New mothers often wonder if they need to know their baby’s constitution to help them choose what foods they should feed them. Actually, though, all healthy babies have very similar nutritional needs. If there is some chronic health issue present in a nursing or formula-fed baby, weaning them should, perhaps, proceed more slowly, but is otherwise basically the same.
There are many opinions about what first foods to give to baby, but most cultures agree on when to offer baby solid food. It is best for babies to be exclusively breast-fed for at least the first 4-6 months.
Baby’s First Solid Foods
We began offering food to our son when he was about 4 ½ months old. I had heard many suggestions for first foods that I liked (including egg yolk and bone broth), but in the end I began with the traditional Ayurvedic first food (and good staple) which is a mix of toasted basmati rice and mung dal cooked with ghee and spices. My body has always digested mung and rice well and I figured that Milo would do well with it too. In the beginning, I would wait for it to cool some and then add some breast milk to thin it out.
It took Milo at least a couple of weeks to practice his swallowing, so at first he wasn’t really “eating” that much. For that time, we offered it only once a day, still breast-feeding on demand. As he learned to swallow, he would usually eat a small bowl of it once a day and then twice a day.
Once it was clear that he knew how to eat—which took about a month or so—I began offering orange vegetables. I started with carrots cooked well and added to his porridge. Next I added butternut squash and sweet potato, each time waiting about a week before trying the next vegetable.