Starting MPASI is an important stage. Take special time to prepare yourself and your baby before starting to provide the first solid meal for your little one.
Give solid food at the age of 4-6 months
This age range is suitable for starting to introduce solid foods, usually with rice cereal mixed with breast milk or formula milk to start. However, when starting to give solid food depends not only on age. Before you start eating solid food, your baby must be able to sit (with help), turn his head, and chew. He also must have had reflexes which made him vomit anything except liquid.
Continue to continue breastfeeding or formula milk
Babies cannot immediately eat lots of solid food. So, solid foods currently only apply as food you add to your baby's diet, not as a substitute for breast milk or formula milk. Remember that you only introduce solid foods, not change your baby's diet. Changes to the meal menu will be done gradually.
Why start with rice cereal?
Actually, there are no specific rules or conditions regarding what sequence of solid foods you should give your baby first. It's just that with small grains such as single wheat cereals, for example rice cereal, it may be easier to find out food allergies than cereals made from several types of ingredients. You might want to mix it with formula or breast milk so that the food stays wet at first, until your baby is familiar with this new texture.
Eating solid foods requires practice
Although for us it looks natural, but being fed with a spoon is new to your baby. Until now, he had only eaten liquid food. He must practice to get used to the spoon and feel solid food in his mouth. So don't expect the baby to eat a large portion. You might be able to start with one or two teaspoons at a time. Instead of trying to get the baby to eat a certain amount, focus on letting the baby get used to this new habit.
Give various types of food one by one
Fruits, vegetables, grains, and even mashed meat can all be given to your baby. You might want to introduce these foods one by one to see your baby's reaction. If the baby doesn't want to eat it at first, try it later. Tell your doctor if you think your baby has a food allergy. Give baby food soft from the bottle, or heat the food to make it softer. Put food on a spoon to taste so your baby can swallow easily.
Avoid cow's milk and honey
Many pediatricians say you have to wait until the one year old baby starts giving cow milk. That is because some babies may have difficulty digesting it when they are not yet one year old. And don't give honey to babies less than 1 year old (some pediatricians say up to 2 years), because there may be a risk of botulism that cannot be defended by the development of the baby's immune system.
Stop when the baby wants to stop
The baby will tell you when he finished eating. He might hit a spoon, reluctantly, close his lips, spit out food in his mouth, or cry. Don't make him eat more than he wants. Children will eat when they are hungry and stop when they are full. Understanding these characteristics will help you avoid overeating until the child gets older.
Fussy children eat? Don't worry!
Just because your baby doesn't like new foods right away doesn't mean that he will have a hard time eating forever. Wait a few days and don't get tired of trying again. It may take several times before he receives the new food. Remember that you are a role model for babies so your baby may be more interested in food if you see you eat and enjoy it. But don't force children to eat and don't make new food a big problem.
Mess is good
When your baby grows, he will try to eat by himself. Food will be on the face, hands, hair, chest pads, clothes, or chair tray. Not to mention when the baby throws or plays food on you or around you. Learning to eat solid foods is an experience that is related to the sense of touch and the whole body for babies. Place the mat under the baby's seat to hold the falling food, protect the clothes, and be patient, because these phases won't last forever.
Try "finger foods" when the baby is ready
About 9 months or more, your baby can take small pieces of food to eat. You still need to use a spoon for a while, and continue to give formula milk or breast milk. Some good "finger foods" are cooked banana slices, cooked carrot slices, soft cheese, cooked pasta, dry cereal, and scrambled eggs. Avoid the risk of choking like candy, chips, raw vegetables, grapes or raisins, hard cheese, and hot dogs.