerelac advertisement on televisions. It became a widely used product as the first food to offer babies. It became a symbol of baby weaning.
And then there came other packaged food items specially designed for babies. I remember seeing babies being fed with packaged expansive food. Ofcourse, parents back then thought it’s the best for their babies. We know we all live in a society where quality is associated with price. More the price, more the quality is a very common perception. Along with the researches, i m sure. To tell the parents how all nutritions are combined in one packet. They must specifically have mentioned how this is best for the baby to have this food. And with time it became the trend.
Weaning and my experience of it
Not that all the readily available food in the market is bad. There are some good organic baby food brands. And I am not all against cerelac aswell. In some situations these mentioned foods can make a mother’s life so easy .I have talked about the packaged food from organic food brands and how you can avail benefit from these at the end of this article.
But why go to market when you can prepare all these at home yourself or under your supervision. Does not preparing home made food for babies sounds more authentic and healthy to you? Well, it does sound authentic to me.
I proved to be a very simple and desi person. When it came to weaning and feeding my baby, I always believed in the power of home made food.
How I took the decision to get started with weaning
I remember that I was instructed not to feed baby anything other than milk till the time baby turns eight (8) months.
It took alot of hesitation, discussion and research before I could decide on when to start weaning my baby, what to offer and what not to offer.
So here I am with a happy two (2) years old toddler. Who loves eating home made food. Who occasionally eats packaged food too when we travel and is sort of flexible in his eating habits. This makes things sort of easier for me.
Purpose of this post
Upon asking many times about my baby weaning plan and recipes or foods that I offered my son over time. I have penned down this post. I shall be sharing the foods I offered my son. I shall also share with you my top tips to help you wean your baby and I shall share my thoughts on packaged food and when and how can it help you as a mother. And in the last I shall talk about how to choose a packaged food item for your baby.
This post is a product of my personal experience and knowledge. This plan worked for me. It might work for you too. Read it and decide for yourself. Let’s get started with this.
Is popular Weaning food the right food for babies?
So, they say wean a baby in popular style. Give the baby western style food. No spices, no salt, no sugar They also tell the health benefits of the same. Neither I am a health practitioner nor a medical researcher. So, I cannot comment on that. But I shall tell you about my experience. How I weaned my baby. What did I offer to him? At what age and what recipes, I followed. How I tweaked the recipes to create food in my own style.
My style of weaning, was it desi?
I decided I shall wean my baby in desi style. The way I was offered food. In the age, I started eating. Although along the way my process has got the modern marks too. But it’s still old school.
At what age I started my baby weaning plan?
I gave my baby first food to taste when he was Five (5) months old. I remember I was scared too because his doctor mentioned about nothing other than milk before Eight (8) months. He mentioned selective semi-solids and juices at the age of eight and not the family diet until he is one year old.
However, I have experienced over time that different doctors have different opinions regarding this. Moreover, when we change country the opinion changes and if you change continent, a whole new perspective regarding this awaits you.
After reading, discussing and researching about this, I concluded that it’s my call. Whatever the way I want and whatever the opinion I want to follow. In all this decision making my mother helped me a lot. She always mentioned that make food at home and offer him. She told me she did the same with me. She said she offered me my first food to taste when I was four months old. I decided to follow her method. The old school method of weaning the baby.
How I started this? First foods offered?
Everyone told me to go with the popular food. The Cerelac. But I wanted him to taste homemade food. First time only a pinch of some mashed rice. I still remember the faces he made. Haha.
The pinch of mashed rice was salty. Just slightly though, but salty
I kept offering him pinches of food i used to make at home during the first week or so, on a test basis.
I used to offer him a pinch of almost everything made at home then. Like any curry (salan), lentil (daal) or vegetable. I made sure of only one thing that whatever I cook at home should not be high on spices.
I also observed my son for any allergic reaction. When I saw that he accepted the food I offered I decided to take the step two.
I started to offer him the following foods in very small quantities of course.
Weaning Plan: Food offered from 6th to 8th month
I always made it in small quantity
In desi ghee or butter only.
A little salty in taste and runny in consistency.
You can mash it with a spoon or blend it.
I always mashed with a spoon because I wanted my son to taste the grain texture. Which he would not be able to experience if blended rice would have been offered
b) Sooji halwa/kheer:
It is so good for weight gain
You can make it in breast milk or formula whatever your baby takes
Always use butter or Desi ghee to make it
My tip is not to feed it too much to your baby because baby may end up being over-weight. I used to feed only once a day
If given to under-weight babies, semolina can do the wonders. Doctors also suggest it. You should must add this into your 6 month old baby food plan.
What you need to Know About:
c) Mashed Potato with white sauce:
Although mashed potato alone made in butter is enough
However, if you want to add more taste to it you can make a white sauce and pour it a bit on mashed potato.
Babies love creamy stuff. It is one of the best and easiest homemade food recipes for babies.
Babies love eating a mashed banana. Even if they don’t like eating any other fruit. Its rich in nutrition and is always readily available specially in travel.
e) Lentil soup:
It super simple to make. I used to just boil the lentil with a little salt and black pepper.
You can make it with red lentil or yellow. But yellow lentil is recommended for soup. If you add a little lemon to this soup then your baby will love it. Go and try this 6 month old baby food.
f) Fruit and vegetable purees:
Whatever fruits or vegetable you prefer. You can make the puree and can freeze it for later use as well. I usually used to store puree in an ice tray. However, if you can, just make small quantities and serve only fresh.
Weaning Plan: Food offered from 8th to 12th month
a) Wheat Porridge:
Yes. Porridge made in milk. You can make it sweet or salty. Whatever way your baby prefers. And yes baby will definitely give the sign regarding his taste preference.
There are multiple recipes of oatmeal on the internet. You can google and find different recipes to try.
A simple tip is you can make it both in milk or water or broth. I always make it salty and preferably in chicken or mutton broth.
You can add minced meat in the meal too if you like.
Just a piece initially to the babies so that they can chew on it. Because they are usually teething during the age bracket. It is one of the best baby weaning foods you can make easily.
Later on, you can make sweet or salty choori in butter or desi ghee and offer your baby.
d) Rice Combos
You can also offer different variations of rice with veggies or lentil or chicken or mutton curry. Just make sure that spices are not high and it’s not too salty.
e) Yogurt and cheese
Plain yogurt, sweet yogurt or Greek yogurt. Whatever you feel is suitable. Or whatever the taste baby prefers. Also add cheese to you baby’s diet. Cheese is high in nutrition and babies usually end up loving this. I use any cheese available preferably mozrella, cheddar, cottage cheese.
f) Fruits and veggies
Raw to chew on it. Or in puree form or just baked/steamed and mashed. Whatever way you like. It is one of the best 8 month old baby food.
g) Crushed Nuts and other dry fruits
You can add the finely crushed nuts and other dry fruits to baby’s diet.
Fruit Juices, shakes, smoothies can also be part of babies’ food.
Usually, these are a universal favorite of babies
j) Minced meat:
Chicken, mutton or beef. Cook it with less spices or boil it and feed you baby. You can also give it with rice, if you like.
You can try eggs. But offer only a pinch and observe for 24 hours. In case no allergic reaction appears. You can start offering only small qualities. I started with yolk and that too a little runny. You can boil, or you can fry it. I used to offer both.
You can also offer scrambled eggs, or a simple omelet made with salt and pepper. It is a must have for 8 month old baby food.
Note: Doctors say no eggs before baby turns one (1).
Weaning baby at 12 months to onwards:
Switch the baby to the family diet. Offer whatever are you eating. Offer three meals. In-between the meals offer a lot of water and snacks or milk as the baby prefers.
Must read: Baby Skin care Routine and Tips
My 17 Most Effective Baby Weaning Tips
When it comes to feeding a baby, every mom has her own tips and tricks. I am going to share mine that would surely work for you .
1. Don’t offer cold water/cold milk/cold anything
2. Don’t offer fruits that are sour
3. Read on the internet about the food can cause choking for example grapes. Always cut them to two or three pieces. There Is a list of food that needs such care to avoid choking. These should be on your fingertips
4. Carefully plan the meal times. There should be a good gap between two meals.
5. Never leave the baby alone while he is eating. And always keep a close eye on him or feed him yourself
6. Watch you-tube videos on choking. What are the signs and how to manage it
7. Don’t force feed your baby.
8. Designate an eating space for your baby so that they don’t run around while eating
9. Or the best is to get a high chair for your baby and you can give him food and he can try to eat himself. Babies love eating themselves. Although they end up making a mess and eat less than you expect but its fun and they learn to eat themselves.
10. Don’t offer soft drinks or soda
11. Offer only fresh juices made at home. Try not to offer over the counter juices available
12. Try not to give packaged snacks like lays, biscuits etc (Try organic as much as you can)
13. I trust in roti more and in bread less. So, bread is not a preferred food in my home.
14. Read about food allergies on internet or talk to your doctor about them. So that if any sign appears you know about it and see your peadeatrician immediately.
15. There are a list of foods that you should not feed your baby in breakfast or dinner. There are preferred times about feeding those to your babies. Just as they say don’t serve cucumbers in breakfast, don’t feed apples at night etc. Read about this and be careful about the food and the time at which you are offering it.
16. There are some do and donts related to some foods. Like never feed milk after yogurt. Research and know about it and take care of it.
17. Try to make meal- times fun. May be colourful plates and cups. Or singing or talking to your baby while feeding him. Or whatever works for you. So that baby look forward to meal time.
Don’t Forget to Know About : 8 Smart toys for Kids
Organic Food Vs Processed Food
Your baby’s health is first and foremost thing. Whatever you cook at home is organic food made from scratch. Try to offer organic food and try to avoid packaged food. The processed food looks great and it is easy to feed them. But when you check online health websites, then you come to know how harmful they can be for your babies. These days, when moms give packet poisons i.e. Chips, crackers, etc to their babies with a smile on their face. I still like to live in the time when moms were quite conscious about baby weaning and their choice of weaning food.
Don’t give your baby processed food just because they are ready to serve or easy to cook. Do a little effort on cooking and you will save your baby from health issues.
However, Every baby food available is not bad. This is another thing you need to learn. There are some purees and other baby food products available which claim that they are organic. They are packaged in tins or pouches usually. They can come in handy during travel. You can occasionally use it when you can’t cook. But try to choose smartly. Read the ingredients first.
I have shared my baby weaning plan, food I offered and tips with you. I am sure Desi moms like me also have their own plans and recipes. Would you like to share your own tips and schedules with me? Did you like it ? Was it helpful for you? Let me know so as to make me happy. Or if you have something to add ? Leave it in comments below 😊
1)- For the ease of writing baby is mentioned as ‘He’
2)-This is not plan approved by any health practitioner. If you have any doubts you should consult your doctor. This is the plan followed by me and there have been no problems or issues identified during or after its use, whatsoever.